Remote onboarding should follow the same process as office-based onboarding, except your new starters will be learning about your business, connecting with new colleagues and performing their role remotely.

Onboarding is essentially about giving a new starter all of the information they need to do their job and feel part of the company culture. A good onboarding process will allow a new hire to understand how your business functions, giving them access the right resources, and help to build relationships with their new colleagues.

Remote onboarding means all of this will be done via telephone and video calls as well as email. You will need to use all of the communication channels available to you, to help integrate your new starter into the company, without face-to-face meetings.

Making sure remote workers feel welcome and fully integrated into your business is  essential to maintain a sense of community and company culture – as well as empowering new starters to hit the ground running in their new role.

Here are our top tips to make your new hire feel welcomed and part of your culture.

What tools do they need?

Onboarding doesn’t start on their first day, it should start from the moment you offer them the job. Make sure that you have sent out all of the paperwork, contracts and policies they need to read in advance and they arrange for the following to be sent or delivered to them before they start:

  • Equipment – Do they need laptops, headsets, phones etc sending out and setting up. Make sure that this is done before their first day so they are ready to go.
  • Welcome pack – What would you normally have on a new starters desk for when they come into an office on their first day? Pens, pad, mug, list of a useful contacts in the business, links to policies etc as well as something fun like tea, coffee, biscuits or even a list of great places to grab lunch for when they are allowed to come into the office. You should still be able to get all of this information for them and send it to them ready for their first day.
  • Allocate them a buddy / mentor – This should be someone else within the business who is not their manager. Someone who they can go to if they have any concerns or questions.

Their first day

  • Clear your schedule – Make sure that you have at least an hour at the beginning of the day to do a virtual call with them to go through all of the key information they need to know, as you would face to face. Go through your expectations of what day one, week one, and month one will look like etc.
  • Check in calls – Make sure you have already got them set up on any team check in calls (daily or weekly), set up on WhatsApp groups and 121’s scheduled. This should all be in their diary and links to the video calls sent out for them.
  • Team introductions – Book in one or more calls to introduce them to the team so they know who everyone is and what they do and how they can help.
  • Assign reading and research – Assign plenty of reading and research for your new starter to complete for when they have down time as you are not sat next to them to check up on their progress every hour.

Team bonding

  • Welcome call – You should arrange a call with everyone to introduce the new starter and tell everyone what they will be doing within the business.
  • Virtual coffee breaks – It’s a good idea to have breaks for your team to catch up as they would in the office, so scheduling a daily virtual coffee break call for 20 mins can be really productive.
  • Virtual socials – What can you do to get the team together that is non work related? Quiz, bingo, cocktail making, Bake off competitions etc.

Don’t forget that onboarding is not just one day, it should last until the person has settled in and has been integrated as part of the team, usually it goes along with your probation period. So bear in mind that you need to spend more time with them that you do your other team members. However a great way of keeping the new hire involved is to get other people within the business and your team involved in the onboarding process. It will keep everything fresh and varied and the new hire will value everyone’s input from the CEO to the receptionist.

If you are looking to recruit a new member of staff to your team, please click here for information on our Talent Acquisition service.