Ultimate Checklist for Onboarding New Remote Hires

Published: Friday, November 6th, 2020

Approaching the second last month in 2020, we’re asking ourselves, how different will 2021 be? We interviewed some of our team a couple of months ago on onboarding remotely and how they found it - from both the employee and employer perspective. While it may be wishful thinking that normality will resume and the global pandemic forgotten about, the closer we approach 2021, it’s become more apparent that it may not be all that different. For that reason, we’ve created our ultimate checklist for onboarding new remote hires - based on our own experiences!

1. Send IT hardware well before their start date

Once you’ve made your hire, make sure your HR have liaised with the IT team on ordering all hardware's like laptops, monitors, mouse, keyboard etc. An important one to remember is a good headphone set, all remote workers will need them for virtual meetings. Once this is done, organise a call between IT and the newcomer to set up any emails, software's or security needed.

Top tip: Send everything out a week beforehand so the new starter can get settled and started without any glitches on their first day!

2. Welcome them in (virtual) style!

It’s pretty standard for companies to invite newbies to a company lunch when they first join. Covid-19 has put a stop to any in person interactions or welcome parties, so you’ve got to put your thinking caps on! If you’ve got company swag, make sure to send some out, so that, although they’re not in the office, they feel part of the team. Another idea is to send a welcome gift like personalised cookies, some wellness treats or an Uber eats voucher to treat themselves to a nice first day lunch!

Top tip: Include a personalised welcome note from their manager!

3. A game of guess who - create an org chart!

You know when you start your first day and you’re introduced to loads of people, and your biggest task is remembering who’s who? Well, it’s a lot harder when you’re only ever meeting someone through a thumbnail screen! Create an extensive organisation chart of who’s who and their reporting lines. This makes it easier for the newcomer to grasp who they need to contact if they have any issues or questions.

Top tip: Introduce the new employee to the team with a welcome email, this gives team members the opportunity to reach out and introduce themselves!

4. Organise team meetings

While it’s difficult to create any rapport or relationship over a screen, we’ve got to work with what we have! Organise some 1 on 1 meetings with the team members most likely to work and communicate most with the new starter.

Top tip: If you’re the HR Manager or the new employees’ boss, include yourself in the first 5 minutes to do an introduction between everyone. It breaks the ice and starts the conversation of easily.

5. Make weekly check ins for the first month

It’s a good idea to set aside some time each week to check in with the new hire to see how they’re settling and adjusting to their new work situation. They don’t need to be long meetings - a quick catch up over a cup of tea or coffee is enough to support, guide and connect.

Top tip: While the meetings may be short, make them worthwhile. Be present and come prepared with questions of your own and with any company or department updates.

Onboarding should always be people focused. In the digital age it is new territory for everyone, but the new team member should be at the core of every consideration. First day nerves are enough, without having to worry about learning new software or trying to set up a laptop from your kitchen.