With its unparalleled efficiency, virtual onboarding has rapidly become the go-to option for HR departments during the pandemic and, increasingly, into the post-covid era. Both the approach and the technology are still innovative, so following a few basic steps can help companies get the most out of their upgraded onboarding experience.
1) Put Somebody In Charge
Whether you’re looking to fill a high-level permanent director’s role, or need to ensure a warehouse line is running with enough agency-employed temporary contractors, having a designated onboarding manager can save a lot of hassle. To optimise this, approach virtual onboarding in the same way as project management, with important dates, meetings, goals, and aims set out from the start.
What to do
Ask employees within your HR/onboarding team to volunteer for the role, and make sure that there is adequate training and preparation in place. Alternatively, consider working with a managed recruitment provider such as Blue Octopus. We can manage the entire talent acquisition and onboarding process for you, supporting your in-house resources and helping you save time and money along the way.
2) Get Digitally Savvy
Whether we like it or not, the workplace is becoming increasingly digital. Nearly all companies have struggled to make the shift, but those that have learned how to overcome digital challenges are the ones that have gained a competitive edge during the pandemic. Common barriers are inadequate Internet connections, outdated and inefficient hardware, and employees with inadequate training and support to use new technologies and strategies. Thankfully, today’s virtual onboarding software is so intuitive, and the systems so accessible, that these problems are easily overcome, especially now that the social pressures of the pandemic have eased.
What to do
Investment in digital training is always worthwhile. When selecting software, choose a company that offers a full support package and customisable ongoing training.
3) Think Ahead
As virtual onboarding is conducted digitally, it can be easy to forget to prepare for the arrival of a real-life employee in your workplace. Virtual onboarding can take care of some training, initial orientation, and paperwork, but whoever is taking the lead in the virtual onboarding should plan for basics such as ensuring that the equipment is set up, and that the new hire has good real-world introductions and integration into their team, meeting the people they will be working with.
What to do
Virtual onboarding software can guide HR employees as well as new arrivals, so ensure that the functionality of your onboarding software covers the whole journey.
4) Space Things Out
Nobody wants to be overwhelmed by an avalanche of paperwork on their first day of work, and the digital world is no different. Virtual onboarding platforms can offer a comprehensive range of applications, such as pre-joining tasks, training exercises, and requests for documentation – which can be intimidating and overwhelming for a new employee away from the physical supervision and support of a line manager or HR colleague in the same room. To make employees feel comfortable during virtual onboarding and self-paced learning, space the training materials out so that the candidate can complete them at their own pace.
What to do
Virtual onboarding software for recruitment will enable you to select the required deadlines each stage of the process. Chat features will also help you to keep in touch with new employees to see whether the pace is right.
5) Choose The Right Software
When it comes to virtual onboarding software, there are an increasing number of options. The ideal type will depend upon the size, requirements, and budget of the organisation. There are basic varieties covering one or more aspects of the process, or comprehensive systems that immerse the employee in the organisation before they arrive – deploying a range of e-learning, virtual classroom, and one-to-one induction tools. Whichever option is right for your company, it is advisable to ensure that the software is flexible so that it can be tailored to your unique requirements.
What to do
Ask lots of questions of your vendor! A good recruitment software provider will be able to design a solution that is an ideal fit for your budget, requirements, and cultural ethos.
At Blue Octopus, we are here to help companies make the most of digital solutions to improve and streamline their onboarding processes. For advice about virtual onboarding software, training, or simply optimising the experience for your HR team and new hires, please call today.