Virtual Onboarding Experiences

 

Virtual onboarding is becoming a new normal for many new hires in the context of a global pandemic outbreak. For those that never experienced a virtual onboarding process, there could be a sense of reluctance or anxiety. After all, you cannot simply assume that virtual onboarding experiences fully replicate in-person interactions occurring on premise.

Yet, your physical location or global circumstances should not dictate the quality of your virtual onboarding experience. As such, this article will discuss the virtual onboarding and the new hire experience. We have collected some virtual onboarding experiences and new hires virtual experience feedback. In this way, we can draw some conclusions on how to foster the best employee onboarding experiences.

If you want to read more in-depth employee onboarding experiences, we have conducted multiple interviews which you can find on our website.

Defining Virtual Onboarding and the New Hire Experience

 

A virtual onboarding experience was not unheard of among the new hires of business organisations prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the lock-downs imposed due to the virus caused many businesses worldwide to adjust their customary in-person onboarding process. This meant embracing technological tools in a quest of bridging the physical distance of working remotely.

Before investigating both virtual onboarding and the new hire experience and the insights gathered from virtual onboarding experience feedback, it is useful to establish what is a virtual onboarding process.

 

Virtual Onboarding

 

We have already devoted an entire article to the topic of What is a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process?. But, let’s briefly review what it means for you as a new hire when starting a new job remotely. Let’s see what you can expect when you signed up to a virtual onboarding programme. 

Virtual onboarding refers to the process of integrating you into a new company. The entirety of this process takes place remotely via virtual tools, such as video conferencing tools, online resources and webinars.

 

Defining the Virtual Onboarding Experience

 

A virtual onboarding experience refers to your feelings towards receiving a virtual onboarding. When dealing with virtual experiences, there is always a question of how do these experiences measure up against on-premise onboarding experiences.

Hence, your virtual onboarding experience are gathered by interacting with the tools, training  and information necessary for the new hire in order to become a productive member of the team and by facilitating cultural and social integration. 

 

The Best Onboarding Experiences

 

Normally, the best onboarding experiences are associated with being in a new physical setting. This implies: a new company, a new workstation, a new team of people. Thus, there seems to be a correlation between positive experiences and a very direct form of interaction.

However, it is worth stating that although arising as a necessity for many organisations and employees, virtual onboarding does not have to imply a lesser quality process than in-person or on-premise onboarding. Indeed, many virtual onboarding experiences highlight that you can still feel connected and included in your company even when not sharing a physical space. This is particularly relevant, as more employees are changing their work modes and applying more hybrid work work-models.

Indeed, we are going to show that virtual onboarding experiences can be just as rewarding, inspiring and empowering. However, creating such positive virtual onboarding experiences does require some special attention.

5 Key Principles Contributing to the Best Virtual Onboarding Experiences

 

We have identified 5 key principles that contribute to the best virtual onboarding experiences.

 

Consistency

Irrespective of your whereabouts during onboarding (at home or at the office), you and other fellow new hires should receive consistent, high-quality experiences. This ensures that virtual onboarding and in person onboarding keep the same quality standards. The aim is to produce similar quality onboarding experiences for all employees.

As more and more companies are introducing the hybrid workplace model, consistent onboarding experiences must become the norm.

 

Training and Skill Development

 

Onboarding experiences that enable new workers to practice and develop new skills while they are working are paramount. Having access to learning, empowers new hires to revisit and put new knowledge into practice when required.

Virtual training can produce incredible results. This is revealed by a survey of 150 L&D professionals from NovoEd. About 54% of learning leaders felt that the quality of employee training had improved during the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 79% said online training produced better outcomes than in-person learning.

 

Don’t Forget about Culture and Socialisation

 

It probably comes as no surprise that not having that instant connection to a workplace and a team due to virtual onboarding is a challenge for both employees and employers. After all, how are you supposed to feel connected to a new team and a new workplace when you are receiving a virtual onboarding? Probably you even participate in virtual onboarding while being at your own home.

However, the virtual onboarding experiences of many employees suggest that  understanding of the culture and value of their new employers is still achievable virtually.

Let’s take a real life example. At LinkedIn, newly employed workers of the company are required to watch the different live video presentations from the leaders of the company. This helps them get exposed to the values and culture of LinkedIn as an organisation. They also attend sessions focusing on crucial details for the start of their onboarding journeys.

LinkedIn’s intent to craft positive and fulfilling virtual onboarding experiences is easily noticeable. The decision to include a socialising dimension to their one week digital employee onboarding programme speaks volumes. On Friday, the onboarding process ends with a virtual happy hour.

 

Multi-layered Support System

 

Availability of multi-layered support via effective connections with managers, experts, and co-workers across the organization is necessary for your new job journey which debuts virtually.

