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How to Successfully Onboard Remote Software Developers

The correct onboarding procedures can help you retain your best hires for years to come. Here are some tips for onboarding effectively.

Working methods have changed dramatically over the past several decades. Companies finally become comfortable with remote work, hiring and maintaining remote workers even as the world returns to normal. Because of this, employers are adopting new strategies around remote work.

For example, remote employee onboarding is one of them. You can hire, retain, and attract exceptional remote software engineers with an effective onboarding process.

Onboarding remote employees are challenging, but what is it, and why is it so?

Introducing a new employee to the workplace is known as employee onboarding. In some organizations, the process may take as long as three months. The goal is to make sure your new employee is up to speed immediately.

Onboarding involves your employees learning about your company and its culture and providing them with the information, technology, and skills they need to be successful.

In addition to this purpose, online onboarding is explicitly designed for employees who only work remotely. Remote onboarding presents a specific challenge.

First, providing information and answering questions can be more challenging when there are no face-to-face interactions. Building relationships between new employees and their managers are also more complex.

The importance of onboarding

Nearly 90% of employees decide whether they will stay or leave their new job within the first six months. The average tech worker leaves their job within six months of starting. This can be impacted significantly by virtual onboarding and a unique hiring process.

You shouldn't just dump much information onto your remote software developers and hope for the best. This is the first time they've been in contact with you officially, so it's essential to set expectations, make them feel comfortable, and help them succeed.

Remote onboarding should include the following:

Reduce employee turnover

● Improve employee engagement

● Reduce employee stress

● Enhance employee loyalty and commitment

● Speed up the onboarding process by 50%

The cost of a poor onboarding experience can be high. According to research, it can cost your organization $350,000 to find and train a new engineer after a junior engineer leaves after one year at a salary of $98,000.

There are other costs, too. The chances of an employee being less productive and stressed are higher if their onboarding experience is unpleasant. It could negatively affect their perception of your company.

How to conduct remote onboarding

Onboarding your new software engineer is not something you can cross off your to-do list after their first day. We consider onboarding to be comprised of three distinct phases: the pre-onboarding phase, the first day or week, and the ongoing phase:

Stage One1: Pre-onboarding

A new remote employee just accepted the job offer. Great! No worries until they start, right?

Well, not quite. You don't want your new hire to wonder if they made the right choice to work for you if you don't prepare for them on Day One.

Consider sending them a swag package or a letter of congratulations instead. Please give them a few expectations for the first day and let them know you are looking forward to having them as a team member.

As part of your preparedness, you should also set up their computer and complete paperwork in advance. A smooth start will help reduce stress for everyone.

Stage Two: First-Day/First Week of Onboarding

Many employers consider this the beginning of the onboarding process. During the first few days of an employee's tenure, they should focus on getting to know everyone, learning about the company and their role, and learning new technologies or skills necessary for the job.

Observe the subtle cues that remote employees may miss by not chatting with and observing their colleagues. Introduce them to their team in a video call on their first day.

Make sure to encourage both formal and informal communication during the first week of onboarding. Ensure your new employee knows what to do in their first few assignments and where to get questions answered. For employees to get up to speed on tasks on their own, consider providing them with an employee handbook or instructional videos.

Stage Three: Ongoing Onboarding

After a few weeks or months or completing a certain number of projects or tasks, most companies consider onboarding complete.

Make sure remote workers know what your expectations are. Set goals for their success by checking in with them month-to-month, quarterly, and weekly to review their progress and answer any questions.