Hiring New Remote Employees? Here’s How to Successfully Onboard Them Virtually

Remote working has taken the world by storm, and as companies grow, they will need to hire off-site workers. Getting those new employees onboarded, however, can be a challenge. Businesses can’t necessarily rely on the same methods they use to onboard on-site employees. To find out what to do, we asked nine successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

What’s one onboarding idea a company can use to make a new remote employee feel welcome? Why is it effective?

1. Create an onboarding hub

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Create an onboarding “hub” that outlines what employees can expect during their first few days. We have an onboarding page on our online hub that’s broken out by role and team. It’s got a timeline of what new employees should be doing on each of their first days. It’s a great introduction to the company and shows how we’re supporting them to be successful right from the start. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster


2. Create a buddy system

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One tool that has been incredibly powerful for us over the years is our buddy system. We assign every new hire a buddy (often not from their own immediate team) that supports their integration and has regular check-ins, in addition to their immediate team lead. This creates multiple opportunities to ask questions, point out anything that’s unclear and get a broader context for the organization. —Alex Furman, Invitae


3. Have them reach out to five coworkers

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We ask all our new hires to reach out to at least five people on our team that are not within their department and schedule 15-minute calls. It’s probably one of the best things we do. Everyone goes into it a little reluctantly, but once they come out, they are so happy they did it. It’s an amazing way to build relationships across your departments. —Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff


4. Send a welcome gift with a note

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Send them a welcome gift with a note from their team. We send every new hire a package with a T-shirt, coffee gift card, and a note signed by all of their teammates, with specific reasons as to why they are so excited for this person to join the team. —Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.



5. Include their names in the company newsletter

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One great way to welcome new employees is to mention them in your weekly company newsletter. Include a section where you say hi to the newest team members and celebrate anniversaries. We’ve found that including this feature has helped ease new employees into their roles. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC



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6. Have a dedicated Zoom meeting to introduce them

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Create a Zoom meeting to introduce the new remote employee to the rest of your team. This will make your new hire feel welcomed and part of the crew, and it also shows that you care about creating and developing company culture and building community. —Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow



7. Send them a care package

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One of the best ways to make a new employee feel engaged with the company is to send them a care package upon joining. Although we have all the technology necessary to communicate effectively, employees can still feel cut off if their only contact with their employer is through a machine. Get something solid in their hands, whether it be onboarding materials, healthy snacks. or a cozy company hoodie. —Ismael Wrixen, FE International


8. Set up an online conference with their supervisor

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One of the first things you can do is to hold an online conference between the new hire and their supervisor. It gives them a chance to develop a connection with a person on your team, which will help them feel grounded. In our business, we also launch a series of drip emails with relevant onboarding information. This automates the onboarding process and gives the new hire tasks to accomplish. —Blair Williams, MemberPress


9. Use your work chat channels

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If you want to make new remote employees feel welcomed, use your work chat channels. We have a group called “Family” that consists of every member of our team. When someone joins, we all say hi and let them know that we are here if they have any questions. I think that shows new hires we are all one big family and they are welcomed into our circle. —Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

RELATED: 10 Lessons I Learned From Building and Managing a Remote Team

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