Tips For Remote Onboarding During The Pandemic

All of us have heard the term "The New Normal" one too many times in 2020. The reality is that many things have changed in our personal lives, but also in the business world. One of the most common trends that we have seen this year revolves around working remotely, but many companies have yet to implement a remote onboarding strategy for new employees. 


Because job seekers are conducting remote interviews during the pandemic, they are not given the ability to meet their coworkers, tour the office, and many other things that come along with a normal onboarding process. Here are a few tips that we have seen that foster a smooth remote onboarding process. 


1.   Schedule multiple video calls with job seekers during the interview process - A large majority of candidates will need to put in a 2 weeks' notice with their current employers, and during this time it is recommended that you have 2 calls a week or 4 total calls over that 2 weeks' notice period. We recommend setting up a call between the job seeker and IT to go over licenses/tech stack capabilities, a call between the job seeker and his/her direct manager to go over expectations during onboarding and establish a 30-60-90 day plan, a call between the job seeker and HR to go over onboarding paperwork, and a call between the job seeker and hiring manager to answer any questions prior to the start date. 


2.   Introduce the job seeker to the rest of the team - Prior to the job seeker starting with you, be sure to schedule video conferences with the job seeker and his/her soon to be coworkers. Maybe set up a virtual happy hour or something that is less formal than a typical meeting. You might also want to consider inviting significant others to these meetings as a way to build stronger connections with the job seekers. 


3.   Utilize proper technology - The more time that the job seeker has to review onboarding documents, training content, and other materials the more comfortable he/she will feel with their transition into your organization. Make these platforms & training materials available to the job seeker prior to starting, and utilize technology that will tell you once the job seeker has accessed this information. You want to ensure that you are utilizing technology that can be reportable, but also scalable as you grow. Consider an onboarding tool like WorkRamp in which employers can upload training material that can be accessed by employees and future employees prior to their start date. You can learn more about WorkRamp by visiting their LinkedIn Page WorkRamp LinkedIn Page.


4.   Have a clear plan for how job seekers will be receiving his/her working materials- Job seekers need to know if they are required to go into the office to gather their work equipment or if it will be sent directly to them. A few candidates that I have spoken with didn't receive their computer for example on the day that they were supposed to start which caused the candidate to question the organization of the company.


5.   On their first day schedule an orientation call with your new employee - If you have multiple people starting on the same day, be sure to include every new hire on the call. Orientations tend to be uniform in organizations even if you hired people for 2 separate positions, and it has been found that going through orientation with someone has more benefits than going at it alone. 


6.   For the first month of employment, schedule daily or weekly "check in" calls - The amount of calls can vary depending on their position within the company or their seniority level, but it is important to do this regularly. This will give you the opportunity to see how your new hire is adjusting to his/her new environment, address any concerns that the new hire may have, or to even discuss what tasks the new hire can expect for the following day/week so that he/she is on the same page with management. 


7.   Ask your new hires about any constraints they are experiencing in their new role -New hires might not be as forthcoming with their managers about constraints they are experiencing in a new role. Make it a point to ask the new hire about any difficulties they are facing in the new role and work together on an action plan if needed. Many onboarding and HR tools can send out surveys at the end of the 90 to 100 day onboarding period. This is a great way to ask new employees for feedback on their onboarding experience.


If done correctly, a proper onboarding can have major impacts on your employees and company. According to Glassdoor, a solid onboarding experience can increase employee retention rates by over 80%. You have worked hard to find the right next hire for your company, and you want to keep them there for the long haul. By implementing these onboarding tactics, you can increase your chances of retaining top talent for years to come. 

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