Your employee onboarding process is so important. It’ll often be the first glimpse into the reality of life at your company and will be your first opportunity as an employer to make a great impression on your new hire.
As such, the onboarding process can be challenging to ensure you’re delivering the best possible employee experience; however, what happens when you need to deliver it remotely?
Onboarding and inducting an employee remotely can present more challenges than you might face in a typical office environment, however with a few tweaks to your strategy, you can still provide a positive first week for your new starter.
Make sure your employee has all the equipment and technology they need ahead of time
This includes their laptop, phone and any other technology they will need to do their job on a day-to-day basis. Make sure it arrives before their start date as a late delivery could mean they are without vital work equipment for their first day.
Their laptop should be set up with all the software they need to stay in touch; this includes messaging and video software or any other programmes they are likely to use. If the laptop is being sent to them straight from the vendor, make sure that you provide clear instructions for any software they will need to download.
Send digital documents for speedier onboarding
Prior to your new employee’s start date, they will need to sign contracts and provide you with reference details. If you’re using recruitment technology, such as an applicant tracking system with onboarding capabilities, you should be able to generate these requests via your software. This speeds up the process and also saves your new hire from making trips to the post box as everything is handled digitally.
Once your new hire is due to start, you should also ensure that they are sent a digital copy of your employee handbook for reading and clear instructions for their first day, including what time they need to be logged on, helpful telephone numbers in case they have any tech issues, and an itinerary for their first day so they know what to expect.
Arrange video calls with team members
When being inducted in an office environment, an employee would typically be introduced to different departments within the business, as well as their own team members. Working remotely means that your new starter won’t get to experience the face-to-face human interaction with their colleagues, whether it’s in the office or having lunch together in the staff room or canteen. This is why it’s a good idea to set up video calls to introduce your new hire to their team and other members of the business properly.
If your company has multiple remote workers, you could even look at co-ordinating a regular video call with other people working from home to bring them closer together. The more your remote workers connect with other members of your business, the more engaged they are likely to be.
Make them feel part of something
Whether it’s sending them a pack of company goodies (branded pens and mugs, anyone?) or inviting them to their first company social event, make sure your remote worker is treated just like any other office-based employee.
No one wants to feel disconnected, so ensuring that they’re always up-to-date on the latest company news is a good way of including them and making them feel like they’re truly part of the team.
Keep communication consistent and regular
Just as you would with any new starter in the office, book in regular catch-ups to make sure the employee knows they are supported and has access to everything they need. Make sure you’re checking in regularly but not too often; no-one wants to feel micro-managed, especially when working from home as this can imply a lack of trust.
Booking in specific time slots to catch-up with your remote employee ensures that they have the chance to discuss any issues or concerns while giving them the autonomy to tackle their workload.
Looking to make your employee onboarding process easier? Find out how Webrecruit’s recruitment technology, Webrecruit ATS, can help you.