How Does Remote Onboarding Work?

The Milestone Team February 19, 2024
How does remote onboarding work

Onboarding is your new hires’ first experience with your organization. A positive, efficient, and thorough onboarding sets employees up for success. On the other hand, clunky processes can leave new hires confused and ill-equipped to be productive within your organization. 

However, the current digital landscape complicates existing onboarding frustrations further. If you’re rethinking onboarding for the remote work era, you’re on the right track. The good news is that outsourced HR for startups can give your process the refresher it needs to support your new hires. In this blog, we cover key differences between traditional and remote onboarding processes and include some exciting remote onboarding ideas, too.

How Does Remote Onboarding Work for Employees?

What is the onboarding process for startups? Onboarding is the process of employees officially joining your team and learning the specific policies and procedures of your organization; for remote workers, this entire process happens online. Just like in traditional onboarding processes, remote employees should:

  • Accept the offer of employment.
  • Complete new hire paperwork (tax forms, employee contract, direct deposit instructions, etc.)
  • Meet the team.
  • Connect with mentor(s).
  • Gain access to necessary software.
  • Learn the company culture.
  • Begin training.

In addition, remote workers will have to navigate the following during their early days on the job:

  • Acquiring equipment necessary for the job
  • Gaining access to communication software
  • Learning cybersecurity best practices

Onboarding for remote jobs and work-from-home positions can feel difficult when you can’t check in with new employees face-to-face. For an audit to see if your remote onboarding process is as effective as possible, reach out to our team.

How Does Online Onboarding Work for Employees?

While onboarding an employee online needs to have many of the same outcomes as the in-person process, the steps are different. It may seem obvious that online processes are different, but there are many small things your organization needs to get right.

For example, all of your communication with new employees will be through digital methods. You’ll start interacting with candidates through their personal email, which will then need to switch to your organization’s account. It’s important to do this early in the process because you’ll be sending sensitive information back and forth. This is different than in an office setting, in which new hires can receive and return documents in-person.

Another example is connecting new hires with your current team members. Digital interactions can be challenging, so it’s important to schedule additional one-on-one meetings to build relationships faster. This is especially important for introducing new employees to mentors, as these relationships are crucial for building skills and confidence.

Training can also be more complicated through digital communication. While the immediate feedback of face-to-face sessions is often missing, you can also leverage digital tools for an immersive training experience. Software walkthroughs, simulators, and regular check-ins can help ensure your new remote employees don’t miss a beat. 

Not sure how to train a new employee remotely? Don’t worry. Our team of experts is just a phone call away!

How Long Does Online Onboarding Take?

The initial steps of online onboarding could be completed as fast as a few days. From the accepted offer to filing new hire paperwork, clear communication and timely responses from both parties make the process go quickly. 

However, it’s important to note that onboarding doesn’t end with tax forms. In fact, LinkedIn reports that it can take three to six months for a new employee to reach competency in their role. In other words, new hires are going to need assistance for months after the initial onboarding steps are complete. During this time, employees should complete training, begin independently completing tasks, and participate in scheduled check-ins as their competency is expected to grow.

If your onboarding processes end before your new hires reach full productivity, you could be causing inefficiencies in your organization. It’s time for a change. Connect with our experts to take the first step.  

How Do I Prepare for Remote Onboarding?

The following remote onboarding tips can help HR teams improve the process:

  • Follow up frequently.
  • Communicate cybersecurity best practices early on.
  • Create interactive meetings that involve and excite new hires.
  • Equip new hires with the necessary software and hardware.
  • Schedule check-ins to gauge progress.
  • Be open to feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.

For new hires, these onboarding tips for new employees can help you feel prepared to take on your role:

  • Ask questions early in the process to prevent complications later on.
  • Complete new hire paperwork in a timely manner.
  • Ensure your workspace has strong internet connectivity.

What To Expect for Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding can be challenging for both employers and employees. Mismatched expectations, technical difficulties, and cultural development cause difficulties for many organizations. For smaller businesses and startups with fewer resources, it can be even harder to overcome these obstacles.

That’s where outsourced HR services come in. These services, also called fractional HR services, can supplement some or all of your human resource needs. This includes onboarding process audits and over-hauls, which could be your organization’s silver bullet for improved productivity. Find out more about what HR services can be outsourced.

Simplify Remote Onboarding with Milestone

Onboarding remotely is full of challenges, but that doesn’t mean your startup has to experience them. By partnering with an outsourced HR services provider like Milestone, you can streamline the process so new hires are able and excited to hit the ground running.

Our experts know what it takes to set organizations up for success in both the startup space and in remote and hybrid work models. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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