Bringing someone new on board represents a critical time for any organisation, but especially when they are working remotely. Oyster Recruitment recently placed Louise* with a local business reporting to Keith* a Finance Director (FD) and they have offered us an insight to the positives and possible pitfalls.
Keith said the first thing to get in place was the technology, they organised for a laptop and monitor to be delivered to Louise the week before her start date with access to Microsoft Teams without which they could not have contemplated a remote start. It allowed Keith to train Louise on a 1:1 basis. It was also a perfect tool to see each other face to face via video call and to share screens. Louise said onboarding remotely did feel a strange way start in a new company, but it has all gone well a month later.
They also used ‘RemotePC’ so Keith can see her screen in full and give her guidance on how to use the systems and continue her training. RemotePC seems to be a better function than Microsoft Teams offering less logging in and out to share screens. Keith commented “things would have been very different without these systems in place” and Louise said, “it was a great way to quickly show my FD a query and to get it resolved”.
Being accessible to your new starter is imperative Keith said “Onboarding remotely does mean that when training on systems you have to invest more time as you need to walk the new employee through everything and it’s not as easy as just quickly popping over to someone’s desk to help them, but they can still be offered the help they need remotely.”
The first day included online induction training courses such as Health and Safety, Health and Environment, Fire Safety, Display Screen Equipment Awareness and Slips Trips and Falls. Once remotely completed Louise sent the certificates to be saved to her file for future reference.
The new starter pack was completed online, however the HMRC Starter Checklist is not an online form and as Louise does not have a printer at home (most employees don’t) instead she made a note of the details required and sent them to Keith via Excel.
Keith said you just need to find new ways round things, “I have taken time to improve processes and we will be going paperless after this. I guess the success and smoothness of this process will depend from person to person depending on how IT savvy they are, they can’t be afraid of change and must be adaptable”.
He added that “Introductions to the rest of the team was a smooth process as Microsoft Teams is easy to use to hold video calls. I can’t video call the whole team at once as I have a big team and you don’t see everyone at the same time on screen, so I hold smaller group meetings of 2 or 3 people at once, usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays”.
Louise feels the onboarding went well, by her 2nd day she was involved in the remote team meetings and met the different teams individually to get to know them and build a remote rapport. She feels that this way of meeting her colleagues is a better way to be introduced rather than meeting each person face to face in the office. As we all know you usually only get a quick handshake and a hello then get back to work but having to hold a video call means you get more out of it and actually get to know each person.
Louise had used Microsoft Teams before but not video, she said “It’s been really nice to be able to see everyone which helped me to feel part of the team”. It helped to build a rapport with her colleagues and so far there has only been 2 days since she started that she hasn’t spoken to someone, most days, she speaks to at least 1 member of the team.
Louise said onboarding with other companies she has joined in the past wasn’t as good, she didn’t feel that she had been told everything, this time she felt like she has been fully informed. Remote onboarding is definitely here to stay for a while and this example using technology shows it can be a positive experience for both your new team member, the hiring manager and the wider team in the business.
If you would like to discuss any of our articles on Remote Recruitment/ Interviewing and Onboarding please do call Karen or Helen at Oyster Recruitment on 03333 443034 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Name changed for confidentiality