Virtual onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into the workforce. Due to the global COVID19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, many companies had to freeze hiring temporarily. However, now that it’s clear that remote working is the “new normal,” it’s crucial for organizations to have clear onboarding strategies for their new remote recruits.
Here are some activities and steps that recruitment managers can take to meaningfully connect their new hires with other remote workers on the team –
One of the unfortunate hallmarks of remote working is confusion. Many long-term employees struggle to follow instructions or understand project demands while working over the Internet. It’s normal for employees new to the organization to find remote working highly confusing for the first few weeks.
That’s why it is crucial to share clear and well-defined details about the organization, their responsibilities, etc., before their first day at the job.
- Share organizational charts clarifying important names and titles that the recruit needs to learn on the first day.
- Encourage other team members to bond with the recruits and help them memorize basic facts about the company, their responsibilities, etc.
- To ensure remote recruits don’t feel isolated, partner them with existing employees. Managers shouldn’t hand the full responsibility of onboarding to subordinates. But, they shouldn’t refrain from delegation either.
- Ask recruits about how they feel about their new workspace and culture.
Announce the Recruits
One of the most effective ways of welcoming recruits over the Internet is by making announcements. Traditional office initiations and announcements are tools that companies have always used to make recruits feel welcome. Carrying out these processes on the Internet is more rigid but not impossible.
- Compose and share messages about the recruitment on group channels (e.g., Telegram groups).
- Involve the recruits in video conference meetings. Make sure all members of the workforce are present on this call to welcome them into the company,
- Send company-wide emails sharing details about the recruits.
- Ask the recruits team-building questions in video conference meetings.
Team bonding is much more challenging when you’re working remotely. But that doesn’t make it less important.
Whatever onboarding methods managers use to announce the recruits, they should always be open to feedback. Remote work is intrinsically isolating. The risks of miscommunication and misunderstandings are ever-present. The last thing managers need a recruit who feels unfulfilled or not included in their first week at the job.
One or two hiring managers should oversee this part of the virtual onboarding process. Role-specific training processes typically last for a couple of weeks. During this process, hiring managers must –
- Clarify team structure and roles
- Establish clear expectations, both short and long-term
- Give the recruits access to useful job-specific tools and resources that other members of the workforce use.
- Describe typical days at work.
- Explain how KPIs are tracked in the organization.
Joining a new organization will always be intimidating. To create comfortable environments for recruits, hiring managers must follow these steps to create safe spaces for them to explore, socialize, and ask questions about their new roles.