HR Onboarding During A Global Pandemic

Date posted: 16th September 2020


What is onboarding in human resources? This is the process of integrating new employees with a company and its cultures as well as familiarising them with the tools and facilities that they will need to utilise to become a productive member of the team. 

But how do you implement this crucial process during a global pandemic when social distancing and employee safety is of the utmost importance? Welcome to the world of virtual onboarding. 

Onboarding is absolutely vital to new team-members joining any organisation but in the current climate businesses are being forced to adapt (as they have in all aspects of their lives recently). Some of these adaptations include:


From pub quizzes to corporate meetings – Zoom has been a lifesaver for millions around the world during this strange time. It’s no surprise that the video communication tool is being utilised once again.

Whilst it inevitably takes away from the personal elements of the onboarding process, Zoom provides the perfect opportunity for new and current team members to meet and interact in one place. 

The screensharing, presentation function allows current members of staff to go present and talk through key information and demonstrate how programmes and software works. This practical demonstration is as close to a traditional onboarding process as possible.

 Some would even argue that being able to initiate the onboarding process over Zoom and from the comfort of your own home reduces some of the stress and anxiety that comes with those initially uncomfortable situations.   

It is vital that businesses ensure that individuals are provided with the equipment they require to carry out their job. From PC’s and laptops to handbooks and the staff code of conduct – employees should be provided with all essential equipment to take part in virtual onboarding as well as being a productive member of the team.

Complete Paperwork Electronically

It is inevitable that new starters will need to sign different HR documents such as employment contacts and staff handbooks. Businesses should look to provide them with electronic versions of these documents wherever possible to avoid breaching Covid guidelines. 

It is very important that employers remember that they are legally require to provide their new starters with specific documents and pieces of information on or before their first day of work.

Social Distancing

If necessary, it may be possible to initiate onboarding in a more personal manner by holding the event in a socially distanced environment in alignment with government guidelines. 

Each business is run differently but there is an opportunity to have members of your team meet and integrate whilst staying Covid-safe. Companies have spent a lot of time and, in some cases, money to ensure that their workspaces are safe for all of their staff. If this is the case, onboarding can still be done in a traditional work environment. 

The benefits, of course, are centered around new employees being able to experience their new surroundings and colleagues for the very first time and make human connections alongside a real look and feel for their work environment. 

However, it is important that business owners and managers ensure the safety and wellbeing of all employees is the most important factor. If companies do not yet have the facilities and measure in place to create a socially distanced and safe work environment, onboarding events should be held virtually during the current circumstances.

Ask For Feedback And Be Available

Making changes and adapting to these unprecedented circumstances is so challenging and something that businesses across the UK have done so well over the last six months. 

However, just because companies have adapted and provided some form of onboarding protocol for new starters, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was successful. It is key that employers ask for feedback from employees and assess how they found the onboarding process. Following that feedback, the company can continue to help new members of the team to integrate in areas that they felt could be improved.

Onboarding is a daunting experience for new members of a team. New worries, concerns and questions will present themselves in time. Businesses need to be available and contactable as much as possible to answer any questions and concerns to put new starters at ease and ensure they are ready to start work.

Kingswood Group

Here at Kingswood Group, we have seen first hand how difficult it has been for businesses in the UK to operate in the current climate. The changes that companies have worked tirelessly to make in order to survive have been incredible.

That’s why we want to help businesses to start thriving again as soon as possible by easing the workload and allowing you to focus on doing what you do best – running a business. 

Our expert HR and HR recruitment team have decades of experience handling the time consuming world of HR for all manner of clients. To find out more about what we do and how we could help you, click here! {LINK}




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