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Onboarding New Employees: From Signing the Contract to the First Month on the Job.


In this new reality, more and more companies are bringing new hires into their virtual offices. COVID-19 has made it more difficult to interview, hire, and train new recruits. It’s hard to know if an employee fits into the company culture in an online platform, but with the right protocol in place, bringing in new hires can be a seamless process. 

Training begins once the hire accepts the job offer. After all the mandatory paperwork is completed, and the company policies read, business should also look for a creative way to welcome a new employee. Some, like Intuit, have created welcome videos for their latest hire, so they can get familiar with the company and its values.   

It’s important to reach out to your new employee about a week ahead of time to confirm that they have all of the technology that they need. This includes a secure computer, any necessary audio equipment for online meetings, and access to any software, such as Microsoft or any other daily used program. Encourage all new staff members to become familiar with the video conferencing platform, that your team currently uses, whether it is Zoom or Microsoft Teams.  

Making sure your new hires are set up for success is the first step in creating productive and dedicated employees.   

On the first day of the job, have your new team member join a conference call with their manager or the entire team. If it is easier to welcome the new employee on their first day with just their manager, also plan to host a virtual happy hour after hours, when everyone can attend. During this time, have the whole team give formal introductions, as the first step towards making your newest hire feel comfortable in reaching out to other employees.  

Having a connection with new coworkers, will make it easy to assimilate back into the office. Giving everyone a chance to meet their latest coworker, isn’t just beneficial for the new team member, but for the current staff as well.   

A new team member’s connection to the current staff is critical to their job performance and satisfaction. In a study from Microsoft, they assigned a tenured employee to a new hire, with whom they met over a period of three months and provided guidance in helping their new coworker adjust to the job and company culture. The researchers found that frequently meeting with the hiring manager helped the new recruit understand their role at the company and boosted their productivity and satisfaction levels.  

Providing a sense of structure by requiring training sessions and a list of tasks for the new staff member to complete within their first week is another way to help manage their workflow. Throughout the first few weeks, have the new employee check-in frequently, with their manager, to discuss what they have accomplished and any challenges they faced along the way. It doesn’t matter how they work in a remote environment, but how productive they can be on a day-to-day basis.    

Bringing a new hire into the fold requires tons of communication and teamwork between the IT, HR, and management departments, including the employee to give them the training that they need to succeed in their new role.