Remote onboarding tips for successful hiring

Last updated:
December 12, 2020
December 19, 2021
min read
Sim Samra
Table of contents

Over the last few months, remote work options have become the new normal for many companies. And as more job-seekers look for work-from-home positions, businesses are struggling to find an effective way to onboard new hires virtually.

Since onboarding is the first real interaction you will have with a newly hired worker, it's crucial that your process is well adjusted and streamlined for digital deployment. Any mistakes you make within the first few weeks as an employer will set the tone for your new hires' careers. Using these tips, you can strengthen your remote onboarding experience while improving employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention rates.

Start the onboarding process early

Once you have recruited and hired a new staff member, you should start the onboarding process well before starting the date. If you wait until their first day of work, employees could feel overwhelmed and rushed to fill out paperwork while trying to train. That's why it's more beneficial to start the process as soon as possible.

When new hires have time to fill out forms and sign the paperwork, they will feel more assured of their employer's choice. If your current method is confusing or challenging to complete, new employees could start their position with low engagement and poor morale. In turn, this could lead to higher turnover rates and lower retention of new employees. To avoid this problem, give your remote workers a few weeks to complete onboarding before they start their job.

Take advantage of online tools

To keep organized, you may want to use a digital onboarding platform to manage the necessary forms and documents each new hire will have to complete. An online service will allow your human resources department to send paperwork to employees and securely collect electronic signatures. This method is also quicker than relying on other communication tools like email or fax to get documents from new workers.

Some services may even provide you with an onboarding checklist to confirm that no steps have been missed during the process. Having your HR team check off each completed action will create a standardized level of quality for each new employee and verify that all necessary information has been collected.

Offer further assistance

Young professionals may find additional information on tax forms and paycheck delivery methods helpful, as this could be their first full-time job. By offering financial education during the onboarding process, employees will have a chance to learn more about available resources and benefits.

Some new hires may even appreciate assistance with setting up direct deposit for their paycheck to receive an early payment through a financial institution. This feature allows workers to get their paychecks up to two days early without paying fees or interest. While this might seem like a small change, it can go a long way in helping your new employees improve their financial well-being.

Hiring a remote team can be challenging, particularly when you have to adapt your onboarding process to be fully digital. However, there are changes you can make to create a more effective procedure. Starting the process early, using digital tools, offering assistance, and creating a welcoming environment will give your new employees the support they need to become successful team members.

Create a sense of belonging

Starting a remote job can be challenging, especially when you can't meet with your new co-workers face to face. That's why it is crucial to take extra measures in your onboarding process to ensure that your new hires feel like a part of the team.

Remote teams can often struggle with poor communication. It can become even harder when new employees are added to these distributed teams. Prevent this problem by encouraging interactions through video calls or specific Slack channels before an employee takes on their long term responsibilities. Make sure that each group has a dedicated space where they can discuss small projects and teach new team members about previous assignments. This approach will give more established workers a chance to mentor new employees too.

To inspire a more collaborative work environment, you can also have new hires participate in team-building exercises during onboarding video conferences. Games like two truths and a lie, Pictionary, and trivia are great ways for new employees to learn more about their co-workers while having fun. Virtual coffee breaks and social hours are likewise useful as company-wide events where workers can meet other staff members outside of their team or department.  

Prepare for the training process

Even though onboarding starts before training begins, there are ways you can prepare ahead of time for the employee learning process. Since remote staff members are learning their new job virtually, you must take time to confirm that they have everything they need to start work. This measure will verify that their equipment is functioning correctly, and appropriate software is downloaded.

If you skip this step during the remote onboarding, you could expect to see delays when a new hire starts work. They might end up not having access to essential programs or missing vital documents required for training to begin. Either way, it's necessary to double-check that new hires are prepared to start their first day of work before finishing the onboarding process.

Encourage professional development

After your new hires have completed onboarding, orientation, and training, continue educating them on company culture and their options for their career path. To promote higher retention rates and lower turnover, you will have to show your new employees that the business is invested in their future.

Goal-setting and establishing clear objectives can help workers understand where opportunities lay within the company. Scheduling monthly meetings with employees to go over performance evaluation and discuss new goals will foster an environment of growth. When your workers get feedback, they can learn what skills they need to improve and the areas where they excel.

It's also crucial to give your staff members a chance to voice their own thoughts and opinions. You can collect feedback on the recruiting, hiring, and training process. With that knowledge, you will be able to improve your remote onboarding continuously.

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