Remote Hiring and Onboarding: A Necessity for the New Normal

Mitratech Holdings, Inc
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With the rise of hybrid work environments – and remote work becoming the norm in several industries – organizations and their HR departments have had to revise their onboarding methods.

There are several differences between traditional, in-person onboarding and remote hiring and onboarding. The lack of physical interaction between new employees and their peers and managers may seem daunting at first. Without face-to-face contact, it can be difficult to get fully acquainted with an organization’s environment and company culture.

Without the opportunity to spend time with team members, it can be hard to understand expectations for the new role and all-too-easy to feel like an outsider.

However, it’s possible to still ensure smooth and efficient onboarding with the right strategies and tools in place. Effective virtual onboarding can help your new hires feel connected to their roles, teams, and company. So let’s take a look at some benefits, tips and tricks that can help your organization make the most of remote onboarding and ensure your new hires are happy and well-adjusted to their new roles.

The importance of effective remote hiring and onboarding

First and foremost, why should you consider remote hiring at all? Well, the fact of the matter is, you may not have a choice. Remote or flexible work is becoming a minimum requirement for many workers adjusting to life after the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to hire the best talent out there, having an effective remote onboarding process should be something you consider sooner rather than later.

Benefits of remote hiring and onboarding

Attract top talent

Restricting your hiring to a certain geographical location (or locations) can greatly limit your choices. Remote hiring is a fantastic way to increase diversity in the workplace, which in turn has great advantages of its own. Hiring from anywhere means you can reach rural areas as a technology company, or connect with talent in metropolitan areas despite being located in a rural region.

The fact that you don’t have to compromise and can hire from a larger talent pool is enormously beneficial, and remote onboarding equips you with the ability to have a truly global team unlike ever before, with the perspectives, ideas and creativity of people from all around the world.

Save money

As with the move to many things digital, remote onboarding can actually save you from spending on pricey on-premise orientation programs. Expenses such as hiring dedicated trainers for each new employee? A thing of the past.

Virtual training can be facilitated by the HR department and still hit all the right notes. And as is the case with remote work in general, you can save money on office expenses such as setting up new desks and workspaces – all you need is to have a good internet signal and the essential resources for new hires.

Increased flexibility

After COVID-19, employees in various industries have grown accustomed to and prefer flexible work conditions.  According to USA Today, remote workers typically save about $4,000 a year by working from home. And, according to WFHomie, 80% of workers believe remote options help them take care of their mental health. No wonder the return to office doesn’t appeal to everyone!

Remote onboarding offers your new hires a level of flexibility and convenience that’s impossible to create with a traditional, on-premise onboarding process. According to a survey by Upwork, 68% of hiring managers say remote work is going more smoothly now than when they first made the shift to at the start of the pandemic.

Considerations to keep in mind

As can be expected, remote onboarding comes with a few considerations to take into account. 37% of remote workers don’t feel connected to their peers, and onboarding can play a large role in making your employees feel comfortable and supported. Try to think of it from their perspective, and ensure your onboarding process helps them feel like a member of the team (and organization).

Jacky Cohen, chief people officer at the global HR tech company, Topia, believes that communication is key.

“The pandemic has really exacerbated the need for connection,” says Cohen. “The moment the offer letter is signed, we make sure we are in touch, whether that’s via email or phone, so people already feel that they’re part of the team.”

Regular communication is also a good way to take note of how your employees are feeling day-to-day. According to an in-depth study by Deloitte, well-being was the top-ranked trend even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 80% of nearly 9,000 respondents ranking well-being as being important or very important to their organization’s success.

As they elaborate,

“Against that backdrop, when COVID-19 took hold, the crisis cast new light on the importance of well-being and made us acutely aware of the consequences when well-being is put at risk. Organizations took quick action to redirect resources towards making work safe and keeping workers healthy: moving workers into remote work arrangements, implementing testing and contact tracing strategies for onsite workers, and establishing new programs for emergency medical leave, childcare and eldercare support, and physical, mental, and financial health.”

Remote work can be a key factor in ensuring your employees’ well-being. However, when considering remote onboarding, keep in mind that you want a collaborative platform to ensure all of your employees and managers are on the same page. It’s crucial that your employees, new and old, have access to the same information both within and across departments.

Have you implemented a remote onboarding process yet? Ineffective virtual onboarding can lead to more than feelings of disconnect – unhappy employees lead to lower employee retention rates and cost your organization valuable time and money.

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