How to Virtually Onboard New Employees during COVID-19 and Beyond

virtual onboarding

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many businesses operate, including shifting employees from the office to working from home. While the idea of onboarding new hires in a virtual environment can be overwhelming, there are straightforward ways to do so effectively from a distance.

Provide the Proper Tools

To be effective at their jobs, new hires will need certain equipment, such as a laptop and headset. After confirming the hire date, check in by phone with them a few days beforehand to ensure that they have everything necessary so they can organize their work area. Doing so will also prevent delays in their start date.

Complete the Paperwork

Another part of what your next new hire will need before they start are their login details for any company software, and they will also need to fill out certain paperwork, including a TD1. Thankfully, the process is a smooth one when using Talcura’s automated onboarding software that enables the sharing of vital details confidentially.

Easily capture electronic signatures and save those signed forms on the applicable business drives. Talcura’s web-based service even enables your team to send custom messages to new hires to help build a sense of connection. Doing so can prevent first-day jitters in advance.

virtual onboarding

Assign a Virtual Tour Guide

While the new hire will not be physically shown around the office, they can still gain a good understanding of how the workplace processes operate to help them feel more comfortable at their job. To help them, consider assigning them a virtual guide for their first day, such as an employee who is in a similar position to them.

Ensure they use video for their introductory meeting. Video calls help create a sense of connection through body language, facial gestures, and eye contact.

Include Social Time

Part of what helps someone adapt to a new workplace is their time communicating with others on coffee breaks and before meetings. While these situations won’t happen as they did before, managers and HR departments can still try to encourage social moments.

For example, at the start of a virtual meeting, invite participants to share about their weekend or what they’ve learned over the past week about working from home. Also, schedule in special events that encourage fun employee interactions, such as a Trivia Night online.

Take Your Time

When the onboarding process is completely virtual, it can feel overwhelming for both the new hire and the HR manager. So, consider spacing out the training over several weeks, instead of providing a lot of information all at once.

Also, encourage the trainee to ask questions and speak up. Make the onboarding process a flexible one, too, as the coronavirus times are challenging ones. Your new hire might be homeschooling their kids, for example, so they will appreciate being able to complete the onboarding process at a pace that works for them.

Helping New Hires feel Included

Following the suggestions above will help your HR creating a virtual onboarding process where new hires feel included in the team. Providing a supportive tone from the start will help keep employees from experiencing a sense of isolation and allow the business to continue smoothly.

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