Second in our two-part series – The benefits of remote hiring and onboarding new talent

In part one of our two-part series, we looked at the process and challenges of hiring new employees remotely. In it, we highlighted how the practice of remote working requires businesses to adjust key elements of their recruitment process, and we shared our own experiences of hiring new employees online in 2020. Now we will look at the process of onboarding new employees remotely.

Onboarding new employees

Your new hire is now ready to start, but how will their first week of remote work look? One of the things we’re fanatical about is making sure people don’t feel like they’re working in isolation, which can be challenging for new hires who haven’t physically met any of their colleagues.

There are many tools in the communications toolkit that help mitigate this, though we certainly feel you can’t entirely make up for being together in an office – after all, we’re social animals.

At this point, you would expect us to be touting our CallSwitch platform for all your communications needs. But that’s not the answer. Our view, which has worked well for us, is different channels for different types of conversation. For example, we use CallSwitch for our voice and video calls, our team meetings and conferences, presentations, and so on. But we might also use Slack for quick questions and queries within teams, which is especially useful for new colleagues as they get to see and search the history of certain topics of conversation or shared literature. And on a Friday evening, individual teams might jump on their team WhatsApp groups to share images of their well-earned Friday night drink!

As our Marketing Director, Simon Blackwell, explains, “when you’re in the office, you don’t do everything in one room. The conversation that takes place at the water cooler is different to the one that takes place in the Board room, so you have to transition that practice to the digital realm with different spaces and tools for different types of conversation.”

Our hybrid working environment sees our teams having daily catch-up calls as a group, to share their day and interact as a collective to make up for the fact they aren’t physically together. To help with the overall familiarity of our team structures and the people within them, new hires sit in on all major team calls for the first week or so – even teams that don’t relate to their own role or department. Why do we advocate this practice? Because in the office environment, you might not commonly interact with certain people due to differences in roles, but you’ll frequently bump into these people in a corridor or kitchen and share a few words. For new remote based employees, adding them to team calls enables familiarity and allows new hires to strike up conversations and new relationships in the way they would in our office, which is great for them and our company culture.

What to do next

Although remote hiring and onboarding bring with it a unique set of challenges, there are many upsides. You can move candidates through the interview process quicker than ever, so you don’t miss out on great people, and by implementing the right tools and working practices, you can integrate new hires into your culture effectively for the long-term.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for help and advice on implementing remote work in your business.