Tips for Hiring and Onboarding Remote Employees

First impressions matter. Here’s how to adapt your hiring and onboarding process for remote workers.

As a growing number of companies decide to operate remotely for the foreseeable future, many of the more traditional aspects of the hiring and onboarding process — such as in-person interviews and training sessions — have fallen by the wayside. The potential impact of these changes shouldn’t be overlooked, as studies have shown that the quality of an organization’s onboarding program can have a significant impact on both productivity and retention.

Given the steep costs associated with employee turnover, it’s more important than ever for organizations to find creative ways to adapt their hiring and onboarding processes to a remote work environment.

When In-Person Interviews Aren’t an Option

As many have come to learn, virtual meetings aren’t always a perfect replacement for in-person communication. Often, face-to-face interviews can help hiring managers assess intangible traits that are difficult to measure through other methods: Does a candidate seem at ease when engaging with their potential manager? Do they have confidence while presenting? Does their personality mesh well with your office culture?

To help fill the gap, you may consider extending your hiring process to include additional rounds of interviews to garner feedback from potential colleagues as well as managers.

Getting the Lay of the Land — Virtually

While some of the more general aspects of your traditional onboarding process have likely been fairly easy to take online, it’s crucial that employers don’t overlook the intangible parts that can’t be replicated in a remote environment. For example, new hires who join a company remotely may struggle to feel connected with their colleagues. Ultimately, this can have a significant impact on how engaged they feel at work and may even impact how long they choose to stay with your organization.

One way to help overcome this barrier in a virtual environment is to create a “buddy system” for new hires by pairing them with a friendly colleague who can answer questions and introduce them to new co-workers. You might also consider forming a welcoming cohort — a team of employees who volunteer to engage with new hires and help them acclimate to your company’s culture. Likewise, in order to help your new employees better connect with their team, consider setting up virtual social events like team lunches, trivia sessions, or more relaxed introduction sessions.

Finally, if your employees do eventually return to the office, be mindful of the fact that those who have joined your company in the last year will be walking into a completely new environment. Take measures to help them adjust by conducting a follow-up onboarding session focused on helping them acclimate to your office.

Having processes in place to manage employees, wherever they are located, is a necessity for today’s businesses. Discover more tips for managing remote employees.

The Regions Approach: Bring Your Whole Self to Work

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