At VROOM Digital, we have recently expanded our SEO team by bringing on board a new Digital PR Manager. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our newest recruit was tasked with joining our team in a WFH capacity, thus leading to the experience of onboarding remotely. One month into her new role with us, here are our top tips for bringing a new team member on board in this capacity.
Top tips to onboarding remotely:
Setting up your new recruit with the required equipment
Due to the reason for this case of remote onboarding being COVID-19, picking up the necessary equipment from our Merrion Square office was not an option. As a result, a courier was arranged to deliver the essential work-from-home materials:
- Wireless Keyboard
- Keyboard Rest Pad
The five hardware essentials for effective working from home were provided, making it a smooth process to setting up what would become a long-term home office. A large number of companies have had to transfer their employees into WFH at short notice since the beginning of the pandemic. A large number of these employees were sent home without either the necessary hardware or software to smoothly transition. At VROOM Digital, all members of the team are accustomed to working remotely 1-2 days per week in normal circumstances. As a result, the onboarding process has not been met with complications, but it has been smooth and support-led.
Provide a comprehensive starter pack
Providing an employee with a clear and comprehensive starter pack is essential for any new hire, remote or otherwise. This is particularly important when onboarding remotely as it outlines all company processes and platforms used, along with how to access internal profiles and accounts. In our case, the VROOM Digital team uses a wide variety, such as:
- Slack as an internal instant messaging programme
- Outlook for email & calendars
- Google Drive for document sharing
- Zoom for video conferencing both internally and externally
- Harvest for time tracking
- SEMRush for tracking and keyword development
Collating all of this information in one large document can be a lot to digest. Allow time for each of the platforms and processes to be explored by the new recruit. Normally, time would be put aside to sit down and chat through each, though as we are WFH, in this unique case a couple of Zoom calls were set up with the team in which screen-sharing was enabled. This allowed the team to talk through each platform and process both verbally and visually. Thank you technology!
Communicate regularly as a team
Onboarding a new employee remotely means working with a new team without a face-to-face introduction. Setting up regular team video calls to discuss accounts and processes is a great way for the new team member to become familiar with company approaches, communication styles and allows for time to ask questions.
Additionally, an interesting dynamic can be created in which the only communication that takes place between colleagues is work-related. The opportunity to engage in non-work related chat during office lunch hour is removed, making it increasingly difficult to get to know each other. To counteract this, our team spends time at the beginning of the week engaging in non-work related, casual conversation. Not only does it let colleagues get to know each other, but it provides for a more inviting and comfortable work space for all.
Organise each day
Starting off a new job in a WFH capacity without previous experience doing so, can be daunting. A large amount of structure is taken away for the individuals affected. The usual get up, get ready to leave the house, travel to work and begin your day is now missing. Introducing structured time management each morning is key to a productive and rewarding work day for employees. As mentioned above, at VROOM Digital we use Harvest as a time tracking management tool. This has been hugely beneficial in planning out what tasks need to be completed throughout the day and how long each is estimated to take. Not only does it track the hours being allocated to each client account, but it also keeps employees informed of their workload and overall capacity.
Welcoming a new employee to the VROOM Digital team is always an exciting time. While the current onboarding experience is not our usual, we have employed the above methods to ensure it has been smooth and problem-free for all affected.