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Whether it is walking into the new office to find that the receptionist has no idea who is starting, or waking up for their first day with no logins or facetime booked with their line manager, it doesn’t give the best impression of your company and the standards you adhere to. In fact, it could be igniting a chain reaction that causes a third of new employees to start looking for a new job in the first 12 months of joining.

If creating a successful onboarding process didn’t have enough components to deal with before Covid-19, a lot more has been added and virtual onboarding is a relatively new obstacle for 90% of companies globally. It is a companywide effort that requires consistent refinement and support to be a success. What small changes can be made immediately to make the time and monetary investments you have made into your hiring process worthwhile?

How involved are your teams in the hiring and onboarding process?

There can often be an obvious disconnect between new starters and the rest of their new team. Before they have even walked in the door, neither knows much about the other and it can cause an immediate rift. Did you update their colleagues they would be starting? Do they know their experience and where they are coming from? Do they even know their name?!

 Time is precious for everyone but booking in 15 minutes on your new employees first day so they can have dedicated facetime with their colleagues creates a bond that is essential for productivity, especially with remote working. It also demonstrates that you yourself as the employer, are excited for them to start and be a part of your companies’ journey.

Small changes make a big difference

Virtual onboarding processes have been keeping hiring efforts moving forward throughout this global pandemic. It is safe to say that these should no longer be thought of as a temporary measure, but a long-term adjustment to hiring. Many companies have declared they will be sticking to remote working for the foreseeable, so it is now the time to make those small changes a permanent fixture. From my recent discussion with Becky Neale, here are some tips you can implement to ensure your new hires do not become part of the statistic mentioned before:

  • Ensure the line manager invests time to carve out a full onboarding plan for the first day, week and month of joining.
  • Who are they going to need to meet/video call with to successfully start their role? Book those in ahead of the start date!
  • Give the new employee names of those they will be working with directly so they can connect prior to starting.
  • HR will naturally have an input into the onboarding process but do not leave it all to them. They will not have the same technical insight and knowledge of the new starter’s role as well as the line manager.
  • Virtual onboarding is revealing the cracks in a new starters first day. Do they have their laptop, logins and documentations ready to go?
  • Utilise your recruiter! Let them take some of the stress away by actively supporting the candidate throughout the onboarding process.

How incredible would it be if your new hire came back from their first day and thought, ‘Wow, they really have their s**t together and I cannot wait for day 2 and what is to come.’ With virtual onboarding, line managers are no longer able to wing it and hope for the best. There are no offices or tours to distract a new starter while you haphazardly pull together an onboarding plan or ship them off to different departments while you try to find some time. They will need to have everything ready for day one.

There is enough doubt and uncertainty amongst new and existing employees with regard to the changes Covid-19 is making to the workplace. A new candidate is taking their own leap of faith joining you, whether they were in a position prior to starting or not. Don’t let a candidate’s first impression when starting their journey with you be anything less than a brilliant representation of how you value your people.