Strategies for Onboarding an International Remote Worker
The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up new opportunities for businesses to hire remote workers globally. As a result, there is a greater need for a structured process when onboarding an international remote worker. As a global company, Capital GES has 30 years of experience in onboarding new remote employees globally. In this post, we provide some tips on how businesses can successfully onboard a new remote worker.
While there are many benefits to hiring remote workers and building distributed teams globally, it is important for leaders to choose the right candidate for the role. Hiring international remote workers costs a lot of time and money, so it is vital that the new hire has the necessary soft skills to adapt to the various time differences and working independently in a remote setting. Therefore, leaders need to hire someone that is enthusiastic, has excellent communication skills, and is independent to work on projects alone.
Onboarding an international remote worker
Once leaders have found the right candidate, a structured onboarding plan needs to be put in place. Onboarding is a key part of the hiring process and failure to implement an onboarding plan can be a big mistake. In fact, properly implementing an onboarding plan helps businesses to retain key workers and build productivity.
Below, we share some tips on how companies can successfully onboard a new international remote worker.
1. Ensure remote workers receive a big welcome
While it is easy to gather everyone into a conference room on a worker’s first day in an office, it is more challenging to build relationships when the worker is working remotely thousands of miles away. Therefore, it is important that the new worker e-meets with their colleagues. A quick video call is enough to put a face to a name and begin building an easy rapport. Later, a virtual coffee or company event will help further develop these relationships.
2. Pair the new worker with a mentor
Starting a new job can be daunting, even more so when working remotely. Pairing the new worker with one of their colleagues can help the worker feel welcomed. A mentor can help the new worker settle into their role as well as providing information about the company procedures. This personal approach can be less intimidating for the new worker than having to ask a senior manager about the company basics likes how to request holiday leave, etc.
3. Ensure the remote worker has the correct technology
Technology is vital for remote workers. For the worker to remain productive and engaged leaders must ensure the remote worker is using the same technology tools as everyone else. Maintaining communication is necessary as a remote worker so having video conferencing and instant messenger tools are necessary. To work productively, workers also need access to a file-sharing system and project management tools.
4. Brief the remote worker on company culture
Understanding company culture is very important for new workers. In fact, one of the reasons why a new worker does not work out is due to not understanding how the company works. During the onboarding process, it is important that leaders brief the remote worker on the company’s history, policies, mission, and goals.
5. Provide the remote worker with a comprehensive training schedule
Remote training is different from in-office training, but workers can still shadow their colleagues on certain tasks i.e., listening in to phone calls, participates in team calls, as well as receive online training on new technology. During the onboarding process, it is important that managers set out actionable goals for the new worker. International remote workers work different hours than their colleagues, so they must be able to work on their projects autonomously.
6. Have regular check-ins during onboarding
Finally, regular communication is vital during the onboarding period. Remote workers can sometimes feel isolated, so a quick catch-up at the start can make the new worker feel very welcomed and connected. This is also the perfect time to help you gauge how an employee is coping and if they need any extra resources. Regular one-to-ones also build trust and helps sort out any issues before they become major problems.
While we know there are many advantages to hiring remote workers internationally, it is important that businesses have a robust onboarding process in place. By having a strong onboarding plan in place, businesses can improve retention rates and maintain productivity. Utilising the correct technology, training, and communication ensures the new remote worker stays productive and engaged.