A few months back, have you ever thought “let’s do virtual onboarding?” We are sure NO. Even the professionals who are designing and running the hiring process for years never imagined that remote hiring would be the new way to increase productivity and engagement.
In 2020, many organizations and industries have planned virtual onboarding one after the other. The global pandemic due to COVID-19 has certainly changed the way businesses operate and work. It has turned remote working plans into reality, putting many ideas into action and we all are starting to accept this new world of remote work.
Hence, the virtual onboarding process will be going to rule in 2021 as this is the best practice for both recruiters and candidates. Many people who have to regularly visit offices to work are forced to sit at home and work remotely. Of course, organizations that were equipped with collaboration tools for this new style of working managed the situation smoothly but many others are having a hard time dealing with this concept.
Especially HR managers who have to hire and recruit new talent in such an environment. With no face-to-face interaction with applicants and no physical office to welcome new hires, they need some time to adapt to this change. We will be honest with you. Remote onboarding surely demands more time and work but it is surprisingly easier to manage.
Yes, there will be few glitches initially as you can’t greet your employees by being physically present but you can still ensure a personalized experience to mark the beginning of their new journey. As we all make this transition to remote work, you too need to optimize your onboarding program.
A seamless applicant tracking system might come in handy in such a situation but we are sure a little extra guidance won’t harm. Therefore, here is everything that you need to know, from interviewing new hires to introducing benefits plans, while building a virtual onboarding experience. Have a read:
Shorten the Virtual Interview and Hiring Process
No, we are not implying that you must rush into the process and jump to the decision without interviewing the candidate properly. As you might have realized (if you have taken any virtual interview) by now that hiring talent on the basis of virtual mode can be a daunting task. Therefore, your priority should be to avoid any lengthy process or insignificant questions.
Use video conferencing apps, such as Skype, Zoom, etc., to connect with an applicant. This might not replace face-to-face interviews but make things easier, follow the same interview format but avoid unnecessary questions, go for technical questions related to the job profile, and get done with your decision.
You must remember that companies are sparing no effort to get the best talent in their team and any delay in your decision might turn into your loss. So, be quick and thorough with your employee onboarding process.
Take Care of Pre Boarding & Benefits
The biggest stumbling block to completing the onboarding process is paperwork. You need to get an appointment letter signed, complete all formalities, get done with the training, and more. This is where preboarding comes into the picture which is the period between job applicants signing their offer letter and their first day on the job. Moreover, you might have to shop them a company laptop, share the employee handbook, collect personal details, set up an official email address all this is a part of the pre-boarding program.
Opt for virtual signature, learning management system (LMS), digital onboarding system to save time and effort. Of course, there are employee benefits schemes as well that new hires should be familiar with. Enroll them in your plans online. You can implement employee human capital management software that offers all the policies and healthcare benefits on one dashboard and allows employees to select the plan that best suits their needs.
Do Not Ignore Social Integration
Make sure that your new employees feel at home from day 1 and gel well with their team members. Of course, this is easier to attain when everyone is physically present but considering the situation, you must go digital to introduce them to company culture, their coworkers, and help them get settled.
To establish a social connection and maintain positive work relationships, encourage them to schedule video or conference calls frequently, or have instant messaging sessions. Introduce the new hire to all other employees through email so that everyone is aware of him/her and can congratulate the person on the new job. Teams can also have a virtual lunch break or happy hour where they can discuss something interesting and get to know each other better.
One-on-one sessions with managers and team leaders should be an essential part of your virtual onboarding process to help new and old members learn about their roles and understand how to coordinate with colleagues.
Being Organized Is the Key
Yes, virtual hiring is a new concept for you and you might not be prepared for it. It will take time for you to understand how to handle every task and complete the recruitment process without any hassle. However, the first rule that will help you get a long way and avoid all the mess is being organized.
Use ATS software to find the top talent for your company as this will reduce a lot of the burden of evaluating hundreds of applications and candidates. Send emails mentioning the date and time of the interview and set schedules to finish them on time. The onboarding process should be properly documented to adapt and digitally implement this new normal.
This is possible through a checklist that includes email and letters with all the necessary documents, a contact list for various needs, a description of regular meetings, and more.
Communicate With Office Culture
Just because your employees are not coming to the office and are working remotely doesn’t mean that they need not get familiar with company culture. In fact, it is more important now for them to understand how the company works so they put in their best effort to help attain business goals in these challenging times.
Moreover, they don’t have an opportunity to observe the work culture while working from home so you must be proactive and introduce them to the company’s culture and values in the early stage. Start with breaking down company values, share the description, including history, milestones, business goals, mission statement, etc., code of conduct, such as commitment, communication, inclusiveness.
Most companies have started sharing employee handbooks or showing presentations in employee orientation to introduce new hires to the company, its motive, business approach, work environment, etc.
Host a Virtual Social Event
We know that organizing social events can be a bit complicated and is even assumed unnecessary in busy schedules but they can actually work wonders for your new and old employees. Don’t you miss those lasting professional relationships without any insecurities?
Well, virtual events can bring those days back and all you need is to add a bit of an extra effort. These digital events can be a place to bond with teammates and get comfortable with each other. As they won’t be able to sit next to each other in an office, joke around, have meetings, social media chats are the best way to know colleagues and stay in touch with them constantly.
There are many ideas that you can implement as part of a virtual onboarding program, such as walk-and-call, Zoom breakout rooms, happy hours, etc., but keep it unrelated to work and maintain social distancing.
