Irma Mesa

3 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

Okay, so not only is it difficult to hire remote employees but it’s even harder to onboard them. Ideally, if your company can afford it it’s substantially easier to have an offsite to onboard the new hire in person but that’s not super realistic and never expected.

So, let’s talk about the alternative way to onboard a remote employee - asynchronously.

Set them up with essentials before their start date

This one is big. With in-office employees it’s a little simpler since they can fill out paperwork in your office, they can ask all the questions face to face and all that. But when on-boarding a remote new hire it’s mostly all asynchronous.

Most companies send over a ton of emails over several days during the first week with new account logins, invites, intros, payroll info, 401(k) jargon. It’s a lot. And all of that can get easily lost. And again, these all come in during the first week.

So, to all HR managers out there, set up your new hires with everything they need before their start date. This may vary per company but if you’re able to set up your new hire with their preferred equipment (laptop, table, headphones, etc.) at least 1 week before their start date. If there’s any information or logins they can start getting access to at least 2-3 days before their start date that is always helpful. This allows for time to ask questions and less of a rush on the first day to get the new hire set up perfectly.

Pair them with 1 or 2 team members as an “onboarding buddy”

I’ve seen several companies and mainly startups pick up pairing new hires with a buddy. This can make transitions easier and allow the new hire to feel part of the team from the get-go.

Pick an employee that has been with the company for 6 months to 1 year and provide them an outline of what they should be reviewing with the new hire, these can include communication norms, Slack tips, documentation processes, policies, and more. It also gives a way for the new hire to not feel isolation having someone they can freely talk to with.

Provide them with an onboarding checklist

This is a must! Emails, chats, etc. can get tricky with onboarding especially with all the new people and messages the new hire will be receiving.

So, set up a template in Google Docs that has a short checklist of the high priority items the new hire can start checking off in the first 2 weeks.

Here’s a list of a few items your onboarding checklist can include:

[X] Accepted Slack Invite

[X] Set up Slack profile and added role, location, headshot

[X] Scheduled 3 virtual chats with different team members


Thanks for reading! Check out Remote Newbie for more support and resources for working remotely.