Hiring and onboarding remote employees comes with unique challenges not seen in hiring traditional employees. Onboarding helps new hires understand the expectations of their role and integrate into the company culture. Yet, in a remote environment, it can be harder to create an engaging onboarding experience. Below we’ll cover some tips for hiring and onboarding remote employees.
Make it a Continuous Process
Virtual onboarding won’t be successful if it’s just one or two video calls explaining to new hires what their role in the company will be. Employers should meet with hires frequently throughout the first few weeks. This is the best way to make the onboarding experience interactive and engaging. New employees need the opportunity to process information, ask questions, and engage with other employees who they will work alongside. Consistent onboarding also gives more opportunities for training and socialization.
Be on Top of Technology
For successful onboarding, employers and HR departments need to pay closer attention to technology when dealing with remote workers. As remote workers need working technology to perform their jobs, so it is critical that you help new hires set up any devices or software relevant to their job tasks. Because remote work has increased rapidly because of the coronavirus, IT departments are busier than usual, which can make the task of setting up tech for new employees more difficult. On the other hand, functioning technology is critical to providing a smooth onboarding experience. If onboarding sessions start twenty minutes late because of technical difficulties, new hires could become frustrated and start to rethink their decision to accept your job offer.
Create an Engaging Experience
While onboarding, you want to maximize face-to-face communication. Virtual onboarding can sometimes be less engaging than in-person onboarding. Especially for employees who are working remotely for the first time, the experience can feel awkward or even alienating. Employers need to go out of their way to make new hires feel welcomed. Take the time to introduce them to colleagues and take part in ice breakers. New hires need to feel like they are part of a team. It can also be beneficial to pair new employees up with a mentor, which can help hires better understand their job expectations and increase their comfort level.
Onboarding has a major impact on how hires perform in their role and how long they stay with a company. Onboarding is particularly important when dealing with remote workers because it can be more challenging to integrate remote workers into a team. HR directors, hiring managers, and team leaders can improve the onboarding experience by making the process more interactive, providing the necessary technical support, and encouraging a sense of community between remote workers and their colleagues.
by Ruben Moreno