How to onboard candidates remotely

In the current climate, the majority of the clients we work with are having to onboard candidates remotely and we believe that this will start to become more commonplace moving forward. From supporting multiple clients onboard candidates remotely and the research we have conducted we thought it would be worthwhile sharing in a blog post.

Define the position early on

Before finalising a deal with the candidate; be sure to make clear exactly what you expect of them in this position. If the temporary arrangement is for them to work at home, outline those expectations and then once you’re back in the office, outline those expectations. 

Make clear qualities the candidate needs to possess in order to thrive in the position. 

One suggestion could be using performance-based job descriptions. The job description should focus on the skills the applicant should have and what they are be able to offer, firstly. Instead of focusing on desirable experience, education and personality traits, focus on what matters – their ability to get work done. 

Lay out the remote aspects of the position. 

Working remotely is clearly different from working on-site. Explain what it means to work remotely and what kind of an arrangement it involves for potential new employees. Stress the necessary aspects you identify of working remotely: discipline, strong communication skills, excellent organisation and the ability to function within a team. It is vital that candidates are aware of all the aspects of working remotely before they fninalise with their application. 

Setting Expectations

As remote-work differs from office work be sure your expectations are clear from the beginning. They need to know what you expect of them and what matters most to you and the company. This may be a case of being available during certain business hours to ensure effective communication. 

For example, if you care little about when the work is complete and more about the quality of work, relay that information. It’s important your employees know how to succeed on the job. 

Set a work schedule 

It could help to set your employees with a specific work schedule with times they should be online and available to communicate. However, some companies don’t mind when their remote employees work, as long as they deliver quality work on time. 

Other companies have less flexible policies when it comes to set work hours. To avoid any misunderstandings with new hires, make sure to communicate your company’s work from home policies from the start. 

90-Day Roadmap 

A 90-day roadmap plan is a great way to keep new hires feeling engaged and productive while working toward a clear and defined objective. You may format the roadmap any way you like, it just needs to have a list of tasks that the new hire can complete within those 90 days. 

The roadmap approach also allows an employer to give recognition to a new hire early in the onboarding stage. This can boost confidence and longevity in the business. 

Organise Paperwork

Before candidates can begin working with you, they will need to sign a contractual document, should they accept, which will finalise the hiring process. 

There are various ways in which a candidate can seal the deal remotely, such as signing, scanning and then sending the document back. However, there are online services to help quicken the process. 

Remote Signing Tools to Consider: 

DocuSign Professional emails recipients an electronically signed document requesting review of a document after it is uploaded. It is available free of charge, and runs on Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows Phone operating systems. 

HelloSign is a tool that lets users sign documents with legally binding e-signatures. With HelloSign, you can affix signatures to documents retrieved from various sources, including email as well as third-party applications like Dropbox, Google Drive,, Evernote, and OneDrive

Arrange Equipment

Once the paperwork has been finalised and candidates can begin working in their new role; it is essential they have the necessary tools to carry out their work duties. Confirm they have received all necessary equipment for their work and ask your IT department to assist them with setup, if needed. Ensure remote workers have the following to get started: 

  • Laptop 
  • Mouse 
  • Keyboard 
  • Anti-Malware Software (If necessary) 

Company Essentials

Remote employees are part of your culture, despite not being in the office. To help them understand the culture, it would be beneficial to share: 

  • An employee handbook in digital format 
  • Content such as presentations on your company values 
  • Pictures and videos from team meetings or team activities 
  • Links to social media pages to help them keep up with company activity 
  • Digital content or marketing professionals may need additional information such as: 
  • Logins Passwords for CMS systems 
  • Login and passwords for Social Media Channels 
  • Access to a content library (if there is one) 
  • Email account information 

Layout Communication Tools

Ensure new hires have understood how to use your communication tools. Describe the best ways to contact team members and how to troubleshoot communication technology if needed. Also, if relevant, provide manuals on how to set up the following: 

  • Company Email 
  • Group Messaging (Instant messaging platforms) 
  • Video Conference Software 
  • Web-phone Applications 

By prepping new hires understand how to communicate effectively throughout the team remotely, the necessary information can be passed to the correct personnel to ensure productivity towards task completion. 

Tools to consider for collaborative team work remotely: 

Check-in With New Hires

Once onboarding hires have settled into their new positions, it is a good idea to check in with them and see how they are getting on. 

Employees with proper support during onboarding are 54% more productive as new hires. Try to keep the support consistent by creating a well thought out plan with action items and goals for each milestone. This can be a living document and grow and change with the employee; depending on the progress they are making. 

Make sure you set your new hires up for success and helping them to avoid feeling isolated or cut off from the team or any support. 

They will likely have many questions and concerns after working on their own for a few days. Schedule a time to follow up with them. Discuss their performance, listen to any concerns, and answer any questions about processes, projects, and other issues. Likewise, this is also a good time to address any poor habits you notice or concerns you may have. 

If your new hire hasn’t met their new colleagues, it could be a good idea to set up a video conference to introduce them. 

Evaluate Onboarding Process

For each new process you implement, you should review its impact and results. Document and evaluate how both existing and new employees react to the onboarding process. Find out what works best for onboarding remote workers by consulting those who’ve had similar experiences. 

After new remote workers have been at their jobs for a while, ask them how they felt and the value they got from your onboarding strategy. By constantly evaluating and improving the onboarding process, you can help remote workers adjust to their new roles easily and refine for future remote hires. 

Get In touch

If you have any further questions or would like to learn anymore about what is working for the clients that we are currently working with we would happily share.

Check out more advice for employers here.