What is the remote onboarding process? Hiring remote developers is a fantastic business decision, nearshoring and IT staff augmentation keep gaining traction when it comes to coding solutions. Still, while the interview process is always a challenge, many underestimate the importance of the first few weeks of a new hire’s journey within a company.
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In fact, 49.7% of managers have stated that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, new hire onboarding is among the most difficult challenges of remote hiring. Additionally, it’s been shown that the correct procedure for onboarding remote employees can improve employee retention by 82%.
Considering this insight, it’s easy to see why conducting a proper onboarding process it’s crucial. Keep reading to learn how to onboard remote employees!
6 tips for onboarding remote employees
1. Take into account the pre-boarding experience.
While the onboarding process is the key element to improve upon, the pre-boarding procedures are part of it as well. The time between a new hire accepting the offer and starting their first day of official work at the company can make all the difference when it comes to an optimal employee retention rate.
Don’t keep them second-guessing or waiting around for instructions. Instead, let them know exactly what steps to take and what to expect before their first day at the (remote) office.
This can include sending all new hires their credentials before they start working, setting up a payment plan in advance, giving them work-from-home advice for developers, and familiarizing them with the employee guidelines.
The process can feature whatever steps work best for your company and your new remote development team, so don’t be afraid to create your own signature pre-boarding experience.
2. Assign each team of new hires an onboarding manager or welcome buddy.
Let’s be honest, nobody enjoys being the newbie on a team. This feeling happens even if there’s a group of new hires during the remote onboarding process. That’s why introducing a buddy system can help to answer the question of how to onboard remote developers.
A welcome buddy or onboarding manager can guide the new hire/s through the remote onboarding process and provide assistance for their daily tasks. Ideally, this person works within the development area or already is one of your company’s remote developers.
3. Have a training plan ready and walk them through it.
Hiring remote developers and not training them properly will only mess with your employee retention rate and delay all project deadlines the IT department might be working on. This is why you always need to have a training plan ready for each new hire and guide them through it as soon as they begin the remote onboarding process.
Because online training can feel more challenging compared to all in-person interactions, you should schedule a quick call with the developer/s to explain how they will be trained for their position. This training plan can be more or less structured, but you should still send them a copy of the schedule to help them know what to expect from their first days at the company.
4. Organize virtual social activities for them to meet the rest of the team.
If you’re wondering how to build trust with your new remote development team, ice-breaking activities will almost always be the answer. In order for your new hires to properly communicate with you and the rest of your team, it’s important for both parties to know and understand one another.
The best way to go about this is through a series of virtual social activities where new remote developers can get to meet other people from the company during the remote onboarding process. These social activities can include anything from weekly online after office hours, daily standups, a quick introductory call, and virtual retreats.
5. Provide employee handbooks, training guides, and FAQ documents.
While onboarding remote developers, it might be tempting to just tell your new hires all the information they might need over a virtual meeting instead of sending them detailed paperwork with multiple documents. This can often be seen as an easier option for team managers and as a less intimidating way to introduce new employees to the company.
Still, every new hire needs a copy of the employee handbook, training guide, and FAQ sheet. Of course, this will help them during their first day of work, but it will also be a source of information they can consult whenever they have any questions related to the remote onboarding process instead of sending you a message via Slack.
6. Schedule regular check-ins.
Check-ins are crucial for building trust and maintaining open communication between you and your new remote development team. Ideally, these check-ins should happen not only when you’re onboarding remote developers, but when you’re training them as well.
A check-in can be as simple as a quick message via Slack or as personalized as a one-on-one call to answer any questions and give them feedback on their progress so far. The ideal time interval for these updates should be between one or two weeks.
This will give the remote developers enough independence during the remote onboarding process while avoiding leaving them on their own while still in the training stage.
Are you looking to hire nearshore developers in Latin America?
At Next Idea Tech, we understand that remote hiring can be challenging, even if you already have a proper remote onboarding process plan. Vetting, interviewing, and pre-boarding can be extremely time-consuming and expensive if not done right.
Not to mention it could also hurt the quality of your remote development team. That’s why we created our very own signature vetting process and decided to aid both the new hires and our clients during the onboarding procedures. Contact us today to learn more about our IT staff augmentation services!
Remote onboarding process FAQ
What is remote onboarding?
Remote onboarding is the process of incorporating a new remote employee into a company.
Can a good remote onboarding process improve employee retention?
Yes! It’s been shown that the correct procedure for onboarding remote employees can improve employee retention by 82%.
How can I improve my company's remote onboarding experience?
You can improve the remote onboarding process of your company by establishing clear communication channels, implementing a buddy system, scheduling regular check-ins, and having a training plan ready.