According to data from last year, nearly 40% of people in the United States would prefer to always work from home. 

Working from home allows a work-life balance, saves money on gas, and can lead to increased productivity. 

If you want to hire the best candidates, you must be willing to offer WFH opportunities, but how do you go about these new hires? 

Continue reading to discover the key steps in learning how to onboard remote employees so that you are prepared!  

Finalize Initial Hiring Paperwork

One of the first steps in learning how to onboard remote employees is to finalize the initial paperwork.

Before you can hire employees, you must get a completed application from the candidate. Skipping this step can delay the onboarding process and create future issues, so it is best to get it done early. Applications have info about who the candidate is, this will get used when filing tax documents and adding them to your payroll system. 

You should also ask for references at this time. Calling 2 t0 3 references can give you a better understanding of who the candidate is before having to send them a paycheck. 

Send Your Offer Letter 

Once you have decided on a new hire, you must send them an offer letter for the position.

Offer letters can be sent through the mail or email, some companies even do both. Offer letters should include information about their role, salary, and start date. Take time to ensure that your offer letters are accurate, professional, and neat. 

It may also be a good idea to state in the offer letter that the position is remote. This info will help your new candidate better understand their role within the company so that they can adapt to the new environment. 

Prepare in Advance 

If you already have a candidate in mind, you need to run through your checklist to ensure that the company is prepared. 

Start preparing for the new employee with as much time ahead as possible since there are many details. Start by pulling together a list of the action items that can’t get missed. Even before talking to your internal team, write a list of everyone that your new hire will need to meet with.

You should also start gathering training materials and find learning opportunities for your new hire. The more prepared that you are, the easier it will be to manage new employees and get them into the flow of work.  

Talk to Each Department

When you identify the new hire’s starting date, you will need to talk to each department head.

Depending on your business, these meetings could all be done within a day or take several weeks to complete. Talk to the HR department first, they will need the application of the candidate to start entering them into the employee database system. 

HR can also send the employee handbook to the new hire before their start date and obtain any other information from them. Next, you will need to organize a meeting with payroll to work out direct deposit details. More than 90% of employees in the United States use direct deposit, so make sure your payroll department has everything they need. 

Talking to IT might be the most time-consuming. They will need to set up email accounts, files, calendars, and more. Discuss your new hire’s role at the company so that IT can grant permission to the necessary files and programs they need to do their job. 

Start Building Their Calendar 

Starting to build the new hire’s calendar should begin the moment that IT completes their accounts.

Try to add details to the meetings during the first few months of your new hire. This will help them better understand your expectations and how the company works. Most companies use video calls for meetings, make sure your employee understands how to access these before their meeting. 

The calendar is a wonderful resource for new employees. Especially since it helps them learn the names of coworkers and start understanding the company’s role in the industry. If your new employee is struggling with their calendar, have your IT department place a video call to walk them through each step. 

Send Tech & Resources 

Depending on your requirements, you may be responsible for supplying your staff with technology.

Certain companies will purchase a laptop, phone, or wifi hotspot for their employees to use every day. If you don’t have the budget for this, make sure that candidates understand they will need to use a personal computer. 

If you have any handbooks, binders, or manuals, you should mail them to your new hire along with any devices. Try to get the materials to your employee as soon as possible, and ensure that they sign a waiver in case of damage. 

Since shipping fees can quickly add up, it might be more practical to have the employee stop by an office to pick up everything that they need. 

Complete Tax Documents 

Both you and the new hire will need to complete tax documents on their first day. 

Many people recommend using for online applications. Completing tax documents like the i9 and W4 can speed up the process and contribute to your efforts of going green.  

You need these tax documents so that you can complete taxes from the business side. These forms help identify how much money was withheld by the government. Keep in mind that all of the tax documents need to get completed before the employee’s start date or on their first day. 

Waiting to complete these forms could lead to trouble with the IRS. Having HR help the new employee with these documents can help resolve any confusion or repetition of filing. 

