Effective Strategies for Onboarding Employees Remotely
Remote work is growing, incentivizing firms to think strategically about how to onboard an employee remotely. Human resources professionals have been agile in developing processes to hire, retain, train, and support employees, whether onsite, remote, or in a hybrid position.
As of 2022, 26% of employees work remotely at least some of the time—and experts predict that 36.2 million American employees will work remotely by 2025. Small and medium-sized companies benefit from drawing from a pool of remote workers, reducing the need for expensive office space and relocation expenses. Remote recruiting allows employers to cast a wide net, finding talent in different geographical areas than the human resources team. Recruiters can successfully identify, screen, interview, and hire candidates without them ever stepping into a corporate office.
The COVID pandemic transformed human resources operations, producing innovations vital for successfully recruiting remote employees. Human resources professionals have adapted well to the technologies and platforms to recruit and hire new employees.
Effective onboarding for remote employees requires some modifications to the traditional onboarding process. Here are a few strategies for how to onboard an employee remotely and successfully integrating your new hires into the company.
Remote Employee Onboarding Tips
- Have onboarding on your mind when you post the vacancy. In a sense, onboarding starts with the job announcement. Work with hiring managers to describe the job responsibilities and share the culture and values of the organization and department.
- Provide a pre-onboarding checklist for new hires containing information on the technology needed to start their job. This resource will ensure new hires are ready to start onboarding.
- Design a consistent onboarding process. Optimizing your onboarding workflow ensures your HR team and new hires follow the best practices and that new hires have what they need.
- Make sure to maximize the use of your human resources information systems, allowing employees to complete routine essential paperwork independently and at their own pace. Firms often build onboarding workflows into HRIS platforms to allow for benefit enrollment, tax paperwork, and more. These workflows are streamlined and organized.
- Design your remote employee onboarding process to prevent Zoom fatigue. Research shows that at around 20 minutes of passive viewing, attention decreases. Design the onboarding program to include active tasks as well as passive viewing.
- Design engaging onboarding content that defines your company culture and values. Video content sharing stories from other employees can be a compelling means to help employees align with your company’s culture, mission, vision, and goals.
- Schedule meetings with managers and coworkers early and often during the onboarding process to facilitate connections between new hires and the team that they will be working with.
- Consider providing each new hire with a mentor on their team. Mentorship provides valuable one-on-one time with a colleague. It is an effective way to establish connections between the new employee and the team. When employees have a go-to person they trust, they can get guidance on questions they would not bring up to supervisors or human resources.
- Think big picture. Onboarding isn’t a one-day meeting with human resources. Onboarding is a process that includes the employee, human resources, and the team that they are joining.
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