Remote work means that learning by observation is no longer an option for you. You cannot just witness your co-workers consulting on issues and talk through a plan or a strategy. You cannot understand what your coworkers excel at while you have zero access to their way of thinking or acting. However, when if your virtual onboarding experiences are consolidated with the blueprints for effective collaboration, you will feel connected to your team and will be able to ask for support, new information whenever in need.

 

Focus on Video Content

 

For example, virtual onboarding can benefit from video presentation as the means to providing engaging onboarding experiences for remote workers. The handling of onboarding documentation occurs outside of the video presentation and meeting time. This helps avoid a first day document ambush.

Ryan Healy, president and co-founder of Brazen, a provider of virtual hiring events and virtual career fairs brings some perspective into the role of video for onboarding employees. Healy stresses the comparative advantage of video tools. “Video has been one of the best tools for forging connections remotely. It creates a more immersive and engaging experience than phone calls and emails alone, and offers more hands-on support and training that new hires need to succeed in a new remote role.”

Virtual Onboarding Experiences Feedback

Video has been one of the best tools for forging connections remotely. It creates a more immersive and engaging experience than phone calls and emails alone.


—Ryan Healy, president and co-founder of Brazen.

Video can play a vital role in connecting remote employees with the company’s identity and ethical values. Additionally it allows you an insight into the company culture even without being on the company’s premises.

Alykhan Rehmatullah, vice president of content strategy at iCIMS highlights that “many have come to realise that video is the future, and what is more, it is already a huge part of our daily lives.” Additionally, Rehmatullah added that “employers can mirror that authentic and convenient communication and collaboration experience for candidates and employees through various forms of videos.” Again, he makes a point that even when onboarding virtually, employers can still engage actively with their employees from their first point of contact with the company and throughout the onboarding process.

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Employee Virtual Onboarding Experience Feedback

 

Virtual onboarding should enable new hires to know their new employers’ values and mode of operations from their remote locations. Let’s review some virtual onboarding experience feedback collected by the introdus team.

One of the virtual new hire experiences is that of Sean Choi, Senior Strategist at The Martin Agency. Reflecting on his virtual onboarding journey, he described it as “empowering and quite educational in the sense of making all the employees feel prepared.” 

According to Sean, with virtual onboarding activities, employees were introduced to the company’s operations and culture. He also remarked that virtual onboarding provides a sense of connection among the employees with the virtual chats and virtual coffee chats. It is a mode of recreating the experience one could have in the office. He concluded by highlighting the need for creative solutions for making new hires feel connected. “I think there are lots of different creative ways that people can bring to life as we all work from home.”

Virtual Onboarding Experiences Feedback

There are lots of different creative ways that people can bring remote work to life as we all work from home.


— Sean Choi, Senior Strategist at The Martin Agency.

Read experience

In his virtual onboarding experience feedback, Bo Cui, a Junior SEO Specialist at MediaGroup Worldwide focused on the training component of his onboarding process. “Virtual onboarding exposed me to many online courses that improved my capacity to perform my role as an SEO specialist.”

Aditionally, Bo reflected on the utility of communication and collaboration tools. He highlighted that these tools enabled him to exchange ideas and learn different skills from his team mates. He saw this as a way of enhancing his competence while still in the induction process.

Virtual Onboarding Experience Feedback

Virtual onboarding exposed me to many online courses that improved my capacity to perform my role as a SEO specialist.


According to Bo Cui, Junior SEO Specialist at MediaGroup Worldwide.

Read experience

Virtual Onboarding and The New Hire Experience: Concluding Remarks

 

To conclude, virtual onboarding and the new hire experience have been a challenge for many employers and employees alike. Creating positive new hire virtual onboarding experiences might require extra consideration, but this does not mean it is impossible.

Though virtual onboarding, companies can establish the proper engagement with their new hires. This is achievable through video communication, collaboration, and training tools that enhance employees’ productivity. In turn, positive virtual onboarding experiences of the new hires can have a high impact on their tenure in the company, prolonging their stay in the company.

No doubt, the success of virtual onboarding can depend on the nature of the software used to undertake the exercise. A tool like introdus, employee onboarding software, will make the new hires experience a fulfilling virtual onboarding process. It is embedded with a tailor-made plan that will foster fun and insightful experiences. For example, through the educational videos, you become ready to hit the ground running. 

With the right onboarding tools, you are assured of a great virtual onboarding experience. This will aid you in understanding the company’s ethics and, at the same time, contribute your quota to the growth and productivity of your new work organisation.

Positive Virtual Onboarding Experiences are ensured when using an effective Pre & Onboarding Tool.

 

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