Tips on how to onboard employees remotely

Due to the situation COVID-19 has left the UK in, onboarding new employees are now mostly done remotely, thus a director of an AI predictive talent acquisition software business gives his tips on how to do so.

Nicolas Speeckaert, co-founder and director of Skeeled, tips are:

  • Start onboarding early
    “Send new joiners information about the company culture and projects they will be working on before their start date. This will give them the opportunity to analyse the information and feel more prepared on day one.”
  • Promote communication
    “Ensure new employees get their IT set up quickly so that they have access to the digital workplace (company intranet, messaging apps, video conferencing software, and other apps and tools). This is essential for them to get familiar with the flow of the team more quickly.”
  • Create a sense of belonging
    “New remote employees can easily feel isolated and like they don’t really belong to a team. Check-in with them regularly and let them know where to turn for feedback or to ask any questions. Providing them with supporting materials is also very important to encourage them to collaborate with other team members and build the team spirit. Also, promoting virtual meetups, such as online coffee breaks will help them bond. Finally, assigning them with a mentor or creating a “buddy” system will have a positive effect on their morale and their performance as well.”
  • Provide an individualised onboarding plan
    “New hires expect concrete goals and the opportunity to regularly interact with their manager. Providing new employees with strong support during the onboarding process helps them feel more motivated and productive. This requires continuous support and a clear, tailored plan detailing what is expected from the new employee in terms of performance goals during a certain period (first month, first quarter, etc).”
  • Leverage online tools
    “Having digital processes is essential to keep companies working efficiently during these uncertain times. Remote work and remote onboarding require the use of online tools, whether to manage the necessary forms and documents each new hire will have to complete or to communicate on the day-today. There are online tools for every department and to execute every type of task. Make sure your company’s toolkit is equipped with the right tools to make your business thrive.”

Mr Speeckaert said:

Onboarding new recruits has been challenging for companies since the pandemic started, since many businesses are integrating employees remotely and lack well-structured online processes. To implement an effective remote onboarding process, companies need to develop a specific onboarding programme using online collaboration tools, supported by adequate documents and materials and a great communication programme.

Providing a good onboarding experience is crucial to improve employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention rates. In the post Covid-19 world this is even more essential as businesses need to nurture talent so they can recover successfully despite the global economic downturn.