Remote onboarding is something many of us within the Northern Ireland Tech Sector never thought we would have to do. None of us know exactly how things are going be over the coming weeks and months but it’s fair to say that for businesses making their first forays back into recruiting again, remote onboarding of new employees is going to be a much bigger thing for us all than it was before.
The good news is that remote onboarding done well will make your new employee feel just as much a part of the team on day one as they would if they were turning up to your office.
Thankfully we have seen many successful examples of our clients and candidates onboarding and being onboarded remotely over the weeks since lockdown and we wanted to share some of the best practice we have seen so far and how tech employers can welcome new people into the team with open arms (but in a socially distanced and remote way)!
The onboarding process should start well before the new employees first day. In NI many are still not that used to remote onboarding and naturally candidates may feel doubly apprehensive about starting a new role at this time. Therefore it is important to keep communication high in the run up to the start date.
If you can ensure your new employee is coming into your team with a clear understanding of their role, some familiarity with the team they will be working with and a good sense of the company’s culture and values then you are getting off to a great start.
A good welcome pack is a great way to make a new employee feel…well…welcome!
Yes, it can provide your new team member with the essential information they need as an employee of the company: Company Handbooks, policies, training materials, login details et al but it is also a great way to make them really feel part of the team and nothing says “you are one of us” more than an embarrassingly large amount of company merchandise! If the new employee needs hardware such as laptops, screens etc. make sure these are ordered well ahead of time as there is a significant shortage in the market following a huge spike in demand.
Communication is key in a remote working scenario and it is vital that your new employee understands the communication processes and reporting structures you have established. If that means daily video calls at set times or regular engagement through collaboration and messaging tools, make sure to set expectations from the beginning.
While an established process is important it is just as important to be flexible with your new employee. Again, many of us have never worked in a remote way before and your new employee may have demands on their time that previously weren’t there such as looking after kids, homeschooling, dog walking, cat's walking over laptops...the list goes on!
There is nothing worse for a new employee than having nothing much to do in your first week, doubly so if that first week is sat at home. Make sure your new start starts with a bang!
Have their diary loaded up with remote meetings with team members, clients and stakeholders and have training courses, tasks and objectives planned out and remember to build in time at the end of the week for a review session. Get them meeting as many people in the business as possible and by the end of that week they will already feel like part of the (remote) furniture.
Having a well planned out roadmap for the first 30/60/90 days is a great way to ensure your new start has everything they need to do their job, it helps to establish their role objectives and provides them with visibility for their first quarter in the team. While this is true of any time, make sure your roadmap has been adapted to everyone’s new way of remote working as certain objectives that were once achievable may no longer be so.
This is new a new way of working for us all, both as employees and as employers so be realistic about the plans you set in place. Be willing to continuously refine your remote onboarding approach and be ready to adapt your plans to the macro changes that occur over the coming weeks and months.
Having gone through the remote onboarding process, your new employee will now be the single greatest source of remote onboarding expertise within your business. They will have seen first hand what works and what doesn’t work so make sure you use that resource to help to improve your approach to further remote onboarding.
About Enso Recruitment
At Enso Recruitment, we build teams for the Tech Sector in Northern Ireland, so we are here to help any businesses in the sector who are seeking advice or guidance in these strange times. If you want to learn more about onboarding staff or receive guidance on remote working best practice, our team at Enso are here to help.
T: +44 (0) 28 90993445