How do you onboard a new employee when everyone is remotely working?

In positive sign for the market, business are still employing new people to work on the key projects and operations. Although we are in a pandemic with COVID-19, a lot of businesses are running as “business as usual” albeit remotely. Some business transition seamlessly to a remote environment, others face challenges. So how do you properly on board someone when your workforce is working remotely?

Follow your usual process
It’s so important to onboard thoroughly when working remotely, it is not the time omit steps in your process. It’s time to find work arounds if your whole induction isn’t accessible remotely.

Have someone walk the new starter through the induction

Whoever is usually responsible for running the induction of the new employee should still do so. You can use video calling programs such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype. It’s an important time to see the “whites of someone’s eyes” when welcoming them and inducing them into your business.


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Give them the right tools

Make sure you provide the new starter with all the tools they need to succeed in the role. That may include equipment, access to all the relevant systems and people.


Don’t skip on workplace health and safety training

WHS training is still essential for every new hire. It’s your duty of care as an employer to provide the worker with a safe workplace, even if that is in their home. Your induction training for remote workers should include training on setting up a safe workplace in the home and you be asking the worker to do a self-evaluation checklist to confirm their work area is safe, including a photo of their set up. 


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Check in regularly with your new hire

Communication is key. In can be a bit lonely working remotely, especially for those that have not had the opportunity to build relationships with the organisation as yet. Encourage colleagues to schedule time regularly to check in with each other via a video call whether that be for a more formal work update or just for some weekly banter.


Inclusion is key

If you normally present new hirers with a branded shirt and a bag full of swag, make sure you send this to them at home. If you normally present a reward or prize for meeting their first sales target etc, make sure you still do this. It’s important you make things as normal as possible for all.


As always, you may need to make some adjustments to your onboarding. However, it is so important for the success of the new hire and your organisation that you still do this properly.

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