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A guide to remote onboarding

With the interview processes shifting to online as a result of the ongoing issues surround COVID-19, the same shift is happening for companies that want to get their new hire set up, onboarded and working as quickly as possible.

Remote onboarding is not a new concept and with the right guidance and understanding it can be straightforward and Sphere are on hand to help you get this process right.

We’ve worked with many companies over the years to help put together brilliant onboarding plans for remote workers. Candidates in the market understand the challenges around onboarding, and now more than ever, the companies with a solid process in place will be the ones that are successful.

Here are a few ways you can get this process right:

Paperwork

If you’re not using them already, services such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign and HelloSign are great, legally binding ways for employees and employers to get all the new starter paperwork sorted. These services are quick to set up remotely and very easy to use.

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Equipment

If your new starter’s agreed to join and you have time to order them all the equipment they need directly to their door then this should be the preferred option.

However, if this isn’t possible, chances are they will have a laptop or computer on which they can work until their new equipment arrives.

If you use cloud-based tools, your company admin will be able to provide logins to your new starter and help with setting them up remotely.


Introductions

Whatever your traditional onboarding process is, it will have to be adapted and be moved online or over the phone. Getting to know everyone is arguably the trickiest part of remote onboarding. It’s crucial to ensure your new starter has digital face time with each team, to ensure they feel connected, engaged, and part of the team.

Shift the process to video chats, screen sharing and use other online tools to ensure that vital information isn’t overlooked. Make sure your team has time blocked out in their diary to meet your new starter in the first week.

Introduce each individual member, explain what they do and how they’ll all work together, and set expectations. This is a great opportunity to talk about company cultures and values, as each team will bring something new to the discussion.  

Those meetings your new starter has in their first week, if you think about it, can most likely been done online.

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Training

What may seem like the biggest task, can easily be transferred digitally and gives your employee the opportunity to work through it more autonomously as well as walking through materials via video calls and online platforms.

You’ll need to have your usual onboarding material available online and somewhere it’s easily accessible. Screen sharing or video demonstrations are a great way to run through any systems they’ll be using and there are tools available for listening in to your team’s calls so you can keep an ear on your new starters calls and provide feedback.

Mentors are also a great idea for offering more immediate support to new starters. You won’t always be available for the quick questions and you don’t want to hinder your new starters productivity, so allocate someone from their team to be ‘on-call’ for any queries and additional support throughout their first few weeks.


First 1-3 months

There are 3 things you can do to support your new remote team member in their first few months.

Ensure they’re getting involved in team meetings on video calls from an early stage so they know they’re a valued member of the team despite not meeting face-to-face.

Communication is vital to ensure the success of remote onboarding (and working in general!). Frequent check-ins keep your new starter engaged. Daily 1-1’s should be scheduled for the first month and weekly 1-1’s should be scheduled on an ongoing basis once they’ve settled in.

Set them a 30/60/90 day plan so they have clear goals and structures to work towards remotely. Be clear with them how they’re going to meet their targets and achieve their plans and work with them to make it happen.

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