Many HR leaders know the importance of onboarding for their new employees. Properly welcoming and training someone in their first weeks with your company is crucial to building long-lasting relationships with your employees.


A virtual process may seem like it’s more difficult to manage, but these seven tips will make it just as effective as any face-to-face program you can implement.

1. Communication Is Key to Onboarding

Onboarding practices are based around the importance of communication. There’s no reason this outlook must change in the virtual space. Communicating on a regular basis, with clear messages, is even more important when your team is working remotely.

Be sure to communicate to new hires early on in the process. Bringing someone onboard successfully is much easier when you give them key information and communicate company culture even before you send out the job offer. Interacting with all candidates with integrity and respect showcases your company culture.

2. Set up Key Meetings

Part of the onboarding process is to have new hires meet key personnel in the business. It can be tricky to set up these meetings in person, but it may seem more difficult in the virtual space. After all, it’s not like you can pop by the VP’s office to see if they’re in, then swing back by later if they aren’t.

Instead, set up these meetings between the new hire and key personnel. You can offer one-on-one meetings for them to meet each other or set up a virtual “welcome” meeting to help the new hire connect with the team.

3. Translate Training to Digital Spaces

Next, you’ll want to make sure your new hire is receiving the training they need.

Consider digital technologies to provide more training opportunities. Can you add training videos to a digital library? If someone needs to learn how to use a certain program, you could make a video walking them through it. You could also schedule a webinar or a live training session. Screen recordings and screenshares can help.

You might also be able to use apps to make quizzes or offer access to the expertise of other team members.

4. Fill the Schedule

For the first shifts, it’s important to give the new employee structure. Show them what’s expected of them, especially in a remote environment. Break up “work” sessions with meetings and other events to help them get settled in.

5. Provide the Tools They Need

Finally, you’ll want to be sure you’re supplying your new employee with the tools they need to get their work done. Do they require remote access to their email? Will they have to download and install certain applications? You may even want to supply them with a work station so you can be sure their computer is up-to-date and capable of running the programs they’ll need to run.

6. Make Key Documents Available Digitally

Digitize training documents, such as policies and employee handbooks. This way, these documents are accessible to your new hires.

Making them available in digital format can also open them up to your long-term team members too. They can act as a quick reference for whenever there are questions. Finally, digital documents can often be updated quickly and easily, so everyone is always on the same page.

7. Create Consistency with Formal Procedures

Another key to successful virtual onboarding is the use of formal procedures. Written procedures ensure everyone follows the same processes and protocols. In turn, new hires receive a consistent onboarding experience, which better supports them.

Throughout the onboarding process, remember to communicate clearly. Last but not least, don’t forget to welcome this new team member. You only have one chance to get started on the right foot, even if it is in a virtual space.