What is a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process?


If you have started a new job in the last two years, there is a high chance that you have first hand experience with a virtual employee onboarding process. This is a new normal for many new employees, as multiple states have implemented stay at home orders, or simply strongly recommend for whomever has the possibility to work from home.

A new employee onboarding process plays a crucial role for all employees, regardless of their work arrangements (fully remote, fully on site or hybrid work). However, it is not hard to grasp why a virtual employee onboarding process can be more challenging. After all, a crucial part of starting a new job is getting acquainted with your new work settings and your new team. Getting connected to your new place is harder when not sharing a physical space.

introdus, employee onboarding software, is a strong advocate for exceptional new hire experiences notwithstanding the physical location of the onboarding activities. You deserve a great start at your new job, you deserve to feel like a part of the team, you deserve to feel like your company cares about your integration and they provide you with all the information, relationship-building opportunities, training etc. necessary for you to succeed at your new job. introdus offers a remote onboarding software that keeps up with all the industry data and is shaped by the experiences of all the beneficiaries of our products.

This article will discuss what is a virtual employee onboarding process, and what are some key strategic objectives that should shape any virtual employee onboarding process. Additionally, we have included some virtual employee onboarding process best practices meant to help craft the best onboarding experiences for new hires.

Virtual Employee Onboarding Process Insights

Employers should strive to make virtual onboarding seamless, dynamic and informative.

—Lianne Vineberg, founder and director of Talent in the 6ix quoted by SHRM.

What is a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process?


Onboarding refers to integrating a new hire into a company by providing all the tools and information necessary for the new hire in order to become a productive member of the team and by facilitating  cultural and social integration. Virtual onboarding refers to this very process being carried out remotely via virtual tools, such as video conferencing tools, online resources and webinars.

It would be a mistake for employers to simply assume that a virtual employee onboarding process is simply a “one-and-done” video session or phone call, just like it is a mistake to assume that a welcome and a handshake are all it takes to welcome someone to a company.

Onboarding virtually should not present an inferior value proposition to employees when compared to onboarding on-site. If you are one of the employees that start work remotely, or will exclusively work remotely, you deserve just as much consideration and support.

As is the case with an in-person onboarding process, a virtual employee onboarding process has some key strategic objectives, their completion determining the success of the entire process. The section below will review some essential strategic objectives we believe any onboarding process should address.


Key Strategic Objectives of a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process


We have selected three crucial strategic objectives that we firmly believe should be at the core of designing any (virtual) onboarding process.


Virtual Onboarding Should Lay a Foundation for Relationship Building


It is critical that a virtual employee onboarding process lays a foundation for the new hire to start building relationships in the workplace. Relationship building is easier when sharing a workspace, having lunch together, or a coffee break. But virtual workers do not have the luxury of bumping into a coworker when grabbing coffee, or just popping by someone’s desk to ask a fast question.

As a result, relationship building might be even more important than role specific training for remote workers. Any new employee is a piece to a larger puzzle, your activities, actions, decisions are meaningful for the success of the entire team and even overall organisation. So, it is essential for you to trust and effectively collaborate and communicate with your new coworkers and vice-versa.


Virtual Onboarding Should Clarify Expectations and Metrics for Success


It is essential for you to know from the get-go what is expected from you when starting a new job.

  • Are you 100% clear on your new job role and responsibilities?
  • Do you understand all the steps on your onboarding journey?
  • What is the review process for your progress and performance?
  • How will your company measure your success in the new role?
  • What are the expected milestones for your journey?

These are just a few of the questions that your virtual onboarding should clarify, so as to be sure that you have obtained a clear picture of your new role and your journey towards achieving success.


Virtual Onboarding Should Lay a Foundation for Performance


Needless to say, it is key for you to gain all the knowledge and skills for becoming independent and proficient in your new job, and onboarding should cover this.

Maybe this is your first leadership role, maybe you have just switched to an industry that you have no experience in, maybe you will have to use a piece of technology for the very first time in your career. Your (virtual) onboarding must take notice of all your needs in order to become fully proficient at your new job as soon as possible. 

“Virtual onboarding should never be a “one-and-done” video session or phone call. It needs to be conducted over multiple, interactive video sessions that provide an overview of the company and its products and services, and incorporates meetings with managers, team members and even business leaders like the CEO.” These insights are provided by Sally Stetson, co-founder and principal at Salveson Stetson Group, a multi-specialty, retained executive search firm.

Virtual Employee Onboarding Process Insights

Virtual onboarding should never be a “one-and-done” video session or phone call. It needs to provide an overview of the company and its products and services.

—Sally Stetson, co-founder and principal at Salveson Stetson Group.

Virtual Employee Onboarding Process Best Practices


If you are wondering how do you onboard a new employee virtually and how do you ensure the best virtual onboarding experience, we have you covered. We are including a list of virtual employee onboarding process best practices that will take the guesswork out of onboarding virtual team members.

Virtual Employee Onboarding Process Insights

Your (virtual) onboarding must take notice of all your needs in order to become fully proficient at your new job as soon as possible.

IT Onboarding


IT onboarding is crucial for any new hire, but particularly for remote workers or workers that have to start remotely due to public health concerns. After all, how are you even supposed to do your job if you haven’t been provided with the necessary tech and software access?

So there is no space for missteps when it comes to virtual onboarding employees: IT onboarding must be very well planned out, equipment must be ordered and shipped in due time, so that the employee has all access ready on the first day on the job.


Buddy Onboarding


Even when onboarding employees virtually, a work buddy system can greatly improve your new hire experiences.

Culture is not linked to an office space, culture is all about how people work together, how you can get help, how you get rewarded, how you approach communication and so much more.

A buddy onboarding programme provides a perfect opportunity for you to gain insights into your new company’s culture, as well as gain a friendly point of reference for any of your questions (as long as they are not job role specific).


Virtual Introductions to Team Members


One of the key features of an onboarding process is the facilitation of relationship building. So a virtual employee onboarding process should also keep relationship-building at the forefront of its strategic goals.

You are going to be a part of a team, your efforts will join existing team members’ efforts towards a common goal, so it is essential to start building the trust and the allegiance towards your new co-workers from day one.

Ideally, your virtual employee onboarding process will get kicked off with a team introductory meeting, so everyone can say hi and you can get a sense of the team put together.

Thereafter, a great idea would be participating in short video calls with each individual co-worker. Some key topics to talk about in the introductory video calls with your teammates are:

  • Some facts about themselves,
  • their work and experience so far in the company,
  • One or two things they like the most working in this company and/or this team.

Virtual introductions to your teammates will provide you with an instant entry point into the company culture. You can read what your company has prepared for you concerning company culture, but nothing can compare to actually listening to your co-workers’ lived experiences.  


Virtual Onboarding Software


Welcoming a new team member virtually is easy, seamless, and powerful with the right virtual onboarding software. When your employer uses a virtual onboarding software, such as introdus, you can be assured of a structured and well-thought out journey that focuses on you and your success.

Exclusively participating in a series of virtual calls can be extremely tiring when you are starting in a new company. However, a virtual onboarding software can provide you with training modules, interactive content and access to tools for monitoring the progress of your onboarding journey, such as the remote onboarding checklist etc.

introdus, employee onboarding software, strives to offer new hires with an onboarding experience that will make you feel like you’re among friends and working right alongside other employees. We want to help you get connected to your new company from Day 1 and start seeing your contributions matter.

Ensure a successful virtual onboarding process with the right Onboarding Platform.


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