In a post-coronavirus world, virtual onboarding is the norm for most businesses. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Using technology during onboarding is productive for both the company and the new hire. When used smartly it saves time and reduces the number of errors that could result from a paper-only process.

Here are few ways to design an effective virtual onboarding program:

  • Keep the process relatable
    Face-to-face introductions are always more personal than email introductions. Schedule video meetings to introduce new hires to their teams, managers, and key stakeholders. Getting the new hire acquainted with team members and the way that they work requires more than just an e-mail introduction. Video calls play an important role here.

  • Use snail mail for onboarding

    Instead of sending new hires the regular company-branded stuff such as T-shirts, water bottles, and chargers, consider sending a personalized gift box to new remote employees. You can think of including a personalized note, a box of chocolate, and tech necessities. This gesture can go a long way toward making new hires feel welcome and special. It also a great way to make a great first impression.

  • Simplify paperwork
    Allowing new hires to complete paperwork online using electronic forms within the HRIS system will not just save time and money, but it also helps the new hire to be productive from day one. You can also maintain a centralized repository for storing new hire data which improves accessibility, eliminate redundancy, and reduce data entry errors. All forms such as Form I-9 can be signed electronically with status tracking.

  • Don’t neglect culture
    Companies should not assume new hires will organically get acclimatized and integrated into the company culture while working remotely. Businesses should schedule meetings outside of normal working hours where new team members can interact and get to know each other. The concept of virtual happy hours is a good one. It is through these social interactions new hire get to understand and gauge culture and merge into the organizational setup.

  • Maintain contact

    Don’t let new remote employees fall into the category of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Managers should check in on their new team members on a regular basis, using available tools of communication, such as instant messaging, e-mail, phone calls, or video calls.

  • Reacquaint new hires when joining in person
    Most remote employees will need to report in person for work to the physical work location at some point in the near future. Efforts should be made to reintegrate and reacquaint those new hires to the organization, team members, and company culture. Schedule in-person meetings with the team and managers so that the remotes hires don’t feel out of place.