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Onboarding Remotely – By Scott Gregory

There is a key focus now on restarting the economy, but restarting it whilst staying ‘alert’ and maintaining social distancing to ensure there isn’t an increased spread of Covid-19.

Businesses across the country are currently undertaking Risk Assessments to ensure they can comply with the government’s guidelines and reintroduce their workforces to the workplace. However, this isn’t possible for all businesses and as per current government guidelines if you can work from home you still should.

So the key now is to look at how businesses can increase profit, retention and productivity and maintain ‘business as normal’ which will ensure the much needed kick start to the economy is achieved.

In the initial stages of the pandemic, recruitment was understandably put on hold by some companies, following the second extension of the lockdown we saw a significant increase in the number of roles being recruited for, as businesses realised this wasn’t going to be over quickly and to ensure they survived they needed to recruit for the key positions. Since then, we have seen a continued increase in the recruitment of Finance, Payroll, Accountancy and HR roles across the UK and whilst we aren’t back to where we were previously, there is a noticeable movement in hiring.

So how are these businesses doing it if they can’t bring people into the workplace for face to face meetings and on-site inductions?

Most are remotely interviewing and on-boarding. Interviewing is straight forward, there are platforms that companies including Ashley Kate HR & Finance have been using prior to the pandemic, and these are now being utilised to their full capacity by our clients to successfully identify the right candidates for the right roles from a safe and remote meeting.

So the focus now is ensuring these candidates can start with the company in a seamless fashion.

Every company wants to provide a professional onboarding experience to new employees. One that will make them feel part of the organisation, be glad they made the decision to join and one that enables them to fully understand the role, its requirements and position within the company alongside the current employees.

So how is this being achieved remotely?

I have spoken with many of my clients over the last 8 weeks who are currently onboarding remotely, and whilst this continues to be an evolving solution, there are some basics which many seem to be building into a remote onboarding session. I have listed some of the current suggestions below:

  • Explain what the remote onboarding program looks like to your new employee, share a plan with them – keep communication clear on their first day have a structured plan to welcome them, Total Jobs recently published a suggested timetable for the new starters first day.


09:30-10:30 – Welcome call with manager

10:30-11:00 – Team call

11:00-12:00 – Task set by manager

12:00-13:00 – Lunch

13:00-15:00 – 20 minutes calls with each team member

15:00-16:00 – Task set by manager

16:30-17:00 – Debrief call with manager


  • Ensure the employee has the necessary equipment to commence the role, laptop, phone, online systems access on or before their official start date


  • Provide clear guidance on the employees’ contacts for any remote technical support. They may encounter some technical issues when using new systems and remotely networking into the business so make sure they have a technical support team to lend a hand.


  • Do your induction meeting in the same format but in an online video conference, sharing screens to show how to navigate through shared systems and documents etc.


  • Invite the employee to meet the team in a virtual meeting room and build a rapport with the wider business network who are also working remotely


  • Send a communication to the wider business to let them know about the employee joining remotely and explain how they can be contacted


  • Have regular meetings to review with the employee


  • Invite the employee to online social meetings – not work related – a virtual tea break, get to know the individual and build relationships


  • Ask them what they need, don’t assume you’ve given them everything


  • As soon as it is safe and sensible to do so, meet them in person

If you are still looking to recruit for your business and have questions on how I can support you with remote interview solutions and remote onboarding, please get in contact with me on 0115 922 3000 or email

Scott Gregory supports clients and partners with a range of value-added services, aligning with their business plans and strategies to help overcome their business challenges. Scott is currently working with partners in all vertical markets and with a truly consultative methodology.

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