Virtual Onboarding: How to Onboard Remote Employees
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Virtual Onboarding: How to Onboard Remote Employees

The working world might have changed forever, as the pandemic catapulted businesses into an unsettled environment and presented challenges of business continuity. Many were quick to adapt and implemented business tools and strategies to maintain productivity and connectivity.

The way we work has been turned upside down, as has the way businesses take on new hires. So it’s more important than ever to ensure that communications are clear, to maintain efficiency in businesses generally and when expanding your team.


Virtual Hiring

When it comes to hiring virtually, we like to think we know what we’re talking about. Mission Labs, the parent company of CircleLoop, took on 49 hires in 2020, an 87% increase in headcount from 2019. We’ve taken on a further 23 new hires already in 2021, hitting 100 employees. These remote hires provided great learnings and insights into how to effectively communicate with a new starter who is onboarding remotely...


Our 3 top tips for remote communication with new starters:

1. Clear communication - If you are hiring new employees during this time, communication must be crystal clear from the beginning. New starters will be unsure of standard processes, team dynamics, and exactly what is expected of them so these things must be explained to them very clearly.

2. Set up non-work-related meetings. A coffee and a donut meeting is a great opportunity for staff who might otherwise not cross paths to meet and build team bonds. It also improves wellbeing and it’s a great way to boost morale, especially for any staff who are struggling with working from home.

3. Share pictures of the physical office. If you are going to be returning to an office, giving your new starters a sense of what it looks like and how it’s laid out can help them feel part of the team even if they have never physically been there. It’s also a great way to give them a sense of your office culture and what they can expect from the future.


Communication is key during a remote onboarding process for new hires. But, it’s also more important than ever before to have and maintain consistent and productive communication between all members of the business, or team, whilst remote working.


How Remote Teams can Communicate Effectively

The majority of businesses have had to communicate and collaborate with team members and clients through digital communications, from emails and instant messaging programmes to conference or video calling tools. 

Whilst these tools do a great job of allowing teams to communicate when working from home, there are lots of opportunities for misinterpretation. From an abrupt instant message to an email that can’t you quite interpret, there are lots of instances where messages can get misunderstood.

Without body language and other non-verbal cues, these communication misinterpretations can lead to lower efficiency and productivity, as well as making it harder for team members to build strong relationships - which is especially important for new hires that are being onboarded virtually. 


Top tips for remote communications

1. Defined communication channels - To keep the line of communication as open as possible, ensure you have a system in place for communicating. Whether this is regular team check-ins for wellbeing and productivity or one-to-ones over the phone, decide on your communication strategy and communicate this clearly to your team.

2. If in doubt, get on the phone (or video call) - Text-based communications leave so much to interpretation and so by jumping on a quick call, conversations can be so much quicker and more easily communicated than cryptic instant messages or emails.

3. Remember the 3 C’s - clear, concise, and consistent - Whether communicating with your team or with clients that you’re serving, remember to ensure that you’re striving for clarity, keeping things concise, and being consistent.




While some workforces will be returning to the office and real-life interactions, many others will be adopting remote working following the pandemic, while others will be taking a more hybrid approach. Whether you work in an office or remotely, good communication practice in your team will help improve productivity, motivation, and teamwork across the board. 

In our blog titled How to Manage Remote and Distributed Teams, we highlight the issues managers of remote teams and employees face and how you can overcome them.