An Abbreviated Guide to Virtual Onboarding in 2021

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a remote working environment is now commonplace in the business world. Of course, the lack of a physical workplace and face-to-face interactions has resulted in some major changes to the way onboarding works, since it’s often done virtually rather than in-person. Companies that have never virtually onboarded a new hire before may struggle to determine the best way to go about this, which is why we’ve put together this short five-step overview of how to go about the virtual onboarding procedures.

The Interview

Although reviewing potential candidates is where the process begins, the actual virtual onboarding process starts with the initial interview. Since meeting in person isn’t possible, many companies are using free video calling services such as Google Meet, Skype, or Zoom to host their initial interviews. This part of the onboarding process will be easy & fairly familiar to most HR employees since the interview process will remain largely the same as an in-person interview. Virtual interviews also allow for a bit more flexibility, meaning interviews can be scheduled outside of normal business hours (assuming it’s more convenient for the parties involved). After the interview(s) have concluded and the best candidates have been chosen, you’ll need to reach out to your new hire(s) to let them know they’ve gotten the job. Although not required, it’s also polite to send an email to the candidates that were not chosen to let them know the position has been filled.

Initial Onboarding Paperwork

Once you’ve got in touch with the new hire(s), you’ll need to begin the onboarding paperwork. Using the UZIO cloud-based HRIS, you can send them direct links to the onboarding forms they will need to complete. Information gathered by the HR software will be automatically integrated into your payroll system once the forms have been completed. After the onboarding forms have been completed, you will need to send the new hire(s) an email informing them of their virtual orientation date.

Virtual Orientation

Orientation is a critical part of the virtual onboarding process and will vary by business. This is the time to cover all of the new hire’s work responsibilities, which includes showing them how to use company software, educating them about your payroll system, telling them about the available benefits (if applicable), and anything else they may need to know that you would normally discuss in a physical orientation. The best way to host your virtual orientation is by video call. This allows you to talk face-to-face with the new hire(s); you can also screen-share while covering company systems so the new employees can have a demonstration of how the systems work. Depending on the complexity of your systems, this orientation could last anywhere from a few hours up to a couple of weeks. 

You should also schedule a team-wide meeting at some point so you can introduce the newest employee(s) to their fellow workers. This too can be accomplished via a video call. It’s important to set this time in advance so that your entire remote team will be able to attend the meeting. The meeting is also a great time to let the new hire(s) know where they fit into the overall operation!

One-on-one Manager Meeting

It’s a proven fact that up to one in five new hires will quit their new position within forty-five days, a number that’s likely gone up in recent months. Some common reasons cited are a lack of job clarity, insufficient management, and limited opportunities for job advancement. It’s important that you keep these points in mind during your onboarding process, and ensure that the new hire(s) are very clear on what their responsibilities are, who they report to, and what advancement opportunities are available to them. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee that all of these questions will be adequately answered during the initial onboarding, which is why a one-on-one meeting with a manager is so important! You can schedule this at the end of the new hire’s first week. By having this meeting, you’ll give the new hire(s) an opportunity to get answers to any questions they might have and clarity on things they may be unsure of. This is also a great time to get feedback on your onboarding process to determine if there are any areas that need improvement.

The process of onboarding virtually is a new challenge for many businesses around the world. Fortunately, by utilizing the resources available from the UZIO all-in-one HR & payroll platform, you can overcome this obstacle and continue to expand your business despite the changes to your routine operations. For specific questions related to onboarding new hires virtually, feel free to reach out to our friendly team by clicking here.