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How to onboard new employees remotely during the pandemic

Philip Shepherd

30th October 2020

Onboarding new employees remotely is a challenge that many organisations have had to face over the last few months, and providing a great welcome to someone you’re not able to meet in person can be tough.


Here are some tips for successful remote onboarding.

Start early

Send your new employee plenty of information well in advance of their start date. This gives them time to get to know the company and find out more about the projects they’ll be working on.


You can also send them any documents that they need to read through and sign, such as their employment contract, and any mandatory training modules for them to complete online.

New starter pack

Put together a digital document pack to send out to new starters to make sure they’ve got quick and easy access to everything they need to know in one place.


Include important information such as their job description, the structure of their team, and who to speak to if they have any questions. You could  even add some fun elements, like a mini fact file of each of their colleagues, or a takeaway voucher.

Clear communication

Try to be as clear and concise as possible when speaking to your new recruit. Support video and voice calls with written instructions and feedback so they can look back over them.


Let them know that they can ask questions, and which method is best to do so. Provide a detailed plan of what you expect from them in the first few days, weeks and months, and set concrete goals so they have something to focus on.

Harness digital tools

There are a whole host of digital tools that have helped companies to stay operational throughout the pandemic. Make sure to use these to your advantage for onboarding.


E-learning software is a great way to give new recruits something straightforward and engaging to focus on without supervision. Project management tools offer a visual way for new team members to learn your processes, while video conferencing allows people to meet ‘face-to-face’ and foster working relationships.

Assign a mentor

It’s easy to get caught up in your own workload and forget to check in. Assigning a mentor will ensure that your new starter is looked after from day one.


Set up a video call so your new employee can meet  their mentor and organise a regular schedule of catch-up calls. Make sure your chosen mentor doesn’t have a heavy workload so they’re available to answer questions and provide support.

Socially distant socials

The social aspect of the workplace is the key thing that new recruits are missing out on right now, so make sure to organise some activities for the team.


A virtual welcome lunch is a great way to help your new recruit to meet their coworkers early on, while informal evening activities such as digital drinks or a quiz night can help to build relationships. Encourage your new recruit to take a virtual coffee break to spend five or ten minutes getting to know someone new every day.

Looking for recruitment advice?

If you’re looking to take on new team members during these difficult times, speak to the digital recruitment experts at Opilio. We know how to find the right people to take your business from strength to strength.

Philip Shepherd

Philip Shepherd

Founder & CEO

Philip specialises in: Senior, Director and C-Level roles in Digital Marketing

07957 210 008
020 7183 7145