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Virtual Onboarding

Successful onboarding of new hires is a crucial, and often neglected, step in the recruitment process. An effective onboarding program boosts engagement, productivity and retention of staff. Done well it allows an organisation to immediately deliver its values, culture and promises and set up a new employee to succeed. Yet, in our virtual world, onboarding is difficult, poor processes are being exposed and new employees, already feeling vulnerable, are at high risk of bouncing out of an organisation once the market returns to normal.

Many organisations continue to recruit and a few are seeing the virtual work-from-home world as an opportunity to improve the process so that onboarding becomes a highlight of the recruitment process.

Key Aspects to Successful Virtual (and Face to face) Onboarding

  • Automate as much of the process as possible. Make it more efficient, more time effective, easier on your HR team and your Hiring Managers – as well as the employee.
  • Ensure technology, login and passwords are ready on Day 1. Deliver all the essential requirements to your new Hire a few days before they commence together with an intro to IT support so they can familiarise themselves with your systems and processes and complete their necessary documentation online.
  • If you normally do a full first day of induction then consider spreading that over the first week for virtual onboarding. This could include a mix of 1 on 1 conversations, reading, zoom presentations from leaders, videos and the essential compliance training.
  • Provide key company information so the new employee can familiarise themselves with the organisation structure, the various departments, products and services, as well as the people they will be working with and their key stakeholders across the company.
  • Allocate them an on-boarding buddy, or two, so they have someone to turn to when they need assistance, perhaps one for business and one for technology.
  • If you have more than one new employee starting at the same time create a newbie peer-group, great for bonding and easier to deliver group zoom sessions
  • Ensure that the Manager has an introduction zoom on day 1 and then checks in once or twice a day to make sure they are ok.
  • Organise team introductions perhaps over a “zoom coffee” – you could also schedule team drinks at the end of the week if that is something you would normally do in the office. It’s the little rituals that will make them feel part of the team.
  • It is also important that by the end of the first week you set clear expectations of the role – have a 30/60/90 day plan so the person is clear on what they need to deliver and achieve.
  • Communicate, communicate and communicate again. Engage with the new employee – make them feel welcome and part of the team, and ensure they have a clear understanding of what their role is within the organisation and the expectations of the role.

A successful onboarding experience can be the difference between an outstanding new hire who becomes a longstanding, valued employee – or a new employee who questions their decision to join and never really engages or delivers as you would have expected.

While virtual onboarding will be a new practice for most companies, there are several businesses that have been doing it for years and can help you to form a virtual onboarding program that is based on best practices.

Need to create a virtual onboarding process but unsure where to start?

We are happy to have a chat and discuss what our other clients are currently doing to onboard their new recruits in the current work environment.


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