Top tips for virtual onboarding from companies who have done it.

Sometimes we have to work things out from scratch for ourselves, using trial and error until we get it right. But you only get one chance at making an excellent first impression and onboarding your new starter! 

We have been working with local businesses who have successfully onboarded new starters during the lockdown period, to gather their top tips for virtual onboarding. 

We hope you find this helpful! 

Pre-order equipment to the new starter’s house with plenty of time to spare.

Once delivered, ask them to turn on, and do a basic check of the equipment prior to starting. That way, when the clock strikes 9am on that very first day, you can hit the ground running , knowing that the [basic] tech stuff is taken care of. 


Make the technical side as easy as it can be – limit the amount of tools/logins you have to use. 

Use online tools to host documents such as Google Drive/OneDrive which are easy to access and you can work on them live/together and see the updates. 


Video call, with cameras on as much as possible

Ensuring that both you and the other parties in the call have their camera on makes for a more pleasant, friendly experience where the new starter feels more engaged, involved and you’re able to read their body language much easier. 


Build a day-by-day, in-depth onboarding plan/timetable. 

As you would for the office, but this needs to be even more precise, because it’s not like the office environment where someone will notice them sitting quietly, waiting and talk to them. They need to feel busy and involved from day one. 


Diversify the first week tasks to engage and include the new starter from day one. 

Make sure that you don’t flood the new starter with reading material, as remote working can be isolating enough as it is. Adding lots of reading material to the first week can make it very dull and draining.  Where possible, give them mini projects to work on where there are tangible results and they can actually see they are contributing.


Build regular check-ins and social chats into their induction period.

It’s a lot easier to notice if something isn’t working quite right when a new starter is in the office. Virtually, this can be a lot more difficult to spot and a lot more difficult for them to discuss too.  Make time to address any of their (or your) concerns.


Get them involved with company social events (such as online quizzes and chats) prior to starting 

Inviting new starters to be involved with the social company events prior to starting is an ideal opportunity to keep in touch during their notice period and start their introduction to the team. 


If you would like any further advice on virtually onboarding new starters, please contact us today. 

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