First Day on the Job

Most companies use the first day on the job as an opportunity to orient the new hire and get the paperwork done.

You can also begin hands-on training or have your employee work their way through online training modules. Although the first day can be dull and long for the new hire, it is essential to get some of the housekeeping work out of the way. 

Since your new hire is remote, you won’t have to take them on a tour of your building. Try to pull together a detailed schedule or list for the new hire to follow so that they aren’t sitting without anything to do. 

Periodically check on the new hire to ensure that they can access all of the training documents. It is also good to bring up any questions that they have and introduce them to some of their teammates. The direct supervisor should be helping guide the entire training process, especially on day one. 

Work Through Training 

Each day should get progressively challenging for the new hire. 

Get your new hire working through their training so that they can gain the knowledge to successfully do their job. Training should be broken up so that the employee doesn’t get overwhelmed and can start putting the pieces together.

The more time that you invest in training, the less time you will spend guiding them throughout employment. When employees understand expectations and how to carry out the tasks, they are happier at their jobs, and turnover decreases. 

If you notice that an employee is struggling to learn a concept, take time to sit with them on a video call to clarify any questions they have. Modules are one of the easiest ways to train remote employees since you can monitor their progress and view quiz or test results. 

Some companies require their employees to attend in-person training before going remote. If this is necessary for your business, you may have to pay for lodging for the employee during that time. 

Add Responsibilities

The best way to acclimate remote work employees is by gradually increasing responsibilities.

Begin with simple tasks that you know they can accomplish based on past experience and education. Get the new hire comfortable with these simple tasks and let them find their own flow of work. As they gain confidence with these tasks, you can add additional duties that will help them grow into their role at the company. 

Try not to overwhelm your new hire with a lot of different tasks at once. Even if they seem like simple responsibilities, there is still a learning curve for most people at a new company. Talk to your new hire periodically to ensure that they aren’t falling behind or getting stressed out. 

According to recent data, more than 90% of people working in the United States experience stress at work. Try not to contribute to this statistic and make sure that your employees are as prepared as they can be. 

Ask for Feedback

During the entire employee onboarding process, you should ask for feedback.

Feedback can come from several sources to benefit the hiring and onboarding process. Not only should you get feedback from your new hire, but also from each department head. This will help you find flaws within your workflow and clarify confusing parts of the training process. 

Each member affected by the new hire should have a chance to offer feedback since they are exposed to the process. When staff isn’t involved with onboarding, key factors can get overlooked and progress could get delayed. 

Whether you want to get feedback through conversation, confidential surveys, or some other way, it can help you become a better boss. 

Show Your Company Culture

If you take pride in your company culture and want others to see it, don’t get shy!

You can show new hires your company culture through weekly emails or newsletters, your website, or social media. Think about the image of your company and how you want others to perceive you. This will help new hires understand more about your company and the impact that you want to make in the industry and the world. 

It is also important to introduce your new employee to the entire company. This will help make them feel more welcomed and less nervous to reach out to coworkers. Try to align your company culture with your mission and goals the best that you can.

Conduct Reviews

Whether you like to meet with employees once or twice a year, you should always conduct reviews.

The onboarding process is never-ending since employees are always learning and growing roles. Knowing this info, reviews are essential so that you can stay on the same page and your employee understands their expectations. 

Reviews shouldn’t get used as an opportunity to discipline someone for logging in 2 minutes late each day. This is a minor thing that likely isn’t impacting their ability to complete the job. Reviews should be used as an opportunity to help them grow further by setting goals and discussing their strong points instead. 

Do You Know How to Onboard Remote Employees?

Learning how to onboard remote employees can get overwhelming if you don’t prepare yourself properly.

With plenty of time in advance, you should be clarifying the role and responsibilities of your future hire. Thinking about the resources and devices that employees need to do their jobs is also essential if you want them to start training on day one. 

Don’t be afraid to work with your team during this process. Their expertise, time, and feedback can improve your company from the inside out. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about employee onboarding and running a business!