How to onboard a remote employee successfully

Remote employees have gone from being the exception to becoming a major part of the workforce. In fact, by 2025, it is estimated that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely. Therefore, in today’s work environment, it is now essential to hire, onboard, and build trusted teams virtually. Since there is a wealth of skilled talent located around the world, looking beyond borders to accomplish this makes good business sense.

To prepare a new cyber security professionals for success in their role and retain them for the long term, CISOs must collaborate with their HR leaders to carefully plan and diligently execute structured onboarding processes that cover everything from basic new employee paperwork to briefing them on processes and people critical to their long-term job role success.

1. Interview

The traditional office setup to conduct in-person interviews has been replaced with video conferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Organisations can use this opportunity to conduct a few different interviews to get to know the candidate better. In addition, video interviews to virtually onboard new talent eliminate the need for travel and can help greatly reduce the overall screening duration. We have a guide on A Virtual Interview Guide For Hiring Managers which will be useful to read.

2. Connection with the team

It can be useful to create a connection to the organisation before the employee’s first day. As soon as a candidate accepts the job offer, it is the perfect opportunity to make them feel a part of the team. For example, sending a care package filled with the company’s products to the new employee’s home.

3. Technology

Offering each new employee, a meeting with IT to show how all platforms like communication channels and company systems work can alleviate first-day anxiety. Which in turn minimises technical issues and allows new employees to be fully present and more comfortable. Organisations can send a new laptop and/or phone before the start date, fully set up with the right company configurations and security protocols. This creates a connection to the organisation and reduces new employee anxiety.

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4. Interaction

Being in the office creates more advantages by allowing unconscious learning and knowledge from colleagues. Replicating this virtually has presented challenges, but it can be tackled effectively by enhancing the onboarding experience for new candidates and keeping the interaction as positive and frequent as possible. When onboarding a new person, check in on them regularly and allow them to ask questions and talk about how they are doing. If you are not able to do this, perhaps assign them a “buddy” within the company, who can act as a sole point of contact for the new candidate.

5. Try to reduce “Zoom fatigue”

In 2020, there was a sudden rush to host regular check-ins and virtual gatherings, until employees were hit by the “Zoom fatigue.” It’s apparent that when the office setup comes home, it brings with it a challenge to balance both work and personal life effectively. Virtual employees often find themselves tangled between the constant notifications, emails, and video calls, and setting the right boundaries for interaction and deep work time can become even more difficult. Therefore, if employees are engaged, they are more likely to report a sense of belonging. Businesses must ensure that virtual employees have a dedicated support system for all levels – right from senior managers to interns. To find what works best for your organisation through listening to your team.

Download our checklist for more information.

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