In Walters People remote onboarding series, we equip you with the toolset to make the shift to onboarding new talent remotely, overcoming the barriers that come with an absence of human, tangible interactions. How can your new starter access the same level of support from home?

From checking in regularly, providing mentorship, to creating a safe space for honest and relaxed communication, you need to provide support in every sense to help your new recruit to reach that familiarity and level of comfort that organically occurs in an office environment.

Take a look at our 5 tips to support and empower your new hire from home.

Buddy up

Working in an office allows time for basic questions to be asked as they arise. A new starter may not feel comfortable querying their line manager directly, fearing they will take up their time if the question is too trivial. Having a point of contact on stand-by means they can drop them a quick line without any reservation and get a faster response.

Make sure you instil the importance of unplugging and maintaining work-life balance from the outset. 

A mentor or buddy in your team can support your new recruit during their first few months at the company. Pencilling in regular meetings and Q&A sessions allows your new recruit to compile questions for their mentor during the call, so they can support with introductory training and tasks.

The team social scene

The most prevalent challenges for remote workers are isolation, loneliness and lack of FaceTime with teammates. New employees especially are likely to suffer from this, so make sure the induction includes plenty of time for the new recruit to get to know the rest of the team, and vice-versa.

Maintain the sense of community your team has in the office and think about some of those ‘rituals’ such as ‘virtual coffee breaks’ or ‘Skype and a sandwich’ that you can mirror remotely to make your new starter feel welcomed and included.

Just checking in…

One-to-one interactions are important to get a sense of how your new team member is feeling and put them in a positive mindset to tackle new tasks. Schedule regular morning meetings between your new hire and their line manager, whether that’s you or one of your direct reports, to provide clarity during their first week.

It’s all about balance

Your new starter will want to impress and overwork to let their employer know they can be trusted, resulting in the potential to work after hours and be at risk of burn-out. Make sure you instil the importance of unplugging and maintaining work-life balance from the outset. Share how you personally structure your day so your new hire follows suit.

Patience is a virtue

Even if your new hire is accustomed to working remotely, a digital onboarding process will be navigating completely new territory for both managers and employees, so errors and miscommunications are to be expected during the first few weeks. Where a new employee may go wrong, be understanding and ensure they have the support to overcome and learn from any errors.

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