Remote On-Boarding Guide | COVID19 Business Support

One of the recent challenges being faced by all business hiring and growing during the global pandemic has been the need to remotely on-board new staff members, which in our current working climate, could become a more common process for all businesses.
Based on the recent experience BookingLive has had with on-boarding Yolk’s new placements, we’ve put together some tips and words of advice that will come in use if your business is beginning to do the same.

The First Week

Day one

The Welcome Session

Like any normal first day of on-boarding, it will revolve around the induction presentation, or as BookingLive have coined it, The Welcome Session. This is still the key part of their day so take them through their official induction presentation via a video chat platform where you can switch between sharing your screen and also introducing yourself. Body language is key in any meeting or induction so make sure you keep returning to the screen to talk around any of the slides

Virtual Office Tour

Neither of you are in the office, but that’s not to say this part of the first day should get dropped. Give them a virtual tour of the office, you don’t need a fancy 360 video tour either, use whatever resources you have whether that’s photos from office events or even office floorplans.

The All-important Paperwork

Another integral part of the first day is the legal paperwork such as contracts and any additional GDPR or health and safety forms you need to be filled out before they can become a fully-fledged member of the company. Rather than leaving them to fill it all out as you would in the office, stay on the video chat and talk them through each document. To ensure extra efficiency, set them all up as e-docs, that way you can ensure everything is signed and good to go.

Team Lunch

Don’t forget routine, a highlight of the first day is meeting your team and some businesses like to take them out for a team lunch as a way to welcome them. Why not replace this with a virtual video chat team lunch, you could even order a Deliveroo for the new starter and have it sent to their house as a nice surprise.

The Staff Handbook

Similar to the contracts and legal documents, make sure you schedule some time in to run through the staff handbook. Again, this might have been something you previously left them to do themselves, but to keep them engaged, take them through it page by page so you can both discuss it. Engagement is the buzzword!

What to include in a remote induction presentation

Make sure to conduct it as a video session. This allows you to read body language and expressions if you notice that they’re starting to tire, suggest a tea break and return in 15 minutes. You don’t have the office to rely on for engagement, make sure the presentation is visual with plenty of images.

Try to limit the text on each slide and talk around the information instead, the presentation can work as your visual cue Always include your organisational chart for the company and make sure to include photos of each person so they can begin to put faces to names. While you’re at it, why not add a bit of personality in as well with fun facts on employees (this will, of course, depend on the size of your company…)

The First Week Continued

Team Introductions –

With the first day completed, you can start to schedule in intros between the new starter and other areas of the business.

Build relationships –

We recommend having either the HR contact conduct the inductions, or their line manager. We recommend joining for every virtual introduction session just to make the initial intro and stay for the first few minutes. You can help to build the rapport between them both which can be harder to develop initially on video.

Equipment –

Many businesses will require their new starter to have all of their equipment. You can easily solve this issue by using a courier company to deliver to the new starter’s home address.

Compliance –

Before sending over equipment or giving logins/ access, ensure that all compliance has been run through if not done so in day one. What Next?

What Next?

Combatting Loneliness

Continual remote working can mean it’s hard to build rapport between people who haven’t had a chance outside of professional meetings to get to know each other. Scheduling in mini video meet-ups is a great way to combat this:

Morning Cuppa

Open a group video chat session a half an hour early for first thing in the morning. Those who are online or want to join for a chat and a morning cuppa can jump on before the working day kicks off.

Lunchtime chat

A similar idea for lunchtime, add an extra 15 minutes onto the end of the lunch break for people to jump in and say hi and chat before going back to work.

Keep up the socials

Now could be the time to schedule in even more regular company meetings to check in on everyone. Also, keep up your company social traditions, whether that’s Thirsty Thursdays or Friday evening drinks. Get everyone to log on with a drink in hand and a postwork video chat.

Challenges to bear in mind

Speaking on video chat can be tiring, more so than you’d expect. It doesn’t have the active nature of walking around the office and introducing them to new people through-out the day and showing them around. Ensure to structure in plenty of breaks, more than you normally would.


Engagement is a tricky one for the same reasons as above. The key thing is to use video for all of your conversations, you can read the person’s body language and expressions to see if they might need a break. Don’t take offence, it’s a lot of information for someone to take in remotely so give them a breather and return after a tea break.

What the experts say:

“Planning and preparation are key! You need to keep engagement so just make sure to stay clear and concise and you’ll have your new starter sorted in no time. Whether it’s on-boarding in the office or remotely, the outcome is the same, it’s just a different way of approaching it.
Just make sure to stay comfortable for the whole process!”

Louise Chawich
Chief People Officer

Be Honest!

Key piece of advice; be honest through out the process. Explain to your new starter that this is a new process and a new way of working for the business and for you in HR. You can apologise for any issues that might crop up due to the remote on-boarding, but most importantly stay positive and supportive. You’re obviously very keen to get this new starter on board, hence a remote on-boarding, so tell them.

BookingLive: Find Out More

Find out more about BookingLive’s scheduling system and its partnership with organisations going through digital transformation, and how BookingLive can bring its 10+ years of successfully servicing the public sector to support you with your department’s digital goals, please contact us via email, sales@bookingllive.com or call +1 (0)117 933 8632 to speak with one of our public sector solutions specialists.

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