Virtual onboarding checklist for remote employees in 2021

Prachi Goradia
min read
Virtual onboarding checklist for remote employees in 2021

Who would have thought that you could wear a formal shirt, tie and pyjama pants and still land the perfect interview? Owing to the ongoing COVID situation, many companies have found themselves scrambling all over the place to find new talent and carry out a smooth onboarding and induction process. Fret not, for we bring you the ultimate virtual onboarding checklist that you can follow to make the process as smooth and pleasant as possible. So get on board and let’s onboard!

A successful virtual onboarding checklist begins during the recruitment process itself. Laying out the parameters beforehand will ease the process for both the company and the candidate.

Before even considering new prospects for hiring, you’ll need to have certain things in place so as to not haggle in front of the candidate. Let’s start with the basics: HR Management, IT support, Documentation, and a stable Internet Connection. Now you’re all set to begin your virtual employee onboarding program!

Virtual onboarding statistics
Virtual onboarding statistics

Virtual onboarding checklist for remote employees:

  • First and foremost, factor in the number of hours that you expect during a work from home situation from your virtual employee. Take into consideration the tasks, operations and most importantly the hours of training and induction processes that will go in for a new recruit. Get them to mail you soft copies of their resumé, previous experience and recommendation letters, and work portfolio. 

  • Going through all the trouble and then realising that the candidates don’t have their important Identification documents in place really put a damper on your plans. Does the candidate have a working bank account in a recognised bank or is paying them at the end of the month going to be an excruciatingly painful process? Do they have their Aadhar card and PAN Card in place or are they cavemen with no legal documentation? Do they have pictures of themselves with good quality resolutions or are you going to have to figure who this grainy looking blob of a person actually is?

  • Also, get your own documentation and legalisation process in place before you start onboarding remote employees ; do you have the right documents, system accesses, legal paperwork, company credentials and the other works in place for the new candidate? We advise you to make a welcome package or data sheet with all the company documents such as the offer letter, important contact numbers, links to the company software, login credentials to system accounts and such for your remote workers.
  • Communication is key here, make sure to be transparent about these processes with the candidate beforehand. Accountability plays a huge role here, is the candidate available and accessible during your core working hours? Because it’s not only about the hours that they put in, but also being available during those particular hours when the team needs them. If a candidate is willing to invest eight hours of remote work but is not available for those particular hours when you need them to be, efficiency will soon become a problem as communication will lag and collapse in no time.

  • Make sure that the candidate is technologically well adapted to remote working or working from home. Do they have a steady internet connection? Do they have their own desktop or laptop or will the company be providing them one? Do they have ample space and the means to set up a remote home office, especially during the ongoing situation where electricians and carpenters are a rare commodity?

  • But also familiarise your virtual employee with your work culture, the teams that they’ll be working with and what an ideal day in the office looks like so that once things ease back towards normalcy, they know what they’re getting themselves into. Direct them to your blogs, social media channels and videos to give them a fair idea about your company culture and employee experience.

  • Do they prefer beanbags over chairs or are they comfortable working in open cubicles? Isn’t it better to get to know if they’re a workplace Karen or not in the interview itself, rather than nodding glumly later? Working from home is very different from working in-house as parameters such as working hours, expectations and even attire is going to drastically change. Are they ready to make that transaction in the future and will they be able to gel well with your current remote work setup?

Before the day of the remote onboarding process:

  • Give your IT team some time to integrate the new remote employee into the system and make sure it’s done perfectly or it’ll transcend into a game of ping-pong between you and the IT department, with the new employee still trying to figure it all out.
  • Get them acquainted with the key people in the office, let them know whom to approach for a quick IT fix, HR problem or to just vent about their workday. Send them a quick welcome message or a warm GIF to make them feel accepted in the team or let them have a short one-on-one with each team member.
  • Human Resources as a team plays the most crucial part in onboarding and an even more crucial part when it comes to remote onboarding of employees. A number of complex and tiring tasks need to be undertaken by the HR team while onboarding remote employees. 
  1. Right from uploading relevant jobs to different portals.
  2. Sifting through a ton of resumés.
  3. Conducting screening assessments and tests.
  4. Maintaining constant communication with the applicant.
  5. Storing their documents and relevant data.
  6. Organizing one on one or panel interviews.
  7. Keeping track of multiple rounds of interviews.
  8. Prepping the applicants with relevant information and boosting their morale.
  9. Constantly emailing and calling back and forth to adapt to the applicant’s and the company’s schedule.
  10. Sending relevant feedback.
  11. Organizing offer letters and staying in touch with the candidate.
  12. Storing the candidate’s personal documents like Aadhar, PAN, Bank account details, etc.
  13. Coordinating between the IT Department and the candidate to set up a smooth induction and onboarding process.
  14. Sending across laptops or the likes, especially during a remote hire.
  15. Completing all hygiene checks and finally onboarding them to the company.

Phew! That’s a lot of work and more, that the in-house HR team looks after. Wouldn’t it be easier if most of this could be automated for life?

peopleHum is the one-stop solution to all your hiring and onboarding woes and offers a plethora of various trackers that can be customized based on your unique needs. Hence, making it a must-have in your remote onboarding checklist. It stays with you not only during the entire hiring procedure but also works way after the initial virtual onboarding process. With hiring, managing, nurturing, and engaging features that take care of appraisal cycles, feedbacks and reviews, rewards and leaves, and employee engagement metrics, say goodbye to orthodox HR Management ways and give your HR team some breathing space. Phia, an AI-powered chatbot, incorporated within peopleHum will answer all your queries and become your favourite HR employee in no time.

Employee onboarding
Source: Talent Lyft

On the first day:

  • Remember your first day in a new organization? Weren’t you a little nervous or suddenly overwhelmed? Didn’t you feel a little more comfortable when you made your first friend or smiled at a colleague in the kitchen while getting coffee? Since office tours and conversations over lunch are not an option right now, make sure that your new team member feels welcomed by organizing a virtual coffee session or an after-work hangout where everyone can chill together in their favorite PJs.
  • Introduce them to as many team members as possible and maybe get the team involved in the process as well, so that both the candidate and the team members can get acquainted with each other’s compatibility and personality from the beginning itself. That way, working together, both virtually and in-person will be a smooth process without any hiccups. Add them to relevant WhatsApp groups or Slack and MSTeam accounts, familiarise them with your work calendar and events and also layout their end of the day priorities and deliverables.
  • The next step on our virtual onboarding checklist is nurturing people skills. Social engagement in such times becomes a necessity rather than a bonus. Make sure to engage your virtual team in the same brainstorming sessions, TGIFs, daily quizzes or motivational speeches as before and you can also incorporate meditative sessions at the end of each workday or virtual games such as Pictionary, Show and Tell, Fact guessing, Never Have I Ever, or just bond over common interest of TV series, Movies and Books.

On a final note, while following the virtual onboarding checklist for remote employees, it becomes essential for team leaders and managers to make the candidate feel welcomed and accepted. Showing that they too deal with the same vulnerabilities at their end, that their children too popup between important video conferences or the traffic outside their house can be as deafening as yours and definitely that their moms too nag them for lunches between professional calls, because who on earth can willingly pull away from motherly love right? So this vulnerability and homely quips become an easy bridge between the remote workers and the team members to forge stronger bonds and develop deeper connections and will surely enhance your employee onboarding experience.

We hope you got some great insights from this blog. Its now time to apply it. Get started with peopleHum for free today. No credit card needed.

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