Onboarding Remote Employees: Challenges & Tips

Remote work is likely here to stay, even as some companies begin to welcome employees back to the office. Many companies have successfully navigated the work-from-home environment. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure your remote employees have a seamless transition to your workforce. DataCheck can help. Throughout this blog, we’ll describe the necessary components of onboarding remote employees from behind the screen.


Challenges of Hiring a Remote Workforce

Employers will continue to navigate the challenges of hiring a remote workforce and conducting a largely virtual onboarding process. Many professionals are applying for work-from-home positions as unemployment numbers continue to rise. 


When “meeting” with remote applicants, planning for virtual interviews and working around potential time zone issues, there are many logistical challenges.

Companies have looked for ways to balance efficiency and motivation with a work-life balance. Opportunities for collaboration and communication have improved the landscape somewhat.


And finally, technology issues and associated data security concerns when employees begin working from home will always be an issue.


As remote workers continue to flood the marketplace, it’s still essential to maintain your vetting standards. That means background checks during COVID-19 are still important.


Why Are Background Checks Important for a Remote Workforce?

Background checks for your in-person workforce are just as critical when hiring remote employees. Background checks are considered a safe hiring practice. 


When hiring remote workers, their background check can offer you a history of the potential hire. Background checks reduce hiring risks and potential employer liability down the line. They also keep your existing employees safe.

A woman works remotely from a cafe.

5 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

After your onboarding process, new employees should feel like part of the team and understand the dynamics of a company. The importance of a strong onboarding process is that much more critical when new hires will be working remotely.


1. Go Digital 

Use virtual tools like digital background screenings to create an onboarding process that is easy to manage from afar. Instruct new remote workers to complete paperwork virtually using online programs like DocuSign that maintain a high level of security.


Save paper by providing digital copies of thick packets of company documents. Consider a digital warehouse for workplace documents. Think about privacy policies and employee handbooks that give an overview of company-wide processes and expectations. You can include virtual signature acknowledgments to verify new hires read through onboarding materials.


2. Provide a Seamless Transition

It can be stressful to start a new job. Be sure to provide transition resources that support new hires, like digital training sessions. Set up routine meetings to ensure that employees feel prepared to start their new position.


3. Arrange for IT Support 

Even if a new employee is tech-savvy, you’ll need to get them set up to work from home securely:


  • Conduct an audit of technology they currently have access to at home, including their wireless network. 
  • Create a checklist of everything they will need to know.
  • Assume tweaks will need to be made. Ensuring a new employee’s work-from-home space is secure is part of the job. 
  • Provide them with the training needed to give them an overview of safe and secure remote work habits.


4. Consider Collaboration & Communication

Look for opportunities for collaboration between new and tenured employees, particularly in hybrid workplaces where some employees work in person. Find ways to create remote teams that give employees a reason to communicate within segments of an organization.


Identify opportunities for regular follow-ups to seek out employee feedback and monitor their progress in their new position.


5. Plan a Virtual Welcome

You can welcome new employees from afar with virtual welcome packages or videos to introduce the company. Those may include the company mission statement, expectations or perks of remote work, and feedback from other remote workers.


If you’re a company where branding is essential, consider sending a physical welcome package to the employee with branded materials. Think mugs with company logos and branded office supplies to supplement their work-from-home space.


Plan virtual meet-ups with new coworkers, including team-building activities that your remote staff will want to attend.


Help Is Out There 

Use the tools at your disposal to make onboarding remote employees a more manageable challenge to overcome. Using a background check company, for example, can significantly reduce the challenges associated with hiring a remote workforce.


DataCheck has been working with employers for over 20 years to simplify their onboarding process. Get in touch for seamless onboarding and support from our team of professionals.

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