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Best Practices for Virtual Onboarding


Onboarding is an important step for both the employer and employee during the hiring process. It gives the employer the chance to give a broad overview of the company, its values, and the jobs expectations. The process also allows the new employee to take in their surroundings from how the office looks, to how people interact with each other, to setting up their desk.


But what happens when an employer can no longer onboard face-to-face? This is an issue many businesses and organizations faced when the corona virus pandemic hit. With many employers still needing to hire people despite COVID-19, many changed its processes to fit a virtual setting.


Below are some best practices to take into consideration when virtually onboarding new hires, as we continue to work around stay-at-home and social distancing restrictions for the time being.


1. Ensure the entire process remains virtual.

To provide consistency, keep the entire hiring process from start to finish virtual. This means conducting virtual interviews through platforms like ZOOM, follow up through phone calls, signing offers electronically, etc. Don’t just keep the onboarding part virtual.


2. Keep organized.

  • As you’re helping the new hire get up to speed, use programs like Google Sheets or Docs to share files and information. You can easily share and make edits to documents where both of you can see the comments/changes.

  • Have training videos or links handy for them to reference back to.

  • Get their email set-up and provide an alternate mean of communication like your phone number to ensure their able to easily connect with you.

  • Use programs like ZOOM and have them share their screen with you, so you can check whether they’re understanding certain procedures and processes properly.

  • Communicate with them daily, even more than once a day, to ensure the transition is smooth.


3. Be flexible.

Every employee is different, so you need to ensure that you ask them for feedback on the process.

  • Do they need you to go over something again?

  • Do they need an extra couple of days to go over some training materials?

  • How are the managing technology in this new virtual working world?

  • How are they adjusting with working from home?

  • Do they want more projects to work on?


4. Make sure to emphasize company culture.

It’s hard enough as a new employee to get used to a new working environment, but it’s even more so now with a lot of new hires starting virtually. Make new employees feel welcome by introducing them to others in the company through email or video conferencing. Talk to the new employee about they type of things the company used to do whether it’s a office potlucks or casual Fridays. You can also try setting up monthly conferences that focus on just bonding with each other to help the new employee get a feel for the company culture and to help make everyone feel less alone during the pandemic.


Watch Marc Belaiche, CPA, CA, President of TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca discuss this topic here.


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