Remotely onboarding new hires needn't be as daunting as it sounds! Here's how to make it a real success:

6th July 2020

We’ve now passed 100 days of lockdown and it’s safe to say that working from home and utilising virtual meeting tools are very much the new normal. Although businesses are opening up and some of us are slowly returning to the office, it’s likely that starting a new job won’t be quite the same as it used to be.

For the foreseeable future, most new hires won’t have been into the offices, will have met their new teams via video, and will start their new roles from home. Onboarding remotely may sound daunting, however we have seen some real success stories! Here are our top tips to making onboarding remotely as enjoyable as in an office environment.

1. Planning ahead

Setting someone up to start a new role remotely will take a few extra steps – ask your new team member a couple of weeks before their start date if they need any devices in order to work effectively from home. It’s likely that a work laptop or phone will need to be ordered and sent to them ahead of time so they can jump right in. Arrange a time for your IT support to log onto their computer remotely and set up all the programmes and systems they might need the week before they start to ensure their first day and run smoothly without any tech glitches.

A lot of businesses will have new starter packs to hand, however onboarding remotely will need a little extra planning and preparation. If the role is a replacement or maternity cover, make sure a comprehensive and detailed handover is ready for the new hire to step in and pick things up quickly.

2. Meet the team opportunities

The first week in a new role is the most important time for a new hire to get to know their team members, learn who everyone is, and what everyone does. In an office environment, digesting this information is relatively straightforward for a new hire as they see the teams interacting with each other and adjust to their new role within this, however it can also be quite daunting to meet everyone in one go.

While onboarding someone remotely, why not offer them the chance to have one-on-one video meetings with each of the team? This will really give them the opportunity to put a face (and personality) to a name and understand what each person does individually. We’ve found this goes a long way in helping someone settle into a new role and really feel a part of the team from day 1.

3. Communication is key

We have already seen the vital role that internal comms is playing for businesses during this time and this is even more important while onboarding someone remotely. No matter the level, a new hire will always have questions – remember to allow a little more time out of your day to be on hand to answer questions and provide guidance along the way.

The main thing the success stories we have seen all have in common is effective communication. A new hire will really appreciate having team members proactively picking up the phone and chatting through questions or simply checking in. And a virtual team drinks will always lift their spirits!

If you are looking for a new role, or communications support for your team, JFL would be delighted to help! Our consultants are always happy to discuss recruitment for your team, new opportunities, and the current market. Please feel free to get in touch: