How to Onboard a New Start Remotely

Lynne Macdonald

In the current climate, you might wonder how you can successfully add to your business. How can you onboard a candidate without all the usual face-to-face interaction and how can they possibly hit the ground running with colleagues they have never met?

It might sound a bit daunting but, if you have a pressing recruitment need, it is something you’ll have to seriously consider.

In the past few weeks, many of my clients have been finding their feet when it comes to working remotely. And, like most things, once you’ve done it a couple of times, the processes get easier and swifter. Candidate experience will still matter, even in exceptional circumstances.

Here are my top tips for hiring and onboarding a candidate remotely.

Video interviews

The kick-off point of any recruitment process is the interview stage. With so much technology at your disposal, very little has to change here. We can get our candidates set up to join a Microsoft Teams meeting with you at an agreed time and date. Then, you can video chat and get a feel for the candidate the same way you would if you were sitting face-to-face in a room with them.

Online inductions

Many of my clients are sending out all necessary kit (e.g. laptop and mobile) via courier to new starts. They have also invested in e-learning platforms to help candidates get to grip with the business or had various members of management record a short video describing what their remit is and how they function within the business. Or, you can simply do this over a video call.

Online training guides

Similar to the induction process, an e-learning suite or even a downloadable brochure is the best way to get around one-on-one training. Have your subject matter expert pull together a ‘how to’ and supply your new start with it during their first week.

Regular video calls with new team / colleagues

Starting a new job during this particular time is going to be incredibly daunting. Candidates won’t really have a feel for the office or whether or not they are a team ‘fit’. That’s why regular contact with their colleagues (as close to face-to-face as you can get it) is absolutely crucial in their first few weeks. Emails simply won’t cut it.

Appoint a ‘new start mentor’

To help with team bonding, it’s useful to appoint a mentor to your new starts during this time. That way they can monitor not only workload but access to learning materials, soft skills, and how well they are getting on with their new colleagues. You may have a certain way of doing things in the office, but new starts will have to form their own way of working at home (for the meantime) so it’s useful to have someone who can give them a steer.

Clear objectives

You can’t really expect a new start to perform in the way they would under normal circumstances. With no physical time spent in the office, their first few weeks will be hard. So, don’t put them under any unnecessary pressure. Within their first week, set clear objectives for their opening month and check in with them regularly to mark their progress.

If you have any recruitment needs within the Scottish Accountancy & Finance market – or would be keen to find out which roles might match your career plans – please get in touch with me as you normally would. Click here to see my details.

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0141 353 1133

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