Virtual backgrounds? Online introductions? Cutting through the awkwardness of knowing a new employee through a computer?
You thought you’d at least have some training before having to do this.
Sure, there has been talk floating around the rumor mill for a couple of years now about working from home, but as somebody in a hiring position, you never thought your job would be taken totally remote.
Virtual interviews certainly aren’t a new concept, but onboarding? Now that, that’s something you don’t have experience with. Afterall, there are still so many things rooted in physical presence when onboarding a new person. Handshakes have been replaced with waves and elbow bumps (P.S. do you know why we shake hands when we meet someone?!), physical signatures have gone digital, and equipment is now being shipped through the mail to its rightful new owner.
While COVID has disrupted our normalcy and forced us to change our patterns and our daily lives, it comes with a certain kind of comfort – one that we tend to seek, knowingly, or not – a sense of understanding and patience with our peers, our loved-ones, our colleagues. So, while you may feel like Christopher Columbus navigating the unmapped seas, know that there are a thousand ships backing you up – one of which, is AquantUs (hey, we don’t have the word Aqua in our name for no reason!).
Being the liaison between candidate and hiring manager for some time now (and having onboarded multiple employees 100% remotely), we’re quite familiar with getting to know somebody through some sort of digital channel. Keep reading to learn how you, too, can become a pro!
Right now, there’s no such thing as talking too much. As a new employee, it’s already nerve-wracking enough to start a new job, meet new people, learn about your boss – but to do that over a screen (?!) that takes it to a whole ‘nother level!
By opening the doors to communication, you are showing your new hire that yes, you understand, and yes, it’s okay to ring when they have a question. This will iron out any first-week kinks and awkwardness and open the door to communication.
Hit the record button
Consider taking some time to create a virtual training, orientation, and onboarding program. Platforms such as Zoom and BombBomb have made it easy to record your screen and add audio to it. By recording yourself walking through programs, timelines, policies, etc., you will not only have something for your new employees to reference, should they need it, but you’ll also have it for future employees for when you return to the office! (Saving time for Future You!)
Create a detailed plan, but know when to slow it down
I don’t need to say it because we know you’ve heard it a thousand times: we’re living in unprecedented times. Everything has come to a standstill and we’re all trying to do many jobs at once by taking care of the kids, working alongside our housemates, etc.
A little bit of understanding will go a long way here. Provide your new employee with a detailed plan, but know that they may have a lot of other background noise to handle. Luckily since you’ve overcommunicated (right?!) your new employee will feel comfortable sharing their WFH situation and won’t leave you in the dark!
Have a team happy hour
This one is pretty straightforward. Since we’re not in the office, it’s important to go above and beyond to help your new hire feel like a real employee! Consider setting up a team meeting so everybody can get to know the new addition!
Embrace the experience!
Like it or not, at some point, we probably will be working from home much more. Use this time as practice to become an expert at it!