Best practices for a remote onboarding process

In the aftermath of the pandemic, more and more companies have shifted to remote and hybrid roles, with teams no longer centred around a central office hub or location.  

As a result, remote onboarding processes have become increasingly commonplace and the rise in remote has meant businesses face a host of new challenges to get this process right.  

A good onboarding process is critical to retention and can often be the key to the long-term success of an employee. We’re told from a young age that first impressions are the most important and that isn’t any different from a business perspective.  

Probationary periods and those early stages of a new employee’s time with you are as much a time for them to decide if your company is a fit, as it is for you to decide if they will be with you for the long haul.  

Remote onboarding may seem daunting, after all, it is difficult to gain a full impression of a person through a computer screen, but with businesses opting for a remote-first approach, it’s imperative you get it right.  

So, here are some of our tips for creating a seamless onboarding process.  


Create a community  

New starters often feel like the odd ones out when joining a company; they don’t know anyone and haven’t built any relationships yet. It can often help to onboard multiple new starters around the same time as each other to help them feel less like they are facing the company alone and it gives them an instant bond via shared experience.  

If they’re not joining at the same time as others, do all you can to connect them with the wider team early on. This will help to create a stronger sense of belonging and improve their confidence as they begin getting to grips with the business. 


Be proactive about training 

 Supplying a new starter with endless documents to read can be intense and boring. Providing clear instructions about what needs to be done, where to find the information and resources, and how to access necessary systems and software will make the process considerably easier.  

 Additionally, you may want to consider creating videos that allow the candidate to learn at their own pace.  


Pair new hires with existing employees  

Providing a new hire with a designated point of contact early on helps minimise any potential embarrassment or confusion.   

We’ve all felt a little out of our depth in a new environment before, and this provides them with the safety of a familiar and trustworthy person to answer any questions, without the fear of it being a silly question, or bothering the wrong person. 

Assigning a mentor from outside of their team is a great way for new employees to get to know others in the business and to better understand how team operate.  


Check-in regularly 

Checking in with all employees is vital to ensuring their happiness and progression, but it’s even more important to do so with new starters, particularly those that are in a remote or hybrid role where face-to-face time is less. 

Follow up with new starters on a regular basis ensures that they are making the correct progress, have all the tools and assistance they need, and have a chance to ask any outstanding questions.  

This gives you a chance to see how quickly they are picking things up or to offer them support/alternative options if they are struggling.  

This will help them feel supported and more comfortable coming to you with things in the future. We recommend catching up at the end of week 1, week 2, month 1, month 3 and month 6, but make sure they’re aware they can always come to you if they need support. 


Final thoughts 

The world of employment is ever changing and competition for top talent is fierce, so it is essential that you stay with the times and progress with the others to avoid being left behind.  

Following these steps will allow you to create a streamlined and effective remote onboarding process for your new starters, ensuring you’re creating the perfect first impression and engaging them throughout.