In recent years onboarding has updated and replaced employee orientation. Where orientation is an event, onboarding is a process, and a critical process. You probably have a solid onboarding plan in place for your onsite staff. With more teams working remotely you may need to adjust your plan to suit the needs of your telecommuting newcomers. There are two phases of onboarding. Phase I is the time leading up to the employee’s start date, while Phase II begins on their first day on the job. Both phases have several critical steps to ensure a successful onboarding. I’ve outlined an onboarding plan below. Of course, you will need to adjust this to your specific situation, but this will give you a head start.

Phase I

Phase I starts well before the first interview with the job description. Your job description should be thorough and clear. Prospective employees should know exactly what their role will be and what will be expected of them. This should include hours they are expected to work, goals, and accountability procedures. Reinforce this during interviews. Ask questions to make sure that the applicant has a complete understanding of their future role.

There are several items to check off after a candidate accepts your offer, such as:

Signed Contract
HR and Payroll Forms (W-4, Insurance, I-9, etc.)
Legal Forms (NDAs, etc.)
Issue Employee ID
Employee Handbook
Access to Necessary Systems
Deliver Hardware (Computer, Printer, Phone, etc.)
Setup Company Accounts (Email, Zoom, etc.)
Welcome Kit (Company Swag)

It is vital that you get the needed tools in your new employee’s hands before their first day. This reduces stress and gets them ready to hit the ground running.

Phase II

You’ve done all of the groundwork and now it is your new employee’s first day on the job. Start by introducing them to the team and make them feel welcomed. Hold a remote group meeting with all of the team members solely for the purpose of getting to know each other. Remote employees have much less interaction with each other, and it is important that you put processes in place for them to get to know their co-workers. It’s also a good idea to assign a mentor to help your new staffer integrate with your culture.

After the introductory meeting, schedule a meeting with the new team member and their immediate supervisor. The supervisor can reinforce expectations and answer any questions the employee may have. The supervisor should also emphasize the importance of communication with distance-based employees and that their virtual door is always open. Then follow up consistently on expectations, instructions, goals and job feedback.

Lastly, over the course of the next few weeks schedule time to introduce your new staffer to department heads or key members in other areas of the business. For example, they need to know whom to contact in HR for benefits questions. Getting them familiar with people in every department will help facilitate their overall integration into your company.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.