Connecting Digital Experts

Step-by-step guide to virtual onboarding

 9th Apr 2020

 
We’ve recently seen a significant shift in face-to-face interviews going online as a result of the ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19, but now we’re challenged to take it a step further. Due to the uncertainty of the current economic situation, companies are no longer waiting to hire after everything returns back to “normal” because, the truth is, we don’t know when that will happen and what will that look like. 
 
This is the new normal for the time being and it is a new challenge for most of us. Online interviews are one thing but how do you hire and onboard someone in the virtual world? 
 
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will hopefully help you get this process right. 
 
Before they join
 
1. Ensure all paperwork, technology, and tools are ready before they arrive, including:  
  • The offer letter signed and sealed and any other contracts or policies they need to know about, reference and eligibility to work in the UK checks 
    • Services such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign and/or HelloSign are perfect to get the new starter paperwork sorted  
  • Company and brand overview with company mission and values, team overview, any social activities
  • Role responsibilities and expectations 
  • Work computer and/or phone or other office equipment they may need 
    • If you can, send the equipment straight to their door via courier service
    • Get them to use their own laptop to begin with while IT work out new solutions or social distancing restrictions change
    • Also, don’t forget to prepare all logins for the new starter 
2. Send a welcome care package
  • Quick intro videos of the team members for the new starter to get to know the team 
  • Company culture overview, product overview, case studies and testimonials 
  • A welcome message from the CEO or founder 
  • A calendar of important company dates, like team meetings, company events, etc. 
  • Company swag with a company mug, pen, water bottle, T-shirt, notebook, etc. - make it special 
     
Week 1 
 
3. Ensure the new employee has received all tools necessary to be able to start working successfully and all IT systems are working properly - it is vital that the new hire is able to access their emails and company files from day one
 
4. Identify any training/health & safety that they need and provide video call training using online platforms using your usual onboarding material - screen share or do a video demonstration of the presentation 
 
5. Schedule a 1-2-1 video call to discuss your expectations, their responsibilities, objectives and targets and further keep in touch to answer any queries and check how they’re doing 
 
6. Meet the team - you can get creative with this one. You can schedule a video team meeting to introduce the new employee to the team and have each team member introduce themselves to the new employee - this is an important step for the new starter to get to know the team and a great opportunity to discuss the company culture, values and missions. Alternatively, you can schedule each team member and stakeholders to have a 1-2-1 video call with the new employee during their first week - ensure all team members make time in their diary to meet and engage with the new employee to make them feel like part of the team
 
7. Partner them with a buddy - especially important for virtual onboarding and for the first couple of weeks at a new job
 
8. Celebrate the end of the first week at a virtual social and have a virtual drink together (and perhaps a physical one at home) 
 
 
Month 1, 2, 3
 
9. Ensure inclusivity not only in video team meetings but also company culture 
 
10. Maintain your 1-2-1’s, checking the progress of their development and keeping the new starter engaged - check in but don't check-up
  • We recommend daily 1-2-1’s for the first month and weekly 1-2-1’s once they’ve settled in - these meetings should become shorter or be cancelled entirely as the new starter gains confidence and knowledge of key projects 
11. Create 30, 60, and 90 day plans so they have clear cut goals to work towards remotely - later ensure they are on schedule with their probation objectives and meeting their targets
 
12. Schedule monthly reviews to discuss the on-boarding processes, any challenges or issues, whether the role matches their expectations and any other feedback they may want to share
 
 
What about probation? 
 
13. This may be bit challenging but it doesn’t have to be - find ways to assess the employee’s performance against the goals and objective set out in the beginning - more often than not you can follow the same system on how you’d assess your employees in the physical world but in the digital world 
 
14. If you think they are the right culture fit but may lack on performance - consider extending their probation
 
15. If they excelled at their job and passed their probation, shout about their success and publicly share it with the team - don’t forget to follow up in writing 
 
16. Celebrate going to the virtual pub and sharing a virtual drink 
 
 
We understand this may be a challenging shift for you and whatever you decide to do we’re here to support you. If you have any further questions or concerns about virtual hiring, interviewing or onboarding, don’t hesitate to contact us here