Home > Companies Q&A > Hiring Remotely > How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?

    How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?

  • Fog Creek Software

    We typically bring new remote employees to the office for their first week. We bring their team in as well so that training and onboarding can happen in person. We also use our sister company’s product, Trello, to create an onboarding board tailored to each new hire. The board has lots of background about Fog Creek and lays out important tasks for the new hire to complete before the end of his/her first week (ex: filling out paperwork, etc.) At the end of the week, I (Allie) meet with each new hire to go over particularly important things on the Trello board, explain our company org chart, and to get the new hire an opportunity to ask questions

     4 votes |
  • Authentic Form & Function

    Even though onboarding usually takes ~3 months in total, we’ll generally spend a couple of days with each new hire right away on various video chats to walk each person through the daily processes, their role, and how that flow begins to play out each week.

    While it would be easy to hand out tasks, we’ve found it paramount to spend that extra time “hand holding” as a new team member gets off the ground. We want to be available and present to answer any questions as that process evolves.

     3 votes |
  • Inpsyde GmbH

    They get all tools, instruction how we work, get to know our team and projects and they already are invited in our social slack channels before they have their official first day.

     2 votes |
  • Answer Connect

    We have a paperless system. When a candidate is hired and has passed the testing, we invite them to a training class and once accepted we send them the necessary paperwork via email. The candidate completes the paperwork and it is submitted electronically using Docusign. We install the necessary software, by appointment, using remote set up.

     1 vote |
  • Chargify

    Onboarding can be done remotely, but frequently the new employees will meetup in person with their immediate supervisor for onboarding. It can be a nice introduction to meet face-to-face during onboarding to add a personal connection.

     1 vote |
  • Goodway Group

    We ship laptops pre-installed with all of the software needed. We have a dedicated training and onboarding team to guide new-hires through getting organized, settled and oriented on all of our systems and processes. All of that communication is done through email, phone and screen share.

     1 vote |
  • Hanno

    We’ve gradually improved the way we onboard new employees–it used to be quite weak. We have a very thorough process documentation; an onboarding ‘track’ in Asana (which contains a whole series of tasks for them to complete, exposing them to many different areas of the company) and also try to pair this up with in-person mentoring and support. That mentoring component has been really important–those first weeks of joining a remote team as a new employee can be a real challenge, so having a buddy to help you out and guide you through all the things you can’t necessarily see, is really handy.

     1 vote |
  • Mavens

    For every new employee at Mavens, they are given a two-week hands-on training and orientation session where they are taught about the healthcare industry, Mavens’ best practices, and the company’s culture.

     1 vote |
  • Melewi

    The onboarding process is an important one – especially for a remote company!

    We go through our values, some ground rules (although we only have simple ones) and we make sure we give them the opportunity to chat one on one with the rest of the team. We also cover projects, workflow, priorities and expectations.

    From that first week on, our goal is to make newcomers feel welcome, as well as understand how important communication is to the whole team and clients. Making sure they feel comfortable to ask about anything they don’t have the answer to or are curious to know.

     1 vote |
  • Pagely

    1. We have a master Trello board we copy for each hire that lays out in detail the access needed/given, the benefits enrollment process (zenefits.com), notes about our culture, and who to talk to about a given topic.
    2. If we are lucky, we are hiring someone in a town where we already have staff and they will pair at some location for a week or three to get up to speed quickly. If it’s, say, a EU hire, we will ask them to work U.S. hours for the first several weeks to shadow our core U.S. team to get to speed before reverting back to their own time zone and working with the other EU team members. As we grow our presence in other time zones, we will likely do away with the U.S. team shadowing, except for the most technical positions. However, working U.S. hours with us also helps them to get to know everyone and immerses them deeper into our culture.
     1 vote |
  • Stack Overflow

    We take onboarding very seriously. Every new hire in the company goes through a series of orientation calls with each member of the executive team, where they hear about our company history, culture, goals and structure. Within the engineering team, all new hires are assigned a mentor who guides them through a six-week onboarding process where they meet people from different parts of the engineering team and learn about our culture and processes.

     1 vote |
  • StudySoup

    Once an employee makes it through our interview process, we include them on all of our critical tools: Gmail, Google Drive, Daily Standup meetings on Google Calendar, Trello and Slack.

    The new employee is then taken through our “Company and Culture introduction”. In most cases, I (Sieva) get to personally take them through this presentation which is an overview of what we’ve accomplished to date, where we are headed and their role in the company.

     1 vote |
  • TaxJar

    We’ve done both in-person and remote onboarding. Which one we use with each new employee is based on location and availability.

     1 vote |
  • Timely

    Call us old fashioned, but we get together in person. 🙂

     1 vote |
  • Vork Inc

    We have not had the need yet, but we have a plan to put in place an onboarding process for new people covering the technology we use, our working practices, how the company fits together, and how the product works.

     1 vote |
  • Wordfence

    We have an onboarding information packet which includes all the necessary information, policies, guidelines and forms. “Paperwork Day” has become an inside joke with us because the first day you join can be a little overwhelming with all the forms you need to go through. However we’ve digitized absolutely everything we can and we use services like DocuSign which have really made things easier.

