With the overnight implementation of the ‘remote working experiment’ some organisations have been able to seamlessly (more or less) transition without skipping too many beats while others have been left a little flat-footed due to having well established processes based on in-person interaction.
Remote working has been a growing part of the agenda for businesses over the last number of years especially when It comes to the recruitment of IT talent and this is certainly going to play a bigger role in the future.
Flexibility to work remotely (anywhere from 1 to 5 days a week) is ranked in the top 3 of benefits most IT professionals are seeking. Being able to offer flexible and remote working solutions to teams is something we are all going to have to be able to offer at some stage.
As a specialist IT recruitment agency the first obstacle we hear our partners talk about is being able to onboard new IT talent remotely. Making that all important first impression as you bring a new person into the organisation can be challenging so we have outlined a few tips that organisations can implement:
Contract and Handbook
Electronic contracts and signatures are standard practice for business contracts but employment contracts and handbooks are often still hard copy. Using whichever tools your business already uses (e.g. DocuSign, HelloSign, DocHub, SignNow) will speed up your processes. Sharing your handbook or a new hire pack beforehand is a great way for a new employee to be set up on all systems and actually feel part of the company before their first day.
Home Office Set Up
Explaining that a person needs to set themselves up for remote working and how to do this is vital. Sharing a step-by-step guide on what is needed for someone to create a positive professional workspace will ensure that your new employee is comfortable and can be effective. Having a large monitor/screen and ensuring basic ergonomics are adhered to are small investments that can make a big difference.
First Day Call
Having a video call the morning of starting to ensure all the correct technology is in place and working, logins, passwords, systems access levels are set up correctly and provides a guide to all applications the company uses. Whether your new hire is a Java Engineer, Tester or Data Analyst they will still need these fundamental components.
A must-do for the first day is the video call with the direct manager. Also scheduling time for the rest of the team to have calls and if feasible to schedule a time to speak with senior management or executive level people over the first 2 weeks.
Send a company/team email welcoming and introducing the new team member including a photo and some background. Having a welcome thread on your internal communication tool (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Slack) which enables others to welcome someone new.
Induction by video call is common practice in many organisations already so this should merely be a matter of scheduling a time running through the normal process. Getting a new starter to engage with the internal company documentation and training can help them to find our own way through training and required knowledge.
Calendar Management and Meetings
Inserting some calendar items to a new team members calendar so they are immediately involved as well as inviting them to lots of meetings helps them get to know people and gain a feel for what’s happening in the organisation.
Having a buddy for a new employee that checks in regularly, has virtual lunch, can answer any questions, explain how things function and spot any uncertainties that a new employee may have. This ensures they come along to virtual social events.
Remote onboarding may be new to your business but when the steps are broken down, they are small and manageable. Embracing technology is certainly a way to make things run seamlessly, combining some good planning and thought out points of communication will make all the difference.
We recruit IT talent for numerous organisations that are already successfully taking this approach and would be happy to assist you and your team to do the same.