Lessons I learnt from onboarding new employees online: Nelly Mutula, Head of HR, Fuzu.

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Interviews are now being conducted via video calls, as a job seeker, you need to be well prepared to go through the whole process remotely. 

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Nelly Mutula, Head of HR, Fuzu.

Virtual work has been the norm because we are all taking all the necessary efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19; nothing is being left to chance. In that same vein, hiring has also almost gone fully virtual. Interviews are now being conducted via video calls, as a job seeker, you need to be well prepared to go through the whole process.  

For the successful hires, onboarding is also being conducted online. We spoke to Nelly Mutula, Head of Human Resource at Fuzu who shared her experiences onboarding new employees virtually. You’ll definitely learn something from the insights she shared below:

What has your experience been like while onboarding new hires online?

We call it remote onboarding. It is a new experience but part of it had been done way before, especially for our company. Fuzu is also based in Uganda, therefore, we had been onboarding the new Ugandan employees remotely. Overall it is a good experience but it needs a lot of planning for it to be successful. Prior planning and coordination is vital for it to be successful.

Give us three lessons you have learnt while onboarding people remotely

1. Coordination. 

It is extremely important to have a checklist for the task before, during and after the hiring takes place. The hiring manager needs to know if contracts have been sent out and signed. The professional email accounts for the new employees need to be set up and the new recruits should know the policies and culture of the company.

Meeting invites need to be sent out way before the onboarding day so that the onboarding experience can be smooth sailing. The Hiring managers who are in charge of the department that is getting the new employees should send a welcome email to the new people who are coming in.

2. During the onboarding.

I plan for sessions where the new recruits meet individual teams in our company so as to create engagement. We also do a welcome session for our newbies. This is where all the employees log in to a planned meeting and the new employees are introduced to the team. There they get officially welcomed into the team.

Hiring managers should ensure that they create fun stops when briefing the employees on their roles and what they will be doing plus what is expected of them. Too much inflow of information can be boring. For example you can take breaks to do something unofficial.

3. After the onboarding.

We send out a survey monthly to the new employees to find out how they have been settling in their roles and in the company. Sometimes they may be experiencing challenges and probably keep quiet with them. Surveys help us understand the experience that the new hires have had during a specific period of working there and how the company can better serve them.

Having said that however, it takes 6 months to fully onboard a person.

What are the challenges you have been facing while conducting remote onboarding and what can be done to mitigate them?

1. Smooth coordination is not easy. The best way to conduct it is by creating a checklist and conduct thorough prior planning. If possible a week before.

2. Getting people excited. Long onboarding sessions can be boring and sometimes lonely. Therefore, the hiring manager should create engagement sessions where people meet everyone else in the team.

3. Technological challenges. There are times when you experience poor network connection or power blackouts. To mitigate that, one should have backups in place such as data bundles as a backup to Wi-Fi. Also it will be very beneficial to do a test run of the platforms that you are going to use.

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