     1 vote |
  • Worldwide101

    We have built an intranet or what we call “our Digital Vault” with onboarding videos, guides, and a knowledge base. It’s also a place where we post company news, video updates, and team insights. The onboarding is of course accompanied with video Skype meetings to go through the materials “in person” but the Digital Vault provides the ability for new team member to learn at their own pace, and to revisit the content, and review procedures whenever they have a question!

     1 vote |
  • AirTreks

    We use a Company Orientation Checklist, which we manage with process.st. Additionally, every new colleague has a job coach and an orientation leader. During their first few weeks, they have daily meetings with their orientation leader and regular check-ins with their job coach to make sure they have the resources they need to learn.

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  • AnswerFirst

    Our current process for local hires is done in our office, but the actual onboarding is processed online. We will have a virtual process in the near future that replaces the in-office piece using a video presentation along with a Google Hangout with HR.

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  • Blossom

    As we are looking for people who are self-starters, the onboarding is not a defined process but a reaction to the needs of the person. Somebody, after having access to the Github repos (or other resources required for the role), is able to start without much help and can ask questions along the way. Others need more help with pairing sessions using Google Hangout or, if we see fit, having that person join somebody else for a few days.

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  • Crossover

    It varies by position, but all new team members go through an onboarding process 1-on-1 with their manager, who helps lead them through everything. They are given a thorough manual detailing their job, what’s expected of them, lingo they should know, etc. It’s a bit of a trial by fire, since we move so quickly. By their second week, team members are expected to start contributing to the company. It’s all very exciting and fast-paced.

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  • DevriX

    We hire people full-time, but they start with three trial phases – 2 weeks, another couple weeks and one month, where we assess and communicate their progress and our feedback after each phase. This is not an internship or so, just a part of the onboarding process where we don’t assign anything crucial and let them spend more time learning our products or code base, interact with team members, learn how to communicate properly and adjust to our working process, as well as take on training courses or coaching sessions with our team members in order to be fully productive and able to participate as much as the other folks on our team.

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  • Envato

    Everyone has Trello boards with information, tasks and suggestions to work through. Team members spend a bunch of time on line with their manager, have a Hangout with the HR team, are allocated a ‘Wing Buddy’ and we use Blissbook.com as our Induction Handbook. This bit is critical and we put heaps of emphasis on making sure everyone has everything they need from day one, and a connection to people who can answer any questions.

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  • Eyeo GmbH

    We invite every new remotee to come to Cologne for the first week and up to a month for the onboarding. During that time we’ll have a bunch of different trainings in order for the new team member to learn as much as possible about the company. If the new colleague is not able to come to Cologne then s/he will have to join the trainings online.

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  • FMTC

    Onboarding can be challenging for hiring on-site workers, let alone someone who is remote. Luckily, we have really honed in on this process by using tools like DocuSign, checklists, and overly communicating to make it as smooth as possible for everyone involved. Making sure they understand your virtual door is always open helps and so does sending new employee “swag” within their first few days as a “Welcome to the Team!”

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  • Help Scout

    Valuable face-to-face time is a great way to kick-start a successful transition into a remote company so we try to fly folks to Boston (where 25% of our team is co-located) for their first week.  Sometimes it doesn’t work so we schedule a series of video chats in the first 1-2 weeks.  

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  • Kin HR

    Our app has an onboarding feature that creates a personalized onboarding process for each new hire. It’s important to do regular weekly and monthly check-ins with the new hires especially when you’re a part of a distributed team. Many of our new hires fly out to our headquarters in Chicago and spend time with the leadership team.

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  • Knack

    Very deliberately. A big component is daily one-on-ones with a different team member to talk about the job, but more importantly, about the culture and how we work remotely.

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  • Knobs.co

    We have them work through our website and knowledge base, then shadow other staff, and then have staff shadow them during their initial interactions. We also constantly give feedback on client interactions.

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  • Packlane

    We start by giving new hires access to all the tools they need to do their job. We use some tools like 1Password for password management, and Justworks for payroll onboarding. We provide a set of documents that cover things like company policies and procedures, and we’ll also point them to the appropriate knowledge base articles in Confluence depending on their role.

    For each new hire we also come up with a set of goals to be accomplished over the first couple of weeks at Packlane. These can include things like watching our skillshare video, performing some tasks with our internal tools, or scheduling meetings with relevant colleagues and supervisors. During the first week of onboarding we also schedule a brief “welcome” video conference that everyone at the company is invited to join and introduce themselves while getting to know the new hire in a casual format.

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  • Project Ricochet

    We use the onboarding feature from Bamboo HR to ensure that all the right forms and documents are read. We identify opportunities to further cement our culture and SOPs through our one-on-ones and regular weekly meetings to gauge how the new hire is doing.

    We also keep a close eye on the metrics to make sure everything is going smoothly. We’re able to identify most issues with this alone.

    Lastly, we encourage them to engage with the team in our company Slack channel. It’s important that they feel comfortable enough to joke around and we know we’re on the right track when they finally do.

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  • Seeq

    Onboarding is done through a series of online collaboration tools. We have a new hire orientation on the first day, just as we would if we were co-located.

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  • Time Doctor

    After the interview, we give everyone a small project that takes two or three weeks to complete. We don’t necessarily care if they succeed, but we want to see if the person is someone we enjoy working with, can handle working remotely, and we want to see how they approach the task.

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  • TOK.tv

    It depends on the area they work in, but in general, colleagues working in the same area support the new workers in onboarding, mainly with video calls.

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