This is the first of a two-part series about how to ramp up your onboarding in the remote work environment. We will hear from Sally Beeken, senior HR business partner to Randstad Sourceright EMEA, to learn her top onboarding tips from an employer’s perspective. In part 2 we’ll look through a new hire’s lens when we talk with Charles Swann, lead EMEA solutions architect for Randstad Sourceright. Onboarding is about integrating a new employee into a company and its culture. It’s how the new hire gains the tools and information they need to become a productive member of the team.
Onboarding is always a delicate practice. But it can be especially challenging when new employees don’t have the opportunity to learn about their new team, manager or business in an office environment.
What does “supercharged” onboarding in any environment look like from an employer’s viewpoint? Read on for three tips.
1. plan the preboarding process
According to Sally, virtual onboarding is about planning and preparation. Fostering early relationships with talent is critical. Companies that get this right have discipline and planning in their preboarding, which is part of the recruitment process. This could be through automated invites to the future employee to help them get to know the business before they start or reminders to hiring managers to prompt regular and consistent check-ins with a future team member to help them settle in.
Whether the preboarding period is one week or three months, it’s important to have consistency and make sure the new team member has all their tools ahead of time. At Randstad Sourceright, we arrange intro calls, meet-and-greets with the team and weekly virtual gatherings. All new employees receive their laptop, login details and essential information a few days in advance of their start date. We also send new hires a welcome gift to let them know we’re glad to have them on board.
2. invest in your new hires’ development
Hiring talent into any organization requires investment, and not purely from a financial perspective. New hires need investment through training, formal induction and learning experiences. This in combination with a more personal approach from hiring managers and senior team members can solidify team-based working practices and culture.
Formal induction allows a business to translate a global (or local) strategy and bring it to life for new employees so they understand the part they play in achieving key objectives. A personalized team approach to onboarding shows new employees that they’re part of a strong unit. Team-driven development also allows firsthand experience and in-depth understanding of team values, culture and relationships.
Randstad Sourceright understands how taking a holistic perspective that keeps in view the future needs and career path of a new employee leads to greater retention down the road.
3. build strong relationships
Everyone in an organization plays a part in supercharging onboarding, especially if it’s virtual. From preboarding with the internal recruitment team and hiring manager to onboarding with the HR team, leadership and learning and development teams, strong relationships are key.
When working remotely, however, this process needs a little more dedication. Before onboarding, it’s beneficial to map out key relationships from a team, leadership and stakeholder perspective. Arranging informal, virtual coffee dates, introductory calls and formal aftercare reviews will help new people feel included.
Here at Randstad Sourceright, we want all team members to know they can turn to many people for help when they need it. We like to offer virtual lunch-and-learn sessions and guest speaker spotlights from other areas of the business to support our new hires’ broader understanding of our organization, while expanding their education.
Perhaps the most important point about building relationships is to keep in mind that hiring managers need to both give feedback and ask for it. Working remotely can be lonely for a new team member and, unlike being in an office where celebrating success is easy, in the virtual work world you have to make a conscious effort to praise.
At Randstad Sourceright we are interested in each new starter's experience. We make a point of recognizing a job well done, and we ask for feedback from our new team members. Doing this gives an alternative view that helps hiring managers tweak their virtual onboarding for the better next time.