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Virtual Onboarding

​The COVID-19 pandemic has caused employers to switch up their hiring and onboarding practices. Whether you are hiring employees who will work remotely or welcoming new staff while you work from home yourself, the circumstances are quite different from what many of us are used to. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth process.

Step 1. Use Technology Effectively
Step 2. Design an Orientation Schedule
Step 3. Communicate Often
Step 4. Focus on Engagement
Step 5. Follow Up with New Hires

For discussion of each step, read the How-to Guide
How to Establish a Virtual Onboarding Program
SHRM How-to Guide | Spring 2020

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The onboarding process is HR's opportunity to create an experience that energizes new employees. Individuals who feel welcomed, prepared and appreciated in their first week are more likely to stay and be committed to the organization.
Take Care When Onboarding Remote Employees
SHRM | Feb 2022

With the number of gig workers and remote employees growing since the pandemic, Matthew Merker, research manager, talent acquisition and strategy at Needham, Mass.-based International Data Corporation, said companies are focusing on what kind of experience they want a remote worker to have during the transition period between when a worker is hired and when they actually start working for a company.
Successful Remote Onboarding Is More than Paperwork
SHRM | Jul 2021

Most organizations have transitioned to remote work in response to the coronavirus pandemic, making completely virtual onboarding of new hires a necessity. But providing a superb onboarding experience virtually can be a challenge for employers doing it for the first time.
Virtual Onboarding of Remote Workers More Important Than Ever
SHRM | Apr 2020

The five-day approach not only helps new hires stay more engaged but also reduces some of the stress for facilitators and their production help as they juggle speakers, videos, slide decks, breakout groups, and polls.
7 Steps to Creating a Virtual Employee Onboarding Program
LinkedIn Talent Blog | Apr 2020

Establish a "meet-and-greet" roadmap: One that stretches out several weeks can help connect new employees with other individuals they should know to build their internal networks while remote. This also helps them learn more about the company by talking to employees in other departments and gain a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues.
Virtual onboarding: How to welcome new hires while fully remote
The Enterprisers Project | Apr 2020

The average new hire has 54 activities to complete during their onboarding experience. The sheer number of activities could slow down an employee's ramp-up period, which could make it tough for them to learn necessary skills and tasks related to their jobs. Remember, if an onboarding program hampers the employee's ability to perform their job, it will likely cause stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. That's a surefire recipe for early turnover.
How to onboard new employees when you're all working from home
Fast Company | Mar 2020

If you already have an onboarding process in place, you'll want to modify your content to be accessible for virtual workers. Some pieces of content you'll want to rework include: welcome binders; onboarding presentations; and instructional eLearning.
Virtual Onboarding Checklist For Remote Employees
Workest | Mar 2020

Related Reading

6 Things About Virtual Onboarding That Worry New Hires
SHRM | Jun 2020

Tips for Employee Orientation During COVID-19
SHRM | Apr 2020


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.