6 Tips for Onboarding New Recruits Remotely

17th June 2020

Whether you are bringing new talent into your team or in-housing resources from your partner or agencies, onboarding has never been more nuanced than in lockdown.

Ensuring that people quickly understand:

  • The culture
  • The methodologies
  • The hardware and software
  • The org chart
  • The communication channels
  • Their key stakeholders

…can be the difference between immediate impact and confusion that leads to decreased motivation and output.

At Waracle, we have been building remote teams for ourselves and for our clients for more than ten years, so we know a little bit about what works. Let’s take a look at the six key elements to great remote onboarding:

Establish an Individual’s Requirements

Ensuring that each individual is given the most productive set-up to deliver is absolutely key.

It is easier and simpler (operationally) to just buy 5 of the same laptops, 5 of the same screens etc. but individuals have different ways in which they get the best out of themselves.

In the current climate, it is very important to understand whether they have a dedicated workspace at home, and if that workspace needs anything to be made more productive.

Give new recruits the option of a Mac or PC, 1 or 2 additional screens, monitor stands, separate keyboards, mice, adapters etc. Alongside this, you need to ensure they have the option of a range of software. This will not only empower them prior to their start date, but ensure they can hit the ground running when they do start.

Introduce them to the culture

Sharing the company’s values, explaining the attitude that you wish to be embodied in your workplace and the collective goal of the organisation whether via documentation, creative content or via a call with a senior leader is hugely important.

A company culture that aligns with an individual’s own beliefs and attitudes, can be the key motivating factor in ensuring that they collaborate well, participate fully and support the cause.

Being able to communicate this remotely is incredibly important and will give your new start a sense of purpose from the ‘get go’.

Set up essential systems, accounts and comms platforms

I think we have all been there… you start a new job and you need to go and get your own laptop from IT, set it up yourself, ask the team what tools they use, download them, get granted access, introduce yourself and work out new tools for yourself.

Off the back of getting an individual’s requirements, you can do all the ‘boring’ work for them. Make sure they have an email account, a JIRA account, a Slack account, VPN access etc. and that everything is tested and good to go.

It seems small, but first impressions stick!

Introduce them to the team and allocate a sponsor/mentor

A large proportion of any individual’s work life is spent in collaboration with their immediate team and governed by their direct line manager.

However, that team doesn’t work in a vacuum so ensure that the new team member understands the org chart, the processes, the governance, sign-off and other key elements of how the team functions as part of the ‘big thing’.

Feeling like part of something is hugely important. So set up remote video calls to introduce the team prior to their start date and have initial communications in place with a sponsor/mentor. Having one person who you can go to with ‘silly questions’ or concerns can be the difference between feeling comfortable ‘from the off’ and feeling a bit isolated.

Deliver a comprehensive induction

Don’t just sit a new start down in front of the intranet or confluence. They need an introduction to the business.

It doesn’t have to be days long, it can just be a couple of hours. But make it engaging.

Book in sessions with HR, Finance, Marketing, Product, IT… anyone who the new start may engage with over the coming months.

In some highly regulated industries there may be regulatory training, which is non-negotiable, but try and ensure that it is punctuated with other softer sessions, which are lighter, more inclusive, or even (dare we say it!) fun.

Set out what success looks like

Tell your new start what you want them to achieve. Set out the success metrics, the deliverables and the timelines.

Defining an individual’s goals and giving them clear guidance on how to achieve them will give your new team member the motivation they need, and support their integration into the organisation.

Be specific, plan check-in meetings, have a fixed date for a formal review and be clear about the support that can be offered.

At Waracle, our remote teams work across a vast-range of disciplines, technologies and industries. If you want to find out more about how we support our clients remotely, get in touch.

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