The new landscape means for those who are driving forward with recruitment, remote onboarding is now the only option – but it doesn’t mean it has to play second fiddle to the experience your new starters would get if they were ‘physically’ joining your business.
We all know that onboarding is one of the most important times for a new person starting with your business. The challenge you are likely to have gone through to secure your hard to find, niche technically skilled talent means you will certainly want to be making a great first impression.
Any onboarding process that is done well means your new employee will be immersed in your culture quickly, will start building colleague relationships even friendships within days and this should then set the tone for their engagement right from the start.
If like many businesses remote onboarding is new to you, it may seem daunting, but companies of all sizes are now #inittogether and we have created this guide with some information we feel is key to ensuring you can nail it the first time and every time thereafter.
Stage 1: Feedback
Sending a short questionnaire / survey to your existing employees is a quick way of understanding any common challenges your employees faced when they joined your business. Once you are aware of any issues you will be in a better place to mitigate these in your remote hiring process.
Stage 2: Pre-Start Date
Order your new starters IT hardware well in advance of their start date. Make sure the laptop is set up and ready with their user profile before sending it onto them and separately send over any required log-in details. Given the value of things like laptops and PCs you will want to send the items by private courier with an insurance value and signed for delivery. There are still may courier services operating during lockdown. Ask your new employee to confirm receipt of the delivery and schedule a time to go through the set up with them.
Remember: Online ordering and delivery processes may take longer than usual during this time.
- Welcome Pack
This is where you can be creative, you will have seen many brands do this when physically setting up a new starters desk, so it’s a great idea to still do it or start doing it with your remote joiners. It will really help them feel excited to join your team. Here are some things you could include:
- Information about your company, especially the company culture
- Tips on home working
- Welcome letter from your CEO
- A book you feel will help them succeed in their role, we call this a ‘recommended read’
- Branded merchandise such as notebook, pen, mug, hoodie
- Sweet treats
- Induction Documents
Putting together a detailed ‘guide’ for their role will make sure your new team member hits the ground running. Here’s what to include:
- The original Job Description for the role they are starting
- List of tasks to get them started, this helps ensure it is clear what is expected of them
- List of tools your company uses such as Slack, Trello, Asana and how you save / store information or maybe you have an intranet for example.
- Additional account / login or password details
- Contact list and details for key people and team members
- List of any regular meetings and the platform used for them such as skype or google hangouts
- Legal documents you need signing: use a e-sig app for this for security such as docusign, adobesign or hellosign
Tip: It is a good idea to add all relevant apps / bookmarks when setting up your team members new IT hardware, additionally you can pre-send diary meeting invites which will pop up with reminders.
- First day prep
Putting together a schedule for their first day/week can help new starters get on and stay on track. Setting goals will be helpful for them and will then help the new line manager progress this to your standard HR review processes.
Stage 3: Week 1 onwards
Your weekly ‘virtual’ team meetings are a great way to introduce a new face. If your joiner is starting on a day when this meeting isn’t happening, it’s a good idea to schedule 10 minute 1-2-1 meetings with each team member so they can introduce themselves and their roles as well as get to know your new employee.
Communication is key to a successful remote onboarding. There are so many tools available to make this easy. At Henderson Scott we are using Microsoft Teams for business meetings both internally and externally.
- Buddy System
If you do not have one already its worth setting on up, mentors are great as an on or offline support for your new starter. We have seen this work well at peer to peer level as well as having a more senior mentor. Trust is key here and your mentor needs to be bought in and understand what you are looking for from them before they are paired up. Buddy’s can help make your new starter feel welcome and will answer questions that can relieve pressure off the line manager.
- Social Events
Just as you might go for lunch in the first week with a new team member or for drinks at the end of the month, now more than ever it’s important not only for your new employees but your existing ones that social doesn’t fall off the radar. Remote working can be lonely so have a think about introducing some of the following which can help and be hosted on tools such as Zoom or HouseParty:
- A Quiz
- Online fitness sessions
- Bring a beer virtual chat
- Book club
- Karaoke… for the brave!
Remember: It is important that any tools you use are secure and the right IT Security processes are in place. For virtual meetings ensure new links are used each time and each one is password protected.
- HR and general Check Ins
Following your company HR, especially review processes with remote workers is important, historically things can go under the radar however it’s essential that this does not happen. Set the expectations with your new joiners line manager and get the meetings in the diary making it clear it is to discuss objectives, personal and professional goals. Less formal check ins provide an ideal forum for new starters to share ideas and suggestions.
Tip: Be open to their ideas, they are fresh and come with a brand-new set of experiences you can harness to help your organisation ‘be better’.
Stage 4: Feedback
Just like at the start of the process, seeking feedback will help you evolve and enhance your onboarding – it should be a continually reviewed process. Encourage open and honest conversation in the way you collate this. There are platforms such as GlassDoor and Trustpilot but you can also use things like SurveyMonkey.
If you would like more advice on Remote Onboarding or you are struggling to find the IT, Technical or Sales talent in the UK, Europe or the USA please get in touch.