Humans thrive on contact with each other, in both our personal and professional lives. The global pandemic has disrupted this natural way of life, but as we approach the third year of the crisis, many businesses have grown to rely on virtual onboarding to introduce new recruits to their working environments, rather than bringing them in face-to-face. The challenges of this practice are clear but partnering with professional recruiters like Blue Octopus can help mitigate them.
What Is Virtual Onboarding?
Virtual onboarding is a blanket term for any induction and training process undertaken remotely, rather than at the company offices. This being a relatively new process, many businesses have found themselves facing up to this reality before they were ready for it. As such, the systems used for virtual onboarding vary widely, with many companies using a combination of phone support and emailed resources to guide their employees, while others use purpose designed systems.
Most businesses, even the larger ones, weren't prepared to suddenly start exclusively training people virtually in 2020; even those delivering the onboarding may need extra training themselves to do this over video.
What Can Go Wrong With Virtual Onboarding?
Being unprepared for virtual training can lead to miscommunication due to the lack of close contact and body language. This creates a need for more clarity in your words, especially as the immediate face-to-face interaction and questioning process is somewhat taken away if you're using pre-recorded video training.
New colleagues are similarly affected by not being able to interact intimately with each other. You tend to learn more about people through their body language and small habits that make them unique; something we are robbed of to a large extent by primarily virtual interaction. This is not an insurmountable obstacle though and group morale can still be heavily promoted by fun activities over video.
The culture of an organisation is also something that becomes harder to communicate virtually. You can tell new recruits what you believe in, but these values tend to become more ingrained when they can see their work environment for themselves. Even small things like a picture on the wall or the colour of a room's paint can psychologically affect this.
Bespoke Solutions For Virtual Onboarding
Thankfully, with the right tools and procedures in place, and armed with the knowledge of what could go wrong, every company can make a success of virtual onboarding – so much so, in fact, that many businesses opted to retain elements of virtual onboarding even after lockdowns ended. Blue Octopus has a decade of experience in recruitment and onboarding strategies and our team are no stranger to facing such challenges.
Human contact is vital for many things in life, not least professional interactions, but Blue Octopus are experts at translating this contact into the virtual process as well as can be expected. To find out more about our tailored talent acquisition and onboarding services, please get in touch with one of our recruitment specialists today.