Unexpectedly working from home has placed us all in a state of uncertainty, especially when it comes to recruitment, hiring, and one of the most important processes that belong to team leaders and HR admins – onboarding

We’ll admit that onboarding face to face is easier but believe it or not, there are companies out there who onboard remotely on a regular basis. During these trying times, companies who have transitioned to working from home should take a page out of remote organization’s playbooks, and onboard new hires digitally using the following tips: 

Share a digital employee handbook

You need to enhance the policy-learning experience for your new hires with an articulate digital employee handbook. It should explain standard information – legal and health regulations, company protocols and policies, and department-specific expectations for their tasks and upcoming projects. Digital employee handbooks should also make certain details more accessible to your new hires, especially those interested in doing a little reading, by including links to external resources and portals that collect their admin paperwork in one central place. 

Providing a digital handbook to new hires being onboarded at your company gives them something to reference during their training process at any given moment or when HR isn’t available on the spot. It’s a valuable resource that can aid their learning curve and make them feel more secure, allowing them to settle into the new role smoothly.

Implement a personalized onboarding plan

A personalized onboarding plan should consist of a few essential components. First, begin with a customizable employee profile that collects all the preferences and needs of your new hire. Make sure to include their hobbies and interests in this profile. Why is that important? Because your personalized onboarding plan should also consist of introducing your new hire to key people and teammates via video chat, and you’ll want to start these collaborations off strong by helping new hires and current employees bond over these interests.

Next, set up and orientation program and training schedule with consistent video check-ins. These check-ins should happen between your new hire and HR, their mentor or buddy, and their team leader. It’s an opportunity for your new hire to ask any questions, receive feedback, or discuss daily goals and tasks at the end of every session. Never, ever leave your new hire alone during their first week on the job! Make sure their mentor or buddy can be reached at any time, and make sure all training sessions are back to back. 

Put collaborative learning front and center

Include your new hire in any and all meetings that could teach them something new about the company. If the Product department is discussing a quarterly roadmap, your new hire should log in to video call. If your Design team is going over the brand’s tone of voice and messaging requirements, that’s a great way for your new hire to get to know the company better. Learning opportunities should be taken advantage of at any turn. 

That also includes learning the company’s tech stack and digital tools. When working remotely, collaboration is key to business success and you want your new hire to understand the technology you’ve integrated into your system or which workflow automation tools you implement daily. Get them communicating on Slack. Have them practice assigning subtasks on Asana, and have them send a poll on bob so they can get used to their new way of digital life. 

Curate a sense of belonging and inclusivity

Let your new hire know that remote culture can be just as fun as an in-house culture. Invite them to the online fitness groups you hold weekly over Zoom. Include them in your employee book club that takes place once a week. And of course, tell them to participate in online happy hours where trivia games bring the company or whole departments together. Just because you’re a part in distance, you don’t have to be in heart. Mandate coffee breaks that help your new hire talk to people on a personal level, too. 

Onboarding remotely doesn’t mean your new hires have to fall through the cracks. They can become just as well-informed as in-house employees do during their first week on the job, and the culture can still thrive as long as everyone makes an effort to stay connected. 

From Stephanie Stevens

Stephanie is Content Marketer at Hibob. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and Crisis Management, and enjoys abstract painting and watching horror films in her spare time. She believes that people can connect with themselves, their peers, and the world around them through creative writing, helping them foster a deeper sense of self and their life goals in the process.