On-boarding Remote Employees Sucks! But, it doesn’t have to

Hiring people you are unable to meet in person is a real challenge brought on by the restrictions of COVID-19 and the global expansion of the workforce. How have you evolved to meet these changes as a hiring manager?

Here are a couple of things you can do when onboarding a new remote hire that will make a big difference to them and will reflect back on you positively as their manager.

A Welcome Text and Phone Call

When your new hire has accepted and signed the offer, text them, and then call and congratulate them by phone. Let them know you're happy they are joining, and you look forward to working with them. Ask them if they have any questions about the team, and tell them what to expect during the onboarding process.

Explain the New Onboard Process

Onboarding new hires during the pandemic has put an enormous strain on companies and their Human Resource, IT, Operations, and support teams. Find out for yourself by asking your partners what the onboarding process is today, because it may have changed a lot since you joined the company.

Share the next steps in the onboarding process with the new hire, so they will know you care about their experience. If it's a role that usually comes with an office, entertainment budget, conference attendance, and business class travel, be up front that these perks are now off the table because of COVID-19.

Be Transparent about Benefit Changes

Seasoned leaders have worked really hard to attain these benefits, so discovering later that they are off the table may leave them feeling like they are not being respected professionally. Failure to be transparent about benefits befitting seniority will leave them resentful as a leader.

The benefits of being transparent with new hires and making time to build rapport as they onboard include:

  • Showing your excitement about them joining your team reassures them and validates their decision to join your company over other choices they were considering.

  • Knowing you care enough to call them personally will lead to a smoother transition into their new position.

  • If you develop an affinity early on in your relationship they will be more likely to stay with you longer.

  • Spending time laying the groundwork for your collaboration and designing the context in which they will do their work will make a great impression and save you from misunderstandings later on.

As a former leader at Facebook, Apple, and Yahoo! building global product design teams, I’ve interviewed thousands of people and hired hundreds of exceptional people with subject matter expertise and great leadership skills. It's the jewel of the job to provide meaningful work for other people.

The Benefit of Setting Remote Hires Up for Success

  1. If you set a new hire up for success right from the very beginning, they will know you care about their happiness and success, making it hard for them to imagine working anywhere else.

  2. Your power lies mostly with your team(s). They are the ambassadors of your brand of leadership. By building trust early, they will reward you with the honest, timely, exceptional project work that’s needed to drive the bottom line.

  3. Setting remote hires up for success lets you grow your leadership strength up and across the company and in your industry, safe in the knowledge that your team has your back, and you have theirs.

If you would like to acquire new skills for hiring and onboarding remote staff more efficiently and effectively, DM me and we’ll set up a call to see if coaching is a fit.

Photo by Jony Ariadi for Unsplash