The Rise of Remote Onboarding

9 weeks since the UK was told ‘stay at home’ last week the country’s workforce took its first tentative steps back to normality…whatever that normal may now be.

The main message, however, is if you can work from home then you should continue to do so. This means that a large proportion of the population are still navigating their way through remote working landscape.

As many companies are learning to adapt and operate during these uncertain times. There are some companies that are thriving and even in a position to grow.

These companies are proving that with a flexible and adaptable approach recruitment is not only possible during these times but can also be a smooth and enjoyable process.

If you are lucky enough to be in a position to be recruiting during this period then it’s all about taking a new approach to recruitment and embracing remote onboarding.

Remote onboarding not only offers a way forward during the covid-19 outbreak it also gives companies the opportunity to make hires not only across the UK but across the globe making their reach greater than ever before.

Here we have our tips on creating a successful remote onboarding experience

1. Digital HR

Make sure all your HR documents and contracts are digital and get them sent out prior to the employees start date to save time. Nobody wants to be spending vital time printing signing and scanning documents during that all important first week. If you wish to make the process even more streamlined look into legally binding tools such as DocuSign.

2. Tech! tech! tech!

Once your new staff member is all signed and ready to start get whatever tech they need delivered to them before their start date!  As well as a hardware kit of; laptop, monitor, mouse etc make sure that the laptop/PC is loaded with all the software and programmes they need to do their role correctly including team collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams. Ensure it has been checked and is in full working order. Check their WIFI capabilities in case a VPN is needed. Include any passwords they need and include IT security guidelines and rules. Having all this prepared in advance of a start dates means vital time isn’t lost during those first few weeks awaiting tech or dealing with software issues.

3. How the business works

Whilst sending out documents to be signed its also a good idea to send literature about the company itself; staff charts of company employees and roles, company mission statement, code of conduct, employee handbook, company incentives and reward schemes. All this gives them a real feel for the company and what its values are.

4. Company culture

Sending links to the business social media pages is a great way for a new recruit to get to know the company voice and culture remotely. Most companies share staff achievements, celebrations, mission statement and milestones on social media so it’s a great platform for a new recruit to get to know their peers and the company whilst they are unable to physically meet.

5. Make them part of the team

A new remote employee can sometimes feel isolated. Counteract this by engaging them in regular team meetings. Having a team welcome video conference call is a great way to welcome them and help them to get to know their work colleagues. Having regular catchups with the manager and team will strengthen and build the relationships. Introducing online training courses with team members is also a great way of keeping a remote employee fully engaged. Keep communication going!

6. Create a buddy programme

This is standard procedure in normal onboarding but can be often neglected with remote onboarding. Remote new hires can feel anxious trying to navigate company procedures and polices alone. Having a buddy scheme ensures that they have someone they can go to with questions and problems and gives them a friend in the company to support and engage them.

7. Set goals and expectations  

Don’t expect a remote worker to ‘get on with it’ make sure managers set out daily and weekly tasks and responsibilities and that these tasks are described in terms of their necessity to the wider team and business. This gives the remote worker a sense of being part of a wider team. Its wise to give your remote worker more contact then you would an onsite worker. Keep in touch a various points during a task and initiate regular meetings so they know they are supported. Especially throughout those first few weeks. Remember to congratulate them on their successes and to communicate these to the wider team.

8. Be patient

A new remote hire may need a little more support and communication during their first few weeks. Take time to be there to answer their questions and resolve any issues they may be having. Make communication easy so they feel comfortable asking questions. Be patient during those first few weeks until you all fall into a pattern of working that suits everyone and helps them thrive.

We are all now working with a ‘new normal’ but following some simple steps will help to make sure your business is ready to move forward with the rest of the world.

Keeli MacMillan

SearchDATA Group