Onboarding is a critical part of successful hiring. Recruiters typically seek campus events, job fairs, and in-person interviews to find and welcome the best talent for their company. But with the occurrence of the global pandemic, not a single old rule book will be applicable for onboarding. Why? Because now the work trend is shifted towards remote and hybrid work, forming a digital workplace.
Such acceleration of the “new normal” condition demands reframing the entire onboarding process from the beginning. This demands to give the best experience to the newly joined employee and retains them longer. According to SHRM, 69% of the employees are more likely to work with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.
But the concern is, ‘how to ensure good onboarding for the employee?’ With every generation, the approach and the attitude of the workforce can be witnessed to differ, which indeed makes it difficult to address the current changes and do the needful. This raises a demand among the HR managers to rethink their onboarding strategies, according to the present trends, wherein, one of them is embracing virtual platforms.
However, to assist you in conducting the online onboarding process, this article will showcase the top ways to strengthen the entire onboarding process on virtual platforms.
Why host an online onboarding process?
In the COVID-19 times, the entire organization, HR managers, and the employees perform their duties in a distributed manner. Regarding this safe consideration necessity, HR professionals need to conduct the hiring and onboarding process on the virtual platform.
With the expansion of the businesses, new employees need to get recruited in the organization. This clearly shows the need to rightly guide and make the new employee a potent part of the organization by delivering all the details about their job role. Gallup rightly mentioned this point by calling exceptional onboarding is the only effective onboarding, as shown in the figure below-
Hosting a perfect online onboarding experience becomes the only solution to get such positive responses from the new employee.
Moreover, ensure that any mistakes or insufficient communication can turn the new hire’s inspiration to work in your organization into a dull and unsupportive feeling.
Thus, HR managers need to re-plan on introducing a virtual platform for onboarding to form a potent future talented team in your organization. This will ensure to form a connected and growing culture with the best talents in your company.
Ways to conduct smooth virtual onboarding for the newly hired employee
The virtual onboarding process demands even more attention than the physical one. Companies can execute the entire process rightly with proper planning, teamwork, and HR tools.
All these together demand to form a full-proof strategy for running the onboarding process virtually. So, how to do that? By looking into the following tips that illustrate a perfect setup for conducting online onboarding.
Communicate the onboarding process
Effective communication is the foundation of every event. The same applies to the onboarding process as the employee is entirely new to its organization. Connecting with them before their first day with your company will let them feel a part of your firm.
Here, you need to organize a complete flow and communicate it with the new employee to help them in its preparation. Firstly, decide the responsible identity who will communicate all the necessary information with the new employee. After that, form a first-day employee checklist that covers the following points –
- Timing details about the start and end of the onboarding session
- What device should they use to connect in the session
- Share preparation details like strong internet connection, distraction-free space, functioning camera, etc.
- Provide the link for joining the virtual meet
- Explain the first-week plan to the new employee
This might be the employee’s first job and first-time experience working far from their office. Thus, being an explicit and instructional identity for the new hiree will be of great help.
Be thorough with documentation
A lot of paperwork is required while onboarding the new employee. It includes their personal information, experience certificates, etc. While conducting online onboarding, you need to ensure that the distance between the HR and the employee does not result in any lapse in the documentation process.
Moreover, you also have to ensure that the newly hired employee does not get bombarded by tons of papers on the very first day. To best suit all such organizational needs, the automated onboarding solution empowers the newly hired employee with its exceptional features. By sending an invitation link, you can ask the new recruits to input and upload details of their documents and certificates independently. This will make the first-day experience more engaging and free from the mundane paperwork for the new hires.
Schedule time for team introduction meet using a virtual tool
To set up a healthy work environment, forming potent connections with the team is pretty essential. While accomplishing this process in person may not be possible, but the interaction should take place on online platforms as well. This requires scheduling a video conference of the newly joined employee with the current employees.
To nail this process, you can use Airmeet’s video conferencing tool to better run a virtual face-to-face meeting among the team. Ask the time period the team can spend in this onboarding process and accordingly arrange the schedule for it using the software. Encourage everyone’s participation and ensure that the new employee collaborates well with the team. In the session, you can have the following activities –
- Motivate individual introductions among the teammate
- Organize a virtual team lunch/dinner
- Discuss the past event celebration
- Showcase the teamwork culture
All these actions will uplift the engagement level of the new employee by letting them feel like a part of a well-coordinated team.
Arrange a virtual training session
Training is one of the important onboarding packs for every organization. The new employee will learn about the company culture, software usage, job roles, operational practices, etc. Here you can design the presentation, share informative videos, and organize online tutorials.
