The first days on the job have a key impact on an employee’s performance. Especially if we plan to work outside the office most of the time.

On the web you can find many articles in which people from the HR industry share good practices in introducing a new employee. When we were preparing onboarding for our remote community, I myself was looking for industry literature for inspiration and ready solutions – these, however, were related to the onboarding of an employee who comes to the office, at least for the duration of implementation. However, Talent Place recruiters work 100% remotely and this is also the form of their onboarding. It quickly turned out that the activities that work great at the beginning of cooperation with a stationary employee are insufficient in the face of “remote onboarding”.

Challenges in onboarding remote employees

Before we introduced our new onboarding model, every Talent Place recruiter followed the same path as regular employees. As our community expanded, we quickly realized that such a model was no longer effective and the quality of our onboarding was declining. Below I have collected the main challenges that we have faced.

1. Resources

The implementation of each employee was associated with the involvement of at least 3 people, usually managers. Their task was to introduce a new recruiter to specific areas of the organization’s functioning. Each of these people had to find time for onboarding, often several times a month. If one of them was not available at the moment, onboarding was prolonged or even incomplete.

2. Time

Depending on the number of people carrying out the implementation, the new employee had to have at least 3 separate online meetings. Each such meeting required an average of 1 hour of commitment and working time of both parties. It was also a challenge to adjust the availability of the new employee and the managers who led the implementation. In our case, onboarding employees was difficult because recruiters work with us on a project basis and are often not fully available between 9 and 17. When our recruitment needs increased from 2-3 to a dozen people a month , it turned out that onboarding employees takes the lion’s share of the working time of managers and other people involved in the process.

3. Quality and effects

Problems related to the time and availability of managers meant that the quality of our onboarding was not always the same. It happened that the process was running low or the recruiter did not receive all the information in the order we had planned.

What should the ideal “remote onboarding” look like?

While working on the new, near-perfect onboarding model, we set ourselves the following goals:

  • Time – onboarding should be effective and take less time for both our new recruiters and those responsible for the implementation.
  • Flexibility – Recruiters should be able to complete the entire training path at the time of their choice, and implementation should not depend on the availability of the people involved.
  • Automation vs. human factor – the process should be automatic, but without eliminating the human factor. After all, the first days of a new employee’s work are crucial to building a bond with the new employer.

Solution? Employee add-on online!

After analyzing the solutions available on the market, we chose the seemingly most obvious option – we decided that onboarding of remote employees would take place 100% manual! We decided to record all the trainings conducted so far in the form of short and concise videos, and the work on changing the model took place in 3 stages.

Stage 1 – Designing the solution

In order to design the best solution, we involved both managers and people who recently joined the company and had a fresh perspective on our current onboarding process. Based on the collected information, we have developed a training path that should be followed by a new remote recruiter.

At the same time, we revised all the onboarding materials we have used so far. Thanks to this, we avoided creating the whole thing from scratch and saved a lot of time and energy. Onboarding online was designed simultaneously with the refreshed recruitment process. As a result, both of these processes are consistent with each other and complement each other.

Stage 2 – Implementation

We chose Skillveo platform as the tool to implement our new model, which, like Talent Place, is part of the Everuptive group. Skillveo specializes in online training, and together we managed to adapt the tool to create a transparent and easy-to-use onboarding process.

All recordings in our remote onboarding can be viewed in 2 and a half hours in total. Each training session is divided into short 5-10 minute lessons that allow the new person to concentrate on one topic at a time and prevent information overload. We have also prepared a short knowledge test for each training, thanks to which we can be sure that everyone is familiar with the recording and materials.

We have also added relationship building elements to the process, which will allow the recruiter to feel at ease in the new work environment. One of them was the involvement of people who previously dealt with implementations in creating video lessons. Thanks to this, in the later contact by e-mail, the recruiters have the impression that they know this person better.

Stage III – Evaluation and optimization

In the new onboarding of employees we engaged not only new people, but also those who already operate in our community. This allowed us to refresh our knowledge and make sure that all our experts have the same information package. Thanks to flexible access to the platform, each person could independently plan their implementation, so that they would not disturb their daily duties.

Each person who completes the training receives an evaluation questionnaire. We want onboarding to be a long-term solution, but we realize that today’s perfect solution in a few months may not be good enough. Thanks to the surveys and opinions of our recruiters, we can monitor the effectiveness of the process and optimize it.

Summary

Designing onboarding for office workers and remote workers is definitely different from each other in many respects. We feel that we have managed to solve this problem without sacrificing quality and a sense of belonging to the company. Onboarding online allows not only to automate and simplify the implementation process to the company, but most importantly – it adjusts to the needs and lifestyle of remote employees.

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