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New Starter On-boarding in our current virtual world

A lot of people in your organisation have invested a considerable amount of time in finding the right person for your team. You’re nearly at the stage where they can come in and make a significant amount of difference, and (in this testing times we need all the help we can get).  There is one hurdle that’s appeared out of nowhere right at the end of the track; COVID-19.

Fortunately, we live in a digital age and a lot of us are able to self-isolate and work from home and it’s clear that the whole country is working hard to keep the wheels turning. This too is true for onboarding new members of staff – the wheels can keep turning……below I’ll discuss a few key things to help you on-board staff effectively from a remote location.

No matter what, it’s still really important that a new starter feels valued and feels like they are joining a professional, well-organised and motivated business – so now more than ever, on-boarding is key.

Communication 

Obviously, communication is vital. Making sure your new starter has access to your team, either via phone or video call and they also have their normal things set up like an email address and slack account. Also, keeping your new starter as up-to-date as possible with all the developments will minimise stress levels for all involved.

– Video call – we use Microsoft Teams, but there are many other providers out there such as Bluejeans, Zoom and Skype We use: Team Viewer

– Access to a team calendar is always useful

– Adding them to all the relevant email, slack, teams or other messaging groups, so colleagues feel accessible and ‘as-one’

– Getting them set up with a virtual landline and making provisions to make working at home normal / simple (telephone, technology and some home comforts)

All The Documentation…

This could be one of the easiest things to sort out remotely. Spending 10 minutes planning ahead and talking with HR to get documentation sent across to them before they start. You have two choices here; if you need paper versions of the forms, then you will need to get blank forms posted to them so your starter can fill everything out by hand and send it back to you via post (who has printers at home?).

Obviously, this will take more time than doing everything electronically, but some of our clients prefer to stick to traditional methods. Most of the contracts that we deal with now get administered/sent through Adobe Sign – an online tool that enables you to people to sign documents electronically.

Equipment 

Again, this may seem like an insurmountable task, but in reality, it will require one conversation between you and your new employee before they start.

Ask them what equipment they have at home that they are willing/able to use and what will need to be arranged to be delivered/picked up, so they have everything they need.

Once they have started and have all the hardware they require, you need to run through and send them best practices for using your CRM. You just need to share your screen with them and jump on the phone… easy!

This comes under the communication arm, but easy access to your IT department is also useful here.

Orientation 

Face-to-face on-boardings are easy, and you’ve done them loads before—introductions, passwords, programmes, etc. Much of a remote on-boarding covers similar important points but in a different format; for the online section of this, you can use Team Viewer again and run them through the applications and systems.

– Things like covering the Employee Handbook, Office Hours Email policy and making sure they understand which programmes to used and how to access them can all be done over skype/facetime

– Personal introductions can all be conducted in the same way.

– If you need some face time with your employee, there is nothing to say you can’t stick them in a taxi and run them through everything in a mutual place (government guidelines pending)

Normalisation 

Keeping things as close to the office environment and business as usual will help settle any new starter, so maybe try some of these:

– Over-communicate, check-in more than you normally would

– Add them to all the group communications

– Send them a welcome gift at home

– Set them up with a virtual buddy – someone they can call and ask questions to

– Be clear about the workload and expectations

– Do all the training you normally would on video or the phone

– Invest as much time in a remote new-starter as you would if you were in the office

Want to find out more?
Talk to Harry Coleman
T: 0207 042 8425
E: harry.coleman@tracerecruit.com