As the world shifts to an increasingly remote working style in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, you may find yourself needing to onboard a new recruit remotely. The good news is that it’s completely viable with today’s technology. In fact, you may find remote onboarding more efficient than onsite onboarding!

The key to effective remote onboarding is focusing on the needs of your new employee. It will be daunting enough for them to be starting a new job, let alone doing it without a physical team around them! By providing support, reassurance and lots of enthusiasm, you can successfully get your new team member up and running while ensuring they have a great first experience.

We’ve assisted several clients in onboarding new recruits over the past few months while navigating tricky lockdown regulations. These are our top tips for remote onboarding.

Set the scene during recruitment

If you’ve established a good recruitment strategy, this process will be a great way for new employees to get a glimpse into your business’ culture and values. It will allow them to put faces to names and understand in detail what’s expected of the role. 

Use this opportunity to give candidates an insight into the workings of your business. Not only will it help you determine which candidates are the right fit for the role, it will also help to alleviate fears for the successful applicant, making their onboarding more smooth.

This is an opportunity to test out communication techniques and gauge whether your new recruit will work well remotely, using technologies like Zoom or Slack.

Build excitement in the lead-up to Day 1

Signing employment documents may ‘seal the deal’ for the successful applicant, but that in itself isn’t a thrilling experience for new recruits in the lead-up to their first day. It’s important to go the extra mile and begin making them feel welcome and valued – perhaps especially so when they’re not able to be onsite for Day 1.

Even if you can’t invite them to the office for informal drinks and to meet the team, you can still create new job hype by holding a virtual team meet-and-greet or by sending a series of videos to introduce the team and set expectations of the new job.

Even introducing your new recruit to the team via email is a great way to build excitement and make them feel welcomed.

Get set up well in advance

Give your new recruit clear expectations for their first day. This can be done over the phone, in a detailed email or even by sending a Day 1 Onboarding Video with a comprehensive rundown of what they’ll be doing. Clear and detailed information will help them know what to expect, even though they won’t be with you in person. 

Because they’ll be working remotely, you’ll need to think in advance about what equipment they’ll need. Send your new recruit the computer equipment, software, logins and company merch that they’ll need to do their job well.

Spend time with them

While you may not be able to be side-by-side with your new recruit, you can certainly set yourself up to work virtually side-by-side over their first few days. Use technologies like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack or Microsoft Teams to keep open lines of communication and ensure your new hire is able to ask questions and navigate their first few days with your support.

Regular check-ins are a great way to ensure they’re on the right track and empowered to perform well for your business. As they become more confident and autonomous you can scale back the time you spend with them.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to working remotely. Some require more support while others are happy to figure out what works for them. Check out more of our tips on working from home, and how to make it work for you and your team.

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