How to welcome new staff successfully during the pandemic

By Anita Jaynes on 25 February, 2021

Dan Barfoot, Operations Director at Wiltshire’s CMD Recruitment shares how to onboard new team members successfully during lockdown. 

If the pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s that many elements of the recruitment process can be undertaken virtually.

There is a lot of advice online about undertaking the perfect virtual interview, but what about successful onboarding? Many businesses still need to hire candidates during a pandemic, and it is even more important to ensure that your onboarding process is efficient. You don’t have the luxury of showing the candidates around the office and being close enough to ensure they are settling in well.

The important thing to remember is that you will need to adapt your current onboarding processes to suit the virtual aspect, and it may be a good time to make positive changes to your process. In some cases, you may not even have an onboarding process, and this will be the perfect time to establish one. Let’s look at some of the best ways to ensure your onboarding process is successful.

Devise a Plan

It will understandably take more time to onboard new hires, as they won’t be in the office, which is why it is important to devise a structured plan for them. The plan may include any meetings, training, agendas etc, and it will ensure the new hire will not feel stressed about what is ahead of them. Starting a new role is nerve wracking enough, adding the virtual aspect to it and becomes overwhelming. If your recruit has a structured plan sent to them prior to starting, they will instantly feel more relaxed.


It is a good idea to do on-boarding in groups if possible, however, this is not always possible. When a new hire starts in the office, you would usually introduce them to the team and any other colleagues they would be dealing with. Make sure you do this, but virtually. It may even be a nice touch to “buddy” them up with someone to have a virtual lunch together. All these seemingly small touches will make a huge difference to how welcome the new start will feel.


