12 November 2020

How remote onboarding can benefit HR and new hires

Remote onboarding processes have been embraced by many organisations due to the pandemic and have helped maintain company culture


Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir

Maryam Munir worked as a content marketing writer at Ciphr from 2019 to 2021.


Employee engagement Recruitment and retention Strategy culture and values


Remote onboarding processes have been embraced by many organisations due to the pandemic and have helped maintain company culture

70% of new hires are likely to stay for at least three years if they have a great onboarding experience. While this statistic refers to onboarding in a generic sense, it becomes even more imperative in remote onboarding, where the personal touch can sometimes get lost.

The first day at a new workplace can be daunting for new hires. They must read company documents and establish bonds with colleagues, while HR must ensure training is caried out and all relevant information is shared. Today, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that many new starters are unable to carry out their first day in the office – preventing them from meeting their colleagues in person – however, the remote onboarding process has proven to be beneficial in for new hires and HR teams.

While onboarding was usually a half-day in a room listening to the history of the company and being told about company culture, today, it’s shifted to online. New starters are introduced to their teams via internal collaboration tools, and employee onboarding technology is being used in some organisations to share important company information – but how exactly is the remote onboarding process benefitting HR teams and new hires?

Enhances employee experience

“Traditionally, on your first day, you’d be shown around the office and introduced to co-workers and team members. Establishing these connections is really a key part of the onboarding process and we don’t want to forget it just because there’s no physical office tour,” said Megan Hope, Ciphr’s partner manager, in a recent Ciphr webinar.

The closure of office spaces has meant that your new hires are unable to meet their teams in the workplace – preventing them from socialising and forming close bonds. However, despite there not being a physical office, the remote onboarding process can still allow your new hires to get to know their colleagues.

Daily virtual meetings with the team – where new hires can get advice or just share how they feel in order to prevent employee loneliness – and team celebrations via internal communication tools can all help new hires feel welcomed and can help HR maintain the company culture. This, in turn, can lead to a greater employee experience with new hires being happier at work.

Quick online access to staff directories can also help your new hires put a face to the name of their colleagues or managers, which, during remote working, can help them feel comfortable with who they are talking to.

Improves efficiency

In days past, ensuring new staff filled out relevant paperwork relied on face to face meetings in the office, and chasing for supporting documentation. This proved to be time-consuming for HR teams and employees could feel overwhelmed. Remote onboarding automates a lot of the manual processes associated with onboarding, from sharing important documents to ensuring they have read policies for compliance.

Don’t assume that everyone working from home has access to a printer, or a scanner. With remote onboarding, documents can be accessed online by employees and signed virtually without having to print anything out. With tools like AdobeSign, HR can quickly obtain e-signatures.

By investing in specialist technology, such as Ciphr Onboarding, HR and new hires can work efficiently. New starters can submit bank details and emergency contact information before their start date, complete pre-training before their arrival, and read and accept all policies on their very first day.

Makes onboarding feel more personal for all

Personalisation has become deeply ingrained into our way of interacting with the world, from the way we shop to how we absorb information. We’re all consumers, and if 80% of us are more likely to buy if the experience is personalised, then new hires are likely to buy into your organisation’s ethos if you offer them personalised onboarding experiences.

Remote onboarding – with specialist technology – gives HR teams the opportunity to personalise the onboarding process for new hires. Ciphr Onboarding, for example, enables HR teams to tailor the onboarding process by adding specific content for new hires. Pictures, presentations, and welcome messages can all be customised to support and educate new employees – helping new starters quickly feel like part of the company. Crucially, HR teams can have complete control over personalisation, without having to turn to IT.

Personalisation enables you to make culture the focal point for new starters. Give them a taster of upcoming social events or initiatives on their personalised hub.

Bridges the gap between hiring and starting

New hires often feel anxious. Have they made the right choice? Is your organisation right for them? Will they fit in? These feelings of uncertainty can grow further if there’s a lack of communication and direction once new hires have signed their contract.

Remote onboarding enables you to put their minds at rest during this fallow period by sending important documentation and welcome messages from the CEO and hiring managers.

With remote onboarding, all steps can be carried out to ensure that new starters have all of the information they need and they feel happy and comfortable. Once employment contracts are signed, HR can continue to reach out to their new hires and stay in contact – employees are likely to be happier and more motivated as a result.

Want to find out more about Ciphr’s onboarding tool and how it can benefit your HR team? Contact us at [email protected] or call 01628 814242. You can also download our free onboarding checklists to help you make the onboarding process as smooth as possible.