If you’re an HR person, it’s very likely you sought out your career because you thrive on the “human” part of the business. You’re a people person! And, you are the face of your company, warmly welcoming new hires, touring them around the workplace, introducing them to their coworkers, and getting them on board with all of the tools and processes they need for success at work.
As we experience COVID-19 quarantines and safer-at-home restrictions for the first time, well, ever, you now have to be that same warm and enthusiastic face to your new hires through a computer screen instead of in person. Your training folders and photocopies, tours, and meetings all have to be digital now. How do you effectively transition your well-honed onboarding processes from the physical realm to the virtual one?
Virtual onboarding is an opportunity for improved efficiency. Streamlining processes is key. The face-to-face video conference is your starting point. You can rely on scheduling software and project management tools to drive the onboarding process from there.
- Block time for digital paperwork and set each document as a task. Setting the completion of onboarding documents as tasks–with deadlines–on your new hire’s calendar or to-do list, creates clarity and sets an expectation. It also ensures nothing gets overlooked.
- Pre-schedule video training sessions and one-on-ones with managers and key co-workers. Be on those calls to do introductions and facilitate conversation. You won’t be able to knock on doors or camp out next to desks in order to keep things moving, so team calendars can do the job of keeping everyone on time.
- Include managers in the workflows when needed. If virtual onboarding is new to them, too, team project management tools can keep them on task when a signature is required, or a live training session is needed.
- Don’t hesitate to follow up with your new hire and your managers at pre-determined points in the onboarding process to ensure accountability and gain insight into the effectiveness of the workflow.
During virtual onboarding, remember your new hire can’t just pop into an office or quickly ask a coworker, “What’s next?” and that can leave them feeling disconnected. Let them know you’re available for questions and provide them with a variety of communication channels through which they can reach you easily. Make sure that you and/or an experienced point person are available to them at any time during the way day via email, instant chat, text, or the good ol’ telephone call, to answer urgent questions or kickstart a stalled process.
The need for 100% virtual onboarding won’t last forever, but COVID-19 is certainly driving process improvements and discoveries that may streamline onboarding when your workplace returns to the real world.
If your business could benefit from outside help with remote human resources needs, ask ClearStar about our commitment to candidate care throughout your virtual recruiting, screening, and HR management processes.