Onboarding new staff remotely

Due to the recent covid-19 outbreak most companies are now finding themselves working from home, bringing its own challenges and opportunities. Not every business will be able to, or should, freeze their recruitment efforts and for some industries recruiting is essential right now.

How can you make sure your new employees are onboarded and welcomed to the team whilst working from home?

Making sure your staff are onboarded is essential, it’s an opportunity for you to showcase your company culture, give them the knowledge and support they need and help them to settle into their new role. Just because they are working from home doesn’t mean the onboarding process should slow down, it just needs changing with the times.

Before they start


Just as you would if they were working in an office, you need to make sure you have the right technology in place and ready for when they start. Make sure you order any computers and hardware they may need well ahead of them starting. If they need to set computers and software up themselves make sure they have access to the IT department to help them with any setup that might be needed.

If necessary, create a checklist of any tools they may need to download ready for the first day. If your team is using video software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, ensure they have all their login information ready for day 1.

Welcome Pack

Again, you would normally do this if they are in the office and working from home should be no different. Ensure you send your new hire a welcome pack that is personalised and truly welcomes them to the team. In this pack you can include an intro document for their role, a long with a checklist of how and what their onboarding process will look like.

Make sure to also include any legal or formal documents that may be needed for HR purposes.

They’ve started: Now what?

Make them feel welcome

Working from home can be isolating, even for your more senior team members, and it can be a challenge to make your new staff feel a part of the team whilst not having everyone in the same room. This is where video conferencing technology can be used to its full advantage.

On their first day make sure they get a chance to “meet” everyone in the team, this can be through individual video calls or have a group lunch where everything can talk and new employees can get a real sense of company culture.

Have regular catchups with your new team member and make sure they know they can get in contact with you whenever necessary. If possible, you could set up a buddy system so if you are not available they have a second point of call to help support them through the business.

Does your company normally have Friday beers? Continue this tradition and invite your new team members to the virtual pub over Zoom, not only does that incorporate the social aspect of your team but can also boost morale for all your employees, not just new ones (here’s our back-office team doing just that).

Virtual Pub

Stick to routine

If you have set a checklist of what is to be achieved during their onboarding process, ensure you stick to this. In this office, it’s easy to see that a meeting has overrun or to push meetings back by 10/15 minutes but when working at home communication is key. If a meeting is going to be late, ensure you are vocalising this to your new staff, so they are not sat at home waiting for it to start.

Set goals that are to be achieved, whether this be based on training they need to receive or work goals. You can put timeframes against them for their first 10, 30 and 60 days, ensuring you are regularly discussing their progress and catching up on challenges that may appear.

If during the onboarding process you use presentations for training purposes, despite working from home still use them by sharing your screen through video conferencing tools. Not only does this ensure they are getting the same training as everyone else in the business, but it will make them feel like you are putting the time and effort into their career.

Communication is the key to success

The most important thing we can stress when onboarding new staff is to stay in constant communication with them. You don’t want to overbear them and make them feel like you are micro-managing from a distance but you also don’t want them to feel like they have been left on their own – finding the right balance is key to making your onboarding process a success.

Hiring new staff remotely isn’t impossible, it can be done successfully as long as you have all the tools in place. If you’re unsure don’t be afraid to ask new employees how they work when at home, and what support you can offer them.

At KDR Recruitment, we will ensure that all our clients have the ability to onboard new hires successfully and we will guide you on how to do this in the best way possible. Just because the country is working from home doesn’t mean your recruitment has to stop.

If you would like to know more or would like some free advice on how to onboard your new staff please get in touch today.

Download our ‘How to successfully onboard new staff’ guide.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best data, technology and analytics jobs. For more hiring advice check out KDR’s blog or follow us on LinkedIn.

Chris Bongard

April 6th, 2020 View my profile

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