With the #COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve seen a change of the traditional workplace to a remote working situation. Companies around the world are installing (mandatory) work-from-home policies. As part of our series on talent.io’s best remote practices, we are now going to focus on onboarding.
As explained in our previous article, we in the tech industry are uniquely prepared for the reality of the digital workplace, and the fact that we’re now remote doesn’t have to be the reason to stop hiring great tech talents!
When it comes to remote onboarding, you should consider it as an extension of your interview process and a critical moment for the newcomer to start their new adventure with a positive experience. To succeed in your remote onboarding processes, we’re sharing with you best practices based on 5 key themes.
After reading this article, you will feel confident in adapting your remote onboarding processes and giving your new tech talents the best experiences.
As well as remote hiring, it all comes down to preparation and having a really structured process in place:
The main purpose of the onboarding process is for the new employee to meet their new team, experience the company culture, and to get settled into their new job under the guidance of a manager or team lead.
When you do this remotely, it is imperative that you communicate well and often, but at the same time make sure these interactions make sense and don’t overwhelm the employee. Here are some tips for the initial first-week communication that will come in handy:
During this period of isolation, the importance of checking in regularly with your tech team cannot be understated, this means:
An intensive onboarding process can also feel overwhelming and cause stress and anxiety. We believe it is important to strike a balance between information sharing and the employee’s personal development and learning behaviour.
Mo Brahim, CTO at Profile Pensions, has implemented a remote process that allows new starters to work autonomously on a comprehensive onboarding project for four weeks, instead of the actual product right away. His experience shows that it:
Equally, for Aaron Asaro, CTO at Kopernio, getting the new employee comfortable as quickly as possible is an important goal of the process:
Despite being remote, your team and new starters, as globally dispersed as they may be, can get to know each other and have fun together! Forging and nurturing a tight knit (online) community among your team is more important than ever:
Have a virtual coffee in the morning at 09.00, and have a virtual beer with the team on Friday afternoons to usher in the weekend. Create a non work channel for the team(s) to have a chat and a laugh with each other while enjoying a beverage.
Create channels in e.g. Slack that can be used to engage your (globally) dispersed employees/teams.
Give ownership to your employees to set up these channels. There are often many, many great ideas to break through the confinement and actively forge a shared community. We have some tips for channels that work very well at talent.io:
🍪 A cooking channel - where all the chefs in your company can get their Jamie Oliver on and share recipes, ‘how to’ videos and pictures of the dishes they created.
🎮 A gaming channel: for those competitive employees who like to play online board games (Houseparty is great for this), poker tournaments, or an exhilarating online game of Perudo. Why not turn on the old PS4/Xbox and challenge your co-workers to a game of FIFA or Mario Kart?
🏋️ A gym channel: for the people in the company who have seen their gyms and yoga studios close their doors. Use this channel to share workouts, routines and personal records. If there are any proper gym rats in the company they might even be willing to give a couple of live lessons!
📚 A personal growth and development channel: looking at the positive side of this quarantine, we do finally have time to work on becoming our best selves. You can take that online course on landscape painting or read that book on mindfulness you’ve had on your shelf for ages and share it with your colleagues on this channel, they might benefit as well!
Did you know you can watch Netflix together with your colleagues? Nothing beats watching some episodes of that series you were talking about together during a virtual coffee break. Check it out here.
If you take deliberate steps early on to get to know the candidate on a personal level and accept input from other members of the team, you’ll be able to get a good grasp of your candidate’s potential fit.
We do realize that some onboarding processes will be more helpful for your company than others. Getting to a situation where you have a process that works well is not an easy task. Our experts have also shared with us some of the mistakes they made, hoping the tech community will learn from these.
We have worked closely with experts in our community, who have given us valuable insights and would like to thank them @Tricia Phillips - Director and Management Consultant at KPIM, @Aaron Asaro - CTO at Kopernio, @Mo Brahim - CTO at Profile Pensions, @Christophe Popov - Entrepreneur, Technology Consultant and CTO, Louise Ware - Head of People at FYXER and @Sean Hynan - Talent Lead at Form3.