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How Do You Onboard an Employee Virtually?

Remote Work

3 mins

December 12, 2022

Many companies are embracing the “work from home” phenomenon that stemmed from the pandemic. It’s no surprise that employees have embraced this new flexible work lifestyle. Today, 58% of Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least some of the time, and if given the chance, 87% of them would take it (Mckinsey, 2022). 

With this sea change in the way we work happening so quickly, many companies are having to change their processes for Human Resources and IT. Onboarding an employee on their first day in the office isn’t necessary or financially responsible when they live on the opposite coast. So, how do you onboard an employee virtually?

Setting up your remote onboarding process may seem difficult at first. In this article, you will learn four key ways to properly onboard your remote employees to build your remote team. 

What is Remote Onboarding?

Onboarding is the process of hiring and incorporating your new hires into your organization. That used to mean showing up at the office, meeting with HR, filling out paperwork, learning your new equipment, getting the grand office tour, and shaking many, many hands. 

Remote onboarding, on the other hand, is done digitally without any face-to-face interactions. It’s just the new hire, and his or her managers with their computers. Easy peasy, right? 

On one hand, remote onboarding can be more efficient, saving both parties time in the effort to get the job at hand done. On the other hand, remote onboarding can pose some challenges, like making sure all equipment is set up and shipped by that day. 

Set up your Onboarding Process Virtually

When done correctly, the benefits of onboarding an employee virtually can outweigh any possible downsides. Your onboarding process should cover the four key areas to make the process smooth and efficient. 

1) Equipment

Your new hires need different equipment based on their unique roles and responsibilities. Equipping them with the right devices, furniture and accessories will enable them to fulfill their tasks faster and easier. 

Understanding your new remote hire's needs may pose a challenge, especially if you're not meeting them in person. One thing we highly suggest is to understand your remote hire's working conditions. You can use Swifteam's DSE Assessment to help ensure your staff is well-equipped with the right devices, accessories, and ergonomic furniture to get their job done comfortably and efficiently. 

If your company prefers MacBook, we highly recommend setting up Apple Business Manager to enjoy proprietary features like Automatic Deployment Enrollment (ADE), as well as enrolling company laptops into Device management solutions (MDM) out of the boxes (literally). 

2) Software/Tools

Providing software that your new remote hires will use is the second thing you need to consider. Certain tools are needed for different job roles. For example, John prefers to use Photoshop and After Effects for editing, while Jennie likes HubSpot to manage emails and start her marketing campaigns. 

Once the needs of a new hire are understood, the next step is to set up their computer and get them access to the necessary software. This includes installation, account setup, email and collaboration tools, and giving them access to company resources.

3) Company Intellectual Property (IP)

Assigning access to your company IPs can be different based on the job roles of your new hires, including everything from your code repository, SOP, and QA process to your logos, brand assets, and social media accounts.

These resources are often guarded behind the firewall to protect company IPs. You may consider using a single sign-on (SSO) that authenticates employees through a company-controlled gateway. Access to your company IPs can be enabled from a central platform. We recommend that Company IPs should be managed on a team basis for easier control.

4) Company Policies

Helping your new remote hires understand your company policies is one of the most important tasks to properly onboard someone both virtually and in-person. 

Having a virtual meeting to properly introduce key company policies is one of the best ways to interact with your new hires. The goal is to guarantee that the new hire understands what is expected of them. Ensure that important policies like the Code of Conduct, Paid Time Off, Security, Device Use, and other HR policies are introduced and made available to the employee to peruse on their own time. 

Don’t Forget These Virtual Onboarding Basics

When it comes to onboarding an employee virtually, a lot can be accomplished in a day. But, don’t try to cram too much into that first day, either. Set the table for the new staffer but then allow them some time to do some setup and attainable tasks on their own. Then, break up some of the other onboarding tasks into bite-sized pieces (meetings) as the week goes by. 

Slowly schedule introductions with key players and then allow the teams to meet on their own. If possible, a mentor that the new hire can shadow is a great way to show them the ropes. 

A good IT onboarding process is critical to the success of any tech startup. By taking the time to assess the needs of new hires and providing them with the tools and training they need, companies can set their employees up for success from day one. 

Swifteam helps you automate your remote IT onboarding and properly facilitate your Device Management, saving both your precious time and money compared to other solutions. 

Contact us to learn more about what Swifteam can do to help you and your business.

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