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Top tips to onboard new staff during lockdown

by Sellick Partnership | 21 April 2020

It is safe to say that none of us have faced a situation like the one we are currently in.  Whole businesses have had to move over to remote working which is unearthing new challenges daily. One of these challenges is interviewing and onboarding new staff when a need arises.

Download our guide to onboarding staff remotely here

As an organisation you will likely have to improvise to make onboarding work for you, but there is no reason why you should have to put recruitment on hold because of the current situation.

Video interviewing makes finding the right candidates much easier, but what can businesses do to onboard new staff once a successful offer has been accepted? Here are our tips on successfully onboarding new staff during lockdown.

Onboarding is not a one size fits all approach

Each business will have very different requirements when it comes to onboarding new staff, so it is important to understand what these are prior to interviewing. Take time to evaluate what the key onboarding steps you need to take are and then think about how these can be done remotely. Consider things like access to key systems and technology, important information new staff need to be made aware of and any other steps you would usually take when a new employee joins your business.

Streamline your process

You might think you need to make your whole onboarding process virtual, but that is not the case. You might want to think about streamlining this to make it easier on you – and your new employees. Think about what will make the process as easy and quick as possible and remove any barriers to this. Remember, anything you don’t get to do now can always be picked back up when normal service resumes.

Educate your senior management team

This is vital. If your management team are not aware of your expectations when onboarding remotely then it simply wont work. You need to work with your managers and ensure they are equipped with everything they need to ensure your new staff are onboarded successfully. For example, if you have new staff joining a team you might have to give that manager more time to spend with them and reallocate tasks elsewhere. It is important to think about what you can do to support your managers to ensure new staff get the onboarding experience they deserve.

Utilise technology (if you can)

Technology is likely going to be your friend when onboarding new staff during lockdown. Simple platforms like Zoom can really help you to facilitate inductions and setting up screen shares and virtual training with new staff will really help to get them settled in and working effectively.

Organise the right equipment

You also need to think about what technology your staff need in advance. Getting laptops, mobile phones and any other equipment out to new employees for their starting date is vitally important. You should also ensure you are on hand to help them set everything up on the morning of their first day.

Set up the right systems

There is nothing worse than starting a new job and finding out that your email isn’t working, or you don’t have access to the system, so making sure this is all ready to go before the start date is vital.

You might therefore want to think about setting a start time a little alter on day one, so you can personally check that everything is set up and working. This then gives you a chance to get everything ready, so the new employee is ready to start straight away with no interruptions.

Stay in touch

Talk to your new staff regularly and offer help where needed. It is likely they will have lots of questions, and they may not want to ask them all at once, so checking in throughout the day will give new staff the opportunity to ask things when they need to.

Make it personal

Starting a new job is stressful at the best of times, so doing it remotely is likely to be even more unnerving. It is therefore vital that you make time to help new staff get set up, and ensure you introduce them to the team they will be working with. 

We would advise that yet up a morning call for when they are due to start on day one and talk through any important information they may need. You should also draw up a schedule for their first week, detailing any virtual calls or training that you would like them to do, and listing key contact numbers and anything else that you feel will be useful in their first few days/weeks.

Highlight the good stuff!

The fact your hiring during this time is great, but you want your new staff to feel wanted and part of the team, so you might want to spend some time talking about all the good incentives, benefits and fun stuff that you do. Invite your new staff to any virtual team socials you have set up, make sure they are included in any team WhatsApp Group or email chains and include them as much as possible. This will really help them get to know you and the team and will make the whole virtual onboarding process a pleasant experience.

Can we help?... 

Are you currently looking for staff and struggling to streamline your onboarding process? We have already helped a number of businesses successfully onboard staff in the current climate and we would be happy to help you. Get in touch with our team today and we would be more than happy to offer you some tailored advice.

Or, if you simply want help finding candidates for your team, let us know!