An HR Team’s Complete Guide to Virtual Onboarding

virtual onboarding

Onboarding is a process that every HR professional knows to be essential. Recent reports show employees are 58% more likely to stay with an organization for 3+ years following a structured onboarding program. In addition, organizations that standardized their onboarding process see 50% greater productivity with new hires. 

And this year? Onboarding is even more important—and complicated. Combine ever-increasing remote work with the fact that The Great Resignation is driving us to replace the employees we’ve lost, and we’re facing a whole new challenge: The Great (Virtual) Onboarding.

Despite how important these processes are, it’s still something many HR teams struggle with. And even if you’re doing a great job, it’s time to rethink your onboarding program and make sure you’re able to reach workers who are joining your team remotely. 

That’s why we’ve put together a complete guide to virtual onboarding. We’ve highlighted our best resources to help every step of the way. 

Let’s dive in! 

What is Employee Onboarding Software?

Onboarding software is the foundation of any strong virtual onboarding experience. When welcoming a remote employee, you’re only as successful as the digital platform you use to organize and facilitate their introduction and training. What’s more, the software you use can be the deciding factor for your team member’s understanding of your benefits offerings. 

Meeting new people, learning processes and tasks, understanding a company mission — that’s all confusing and overwhelming enough. Add another layer of choosing your new benefits plans, and it’s a recipe for disaster. The right employee onboarding software can ensure your staff members enroll in the right plans and also engage with your entire suite of benefits offerings after the dust settles from their first few months on the job. 

Not convinced that you need to find and implement an employee onboarding software yet? Fair enough! It’s a big step, we get it. But here are just a few of the benefits you can expect:

  • Say goodbye to confusion and stress: Half of employees feel like choosing benefits is stressful, and one in five want more education on the topic. Throw in being the new guy or gal on the block and remote and you got an anxiety-inducing situation. This is where software becomes your best friend — breaking down complex topics and walking people through different healthcare and benefits scenarios.
  • Save time: One in four employees spend 7+ hours researching benefits. Onboarding software significantly reduces unnecessary time spent. Features like chat functionality can answer simple questions and guide team members to the right resources. (Hint: this also saves time for your HR folks!) 
  • Reduce costs, for err’body: With an interactive software platform, people are more likely to choose correct benefits plans, saving them and your organization money in the long run. Plus, you’re saving money on resources by freeing up time and energy for your HR team; everyone wins! 

Still wondering what employee onboarding software is, and how to find the right fit for you?

Remote Onboarding Best Practices Every HR Team Should Know

If software is the foundation, your remote onboarding process is the house you build on top of it. And creating and optimizing processes is nothing without using best practices. After all, the world of HR (and the workplace, in general) is always evolving. Look at the past two years as proof. 

With the latest remote onboarding best practices in mind, we’ve outlined six steps to make your new virtual team members feel welcome and included as soon as they digitally sign their acceptance letter:

  1. Send welcomes as soon as the deal is sealed: Once they turn from candidate to new hire, encourage your team to reach out and offer quick (but sincere) welcome and congrats.
  2. Send virtual swag 💌: Gone are the days when you could leave a swag basket on the desk for new hires. To update this practice, send remote-friendly items like a digital gift certificate (think cafe or local bakery).
  3. Help out with the home office: Before they need to actually log on from their remote workplace, assist team members to ensure they’re ready. Work with IT or operations to get hardware (computer, headset, etc.) and software (VPN, email, intranet) dialed in — pun slightly intended. 😉 

For the next three steps (and lots more examples), head over to our remote onboarding best practices list.

The Ultimate Virtual Onboarding Checklist ✔️

Virtual onboarding is complex. There are a lot of steps involved over a series of weeks/months. Plus, no two people or positions are the same. Each requires different intros, trainings, support etc. 

So, you know what you need in your life? A checklist to make this easier. Even though software and processes can help, there’s nothing like a good-ole’ to-do list to keep you on track!

Your buddies at Jellyvision got you covered! We polled the experts in our HR community to create a comprehensive list of everything you need to consider (and those smalls things you might forget) while onboarding. 

This downloadable virtual onboarding checklist covers:

  • Detailed step-by-step instructions for each phase, including preboarding.
  • Tips on rolling out the remote welcome wagon. 
  • Virtual communication pointers to make new employees feel supported. 
  • Recommendations for continued professional growth. 
  • Plus lots of other nuts and bolts!

Download this virtual onboarding checklist to make your life easier!

Onboarding Statistics That Will Make You Rethink How You Welcome New Hires

We’re saving the last for best in this guide, and that’s onboarding statistics that really drive home the importance of the process. 

We did a little of our own research to get a sense of how real employees feel during this chaotic time in the job market and workplace. Our latest report summarizes a survey of full-time U.S. employees.

Maybe you think you have an OK program in place that it’s getting the job done “fine enough.” These onboarding statistics might make you reevaluate that notion:

1 in 5
companies don’t have a formal onboarding program in place—yikes!
of employees didn’t feel confident in their understanding of benefits packages during the onboarding process.
2 in 5
employees didn’t receive benefits info before their first day, which led them to make confused and rushed decisions.

Don’t worry; our report isn’t just the cold-harsh reality of where we’re falling short. We also offer actionable ways to update your process to align with the findings of these onboarding statistics.

Streamline your virtual onboarding process with the help of data-backed insights from real employees.

Revitalize Your Virtual Onboarding Program 

The reality of our current job market means lots of turnover, recruiting, hiring and onboarding. The overall goal of these time-consuming steps is talent retention — keeping your people happy and growing with your organization. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it once was. But with a well-structured, engaging onboarding program, you can ensure new hires are supported as soon as they say “I do” to your offer. 

The bottom line is any HR professional is nothing without their tools — especially in our remote and hybrid world. Implementing the right software, like employee benefits platforms, will make your job easier and better facilitate a smooth onboarding operation. 

Jump to section

ALEX offers the perfect partner for your onboarding process—eliminating confusion and saving time and money.

Hey you, join our community!

Join 22,000+ HR pros who receive monthly employee benefits insights, straight to their inbox.

You're using an unsupported browser.

The Jellyvision website no longer supports Internet Explorer. Please switch to Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to access the site.