Keep It, Professional
Although we recommend social events and networking to make employees feel comfortable and break the ice, you still need to keep it professional and formal. It is an organization after all and employees need to work together toward the company’s objectives so ensure that they take their work seriously.
Plan and schedule their tasks and ensure they submit their daily report and complete the assigned work within the deadlines. Keep in touch with them constantly to make sure that they dedicate enough time to their work. Ask about their experience and if they are comfortable and satisfied with their job and how you can help them to make things easier.
Give them the opportunity to talk about their professional journey and successes. You must build a professional environment in meetings and advise new hires on how to approach online meetings, like mute the mic, give inputs, take initiatives, etc.
Apart from the strategies, we have also jotted down the ways to improve Virtual Onboarding at your organization. (If you are already practicing this) We understand this process may be tied up both employee and manager at some point in time.
Sometimes, the onboarding process may not be as easy as it seems. Apart from building strategies, there could be a chance that your organization is facing difficulties in scheduling virtual onboarding.
Keeping this in mind, we are sharing the best ways to improve Virtual onboarding!
- There are chances that you could miss any details regarding the workflow or internal process at your organization. In this situation, you can pen down the listicles and keep the track of your items. There are various emerging tools that could help you in organizing your task and make a priority out of them. Apart, you can also understand how well things are going by keeping a record of it.
- It is important for your employees to understand the work culture and their in-house teammates, including managers supervisors. You can start by interacting with your employee to the other co-workers by scheduling a video conference in a day. This activity would help your employee to know their team members and several other queries related to work would also be resolved.
- Once you arrange a video conference with your employee colleagues, it is important to schedule virtual meetings with higher authorities. You can help your employee to understand the business tree and other important information related to the founder and CEO. Don’t forget to share a questionnaire with them for better interaction.
- Start checking them on a regular basis for the initial few months. When you are at the workplace, employees can take their queries and concerns directly to your cabin. But through a virtual medium, it is quite worn out, Hence, it is crucial to set up a meeting in a day. This will build a sense of trust in your employees and they would be able to perform well.
- Your new hirings would like to know more about the company core value and goals. You can make them understand each and every aspect of why your company is best for them. Don’t forget to let them know about the work culture and other relevant pieces of information.
- Make sure that you are developing clear milestones for your employees. For a successful onboarding process, you should cover all the important aspects that can help your employee to understand how and where they can elevate their progress in the organization.
- Your employee must feel welcome and you can contribute by extending a welcome kit to them. It is important to offer general information regarding the organization. Apart, you can also share a video to welcome new employees and this will create an immediate sense of acceptance in them.
- Let’s agree with the point, that when new hires join the organization, they will start to evaluate each and every process around them. They need to assure that yes! this is the right place, I am working with. Hence, this is another important step to improve the virtual onboarding process to let them understand that the organization is happy to have them on board and willing to invest their time and trust.
- When at the workplace, business credentials may be critical. If someone is unable to sign-in they can immediately call the IT department but through the remote session, this is not possible. Many organizations make this mistake by providing difficult business tools or tricky credentials. You can avoid this to improve better virtual onboarding. As we know, new employees have to access various online accounts that are related to their job. Hence, easy login credentials will help them to get familiar with the very next day and would be able to understand the process more easily.
We hope now you are clear with the ways to improve the virtual onboarding process. We know you must be thinking about the benefits of scheduling VR onboard too. Right? Well, we have that one for you too!
- Through virtual onboarding, you are showcasing the technological capabilities of the organization. The VIR onboarding is more than welcoming a new employee. You can showcase the technologies that your company is using by having customized HCM and other relevant tools. Your employees are looking forward to knowing that they have arrived in the right IT ecosystem.
- The HR department can have better previews of the training capabilities. If your employee is having a fun atmosphere at the beginning they can learn more and faster. You can train employees and create better stimulation at the beginning of the production period. You can experience various parts of VR onboarding through the induction process Apart, there are some virtual quiz and games that you can arrange so that your new hiring can learn more and more about the business flow and work culture.
- Another amazing benefit is the virtual tour! Yes, you read it right. You can create a unique experience for your employee through a virtual tour at the premises. As we are heading towards 2021 and last years were a bit exhausting due to the COVID outbreak. Many hiring was at the time of the outbreak and hence, your new employees are not familiar with the premises. Virtual onboarding helps your employee to gain better insights into the place they are working with.
- The other amazing benefit of setting up a virtual workplace is to let your employees know about e-learning. There are various companies that are helping their candidates to grasp more knowledge about the current IT structure through e-learning methods. Virtual classrooms are getting popular in so many ways, Hence, you can create virtual learning for your employees so that they can learn better and achieve faster.
The pandemic has affected businesses worldwide and companies are struggling to adjust to remote working. However, we can’t let these hard times affect the experience of new employees. Organizations must be prepared to adapt to the changes and take precautions while opting for virtual onboarding.
As we know the future of VR Onboarding revolves around emerging technologies. There are many industries that are shifting towards the Virtual ecosystem to become the best at their workplace and for their upcoming candidates. Hence, VR is now spreading its wings into various forms to give access to collaboration with the managers and employees. This process will also offer direct access to the workplace and give the freedom to integrate employees with managers or supervisors.
Unfigured employees can also enhance their productivity levels through VR. Tapping into the potential of the latest technology is one effective way to achieve this. HRIS software can help you make prompt decisions, achieve business requirements, implement new practices, and whatnot to support remote working.
If you need a reliable online ATS solution to attract and recruit top talent, then connect with the team of Accomplish, an authentic HCM software that offers hiring and benefits solutions in one destination. Call us or send us an email for more information and we will help you with all our might.