Tips For Successful Remote Onboarding During a Pandemic

By Ashley Paskill on June 17, 2020

Successfully onboarding new hires has a ton of benefits including a higher commitment to the company, increased productivity, and overall satisfaction at work. In these times of pandemic and working from home, onboarding new hires has become a new challenge. Onboarding from afar can seem daunting, but as long as you stay focused and keep communication strong, you and your new employee will be off to a strong start.

Communication is key

While communication is always essential, it is more critical now since the hiring process is done remotely. Being a good communicator means being available to answer questions as your new hires go through the onboarding process. Avoid withholding information, even if you think you are overwhelming them with a large amount of information.

Make sure you “introduce,” even virtually, the new hire to those completing the same or similar tasks so that the employee has people to connect with and ask questions to should you be unavailable. If it is possible, you could even hire a few people at once so that you can have video conferences that include a group of people going through the onboarding process together.

If you are doing virtual onboarding programming, make sure to make it as interactive as possible. Nobody wants to watch a lecture on Zoom when that can be made into a video. If you decide to have some form of a presentation in your Zoom meeting, make it interactive by asking questions in a pop quiz format and allowing others to ask questions.

Be available for new hires. Even if they report to someone else, you may have been the first person they met at the company so they naturally feel more comfortable with you. Let them know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they have and try to respond to any questions they have in a timely manner, especially during business hours.

Image: Chris Montgomery via

Give your new hire the company handbook

Especially in times of social distancing and remote working, it is crucial that employees have all of the tools they need to be as successful as possible. In many cases, one place to start is ensuring that the employee has access to the employee handbook, which gives instructions for making sure they are doing their job well and follow the guidelines for how things are done. This can even be a digital document or a series of documents that provide the new hire with all of the information they need to be successful, from steps for submitting assignments to contact people for questions. If you do not have a handbook or it is not yet digitized, now is a great time to implement this. The more information the new hire has, the better they will be.

Ensure that the employee has the proper technology

Working from home can be tough if your employees are dealing with outdated technology or software that is not compatible with their operating system. Not being able to be in a typical work setting, for many, means not having access to things like printers or fax machines. It is important that you keep in mind that people might not have access to all of the things they need to do their tasks like they normally would.

If your company typically gives out technology like iPads and laptops for company use in-person, you will now have to either send the technology or drop it off at the person’s house (depending on their location in relation to you). However, it is crucial that you take care of this in a timely manner. You may even opt to give the new hire compensation for purchasing new technology or updated software for their current system. Taking care of this in a quick manner can ensure that you are able to get the person integrated into the company quickly and you do not lose out on valuable time.

Do not beat yourself up

It is no secret that these are unprecedented times that no one saw coming. While it may be tempting to go over your mistakes a million times, do not let it get to you. Everyone is learning how to navigate the challenges that are going on. If you make a mistake, own it, correct it, and learn how to handle the situation in the future. Your new employees are also likely to make mistakes as they adapt to a new job and a new way of working, so give them, and yourself, some slack as you work together to successfully bring them into the company. Making mistakes can be a way for you to show them that you are human as well and that your company welcomes mistakes as long as learning is the result. This example will allow them to feel comfortable with you since they do not have the pressure of having to be perfect.

Onboarding in these difficult times can be tricky and is a learning experience, but it is a chance to grow and implement new things that your company may have never thought of.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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