With such a knowledge-gaining and live learning session, the new hires will better understand the basics of their work concerning the company’s culture. This will form a continuous learning environment for the employee without feeling overloaded with the job’s responsibilities.
Create an inspiring and engaging experience
Employees always desire to work in an organization where they feel motivated to perform their jobs. The onboarding process becomes the foundation for generating such feelings inside the employee. The Harvard Business Review explains that onboarding experience has a long-lasting impact on engagement, performance, and retention. This clearly shows the necessity of forming an inspiring and engaging culture from the very first day for the newcomer.
There are a lot of apps, tools, and technology that helps in this process. Using them, you can form an impactful and engaging culture for the new employee. This will save the new workforce from getting affected due to a poor and distant work environment.
Introduce a “welcome buddy” to the new employee
New employees find some difficulties in getting habitual with the organization and the entire team. In situations like this, assigning a mentor will help the newcomer to get information about anything and everything they want.
How will it remain to call an employee a welcome buddy for this role? Great! As they always remain the best mentor and friendly face for the newcomers to guide about successfully starting the new journey. The welcome mentor will advise the new hires about each step and the organization’s working culture. This is one of the key aspects the new employee wants in the onboarding, as shown in the figure below –
Thus, assigning a welcome buddy will help the newcomer to smoothly complete the onboarding process by forming strong bonds with the employees they are about to work with regularly.
Make the process participative and enjoyable
This is one of the prominent challenges HR managers face in conducting virtual onboarding. Organizing and running the process with a two-way communication perspective will help to keep the newcomer motivated.
You can propose new ideas and future growth scopes for the employee. Filling such excitement inside the employee in their first weeks will make the onboarding sessions more impactful.
Moreover, you can also introduce flexible plans, break times, quizzes, and learning games to make the process more enjoyable. Thanks to the technological advancements that are helping to run virtual events by making things more organized, engaging, and delightful.
Key benefits of organizing onboarding process on the online platform
The virtual onboarding process consists of many pros for your company. Some of them are –
Acts as a time-saver process
With the use of virtual apps and tools, you can swiftly complete the employee onboarding process. All the documentation work and information sharing process will take place in a digitized way. This will save time which you can use on completing other crucial onboarding-related aspects.
Extends the scope of hiring diverse talents
Working in a distributive environment helps to find a large set of talents by organizing virtual recruitment events. While using online platforms, you can quickly assess and onboard the employee for your company. Further, suppose you recognize that the newcomer is not fit for the role. In that case, you can choose another candidate or train the same individual to better the talent acquisition process.
Physically completing the paperwork took much time and effort of the HR managers. It also affects the new hires as their whole day passes in performing such mundane jobs. All these issues get eliminated by using the online platform. The inputting, uploading, and storing of the documents streamlines completely.
Increases the efficiency of the entire process
By conducting the onboarding process on the automated and online platform, you can set a good and ever-lasting impression in the new employee’s mind. This will showcase the timely and professional nature in accomplishing the process, keeping an employee-centric view. Altogether, this improves the efficiency of the employee onboarding process that also helps in retention them for a longer time.
It’s time to execute
The employee lifecycle should remain smooth and effective from the very first day. Undoubtedly formulating a perfect virtual onboarding process for the employee is a tough job. But it can turn into a simplified process by following the strategies mentioned above. All these efforts will help to keep the global employee engaged enough in the virtual office space.
Ready to thrive your online employee onboarding process? Surely you are. Then without further delay, kickstart a perfect enrolment approach for your future top talents.
Frequently asked questions – Your Help-Meet
Virtual onboarding is about introducing the new recruit to the firm using virtual tools, e-resources, and webinars instead of traditional in-person onboarding. The newcomer will understand their job roles, company’s mission, and overall work structure with this process.
Yes, with proper planning, tool usage, and encouraging onboarding activities, the virtual onboarding process remains impressive for greeting the new hires into the organization.
For successfully executing the employee onboarding process, be ready with a proper plan with detailed steps, stages, and tasks. Don’t forget to polish your onboarding approach regularly by seeking feedback to give the newcomer the best experience.
The HR professionals generally consider that a good onboarding process should take three months. However, the final decision depends on the company’s plans and employees’ preparation for their new job.
Depending on the company’s nature, the onboarding approaches differ based on their culture and logistical factors. Yet, the essentials like engagement, comprehensiveness, and team assimilation remain the same.
Typically, the onboarding process consists of four phases: pre-onboarding, welcoming the newly hired employee, role-based training, and transition phase.