Remote work became far more common during the pandemic, and now many organizations are onboarding new employees without the workers ever entering company offices. This process demands the right technology to ensure new employees feel connected to the organization and can access all the information they need.
Some tech, like a learning management system and company intranet, has been available for some time and is now even more valuable when the new employee is remote. Meanwhile, other tech like video conferencing software may not previously have been part of the onboarding process but is now key for the employee's first day at work. In addition, some features that are helpful for onboarding may overlap across tech.
HR leaders should consider incorporating the following types of technologies into their remote onboarding process to help ensure the experience goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Video conferencing software
Video conferencing software is likely the only way remote employees will see their co-workers, and using it can help them feel connected to their fellow employees. In addition, video conferencing software allows screen-sharing, which can help a supervisor or IT employee demonstrate a process to the new employee.
Many organizations possess a license that allows any employee to host a meeting. However, if a company hasn't obtained one, employees may be able to use a generic license.
2. Onboarding software
Onboarding software allows HR employees to organize a new worker's onboarding tasks and share the tasks with others involved in the onboarding process, such as IT and Finance. For example, a new hire will likely need to share their banking information and complete tax forms. The employee can carry out those tasks in the onboarding application, then other employees move the process forward.
A new hire can also use onboarding software to watch company videos to learn more about the organization.
Many HR systems offer a module with onboarding functionality. However, if the company's current HR system doesn't include onboarding, HR leaders may want to investigate whether the company's applicant tracking system offers onboarding capabilities or consider licensing an onboarding application.
An organization's intranet often includes valuable information for a new hire such as company policies, commonly used employee forms, company history and departmental data. The intranet may also include employee profiles, which can help the new hire get acquainted with colleagues.
These profiles are even more useful for a remote employee, since the new worker isn't casually meeting their co-workers in a cafeteria or other common space.
4. Learning Management System
A Learning Management System (LMS) that houses online courses is very important for remote onboarding because supervisors can't train new hires in person. A new employee can use an LMS to complete their compliance training and learn about the organization. For example, an LMS may include videos about the organization's history and its products and services, which the new employee can watch as part of the onboarding process.
New hires can also use the LMS to develop new skills and improve in areas that are critical to their organizational roles.
5. HR system
Many organizations use an HR system to store employee information, and these systems often include self-service options that allow employees to update personal information. A new hire can add fun facts about themselves, such as their hobbies or favorite foods, so other employees can get to know them better.
An HR system may also include a company org chart, which can help a new hire learn the organization's departments.
6. Communication tools
Employee communication is even more important when one or more employees is remote, and many applications allow workers to exchange information in real time. A new hire can use these tools to reach out to co-workers with a quick question or a fun, off-topic thought.
A new hire can also look through recent chat history for their department to learn about common problems or recent achievements.
7. Performance management software
A performance management application can help supervisors with new remote subordinates. The software can provide the supervisor with information about the employee's strengths and weaknesses as well as their career aspirations, training requirements and areas for further development.
Performance management software may also help a new hire understand their department's goals and those of the organization. Reading about the goals can help the new worker understand how their role fits into the organization and what they can do to help the company achieve its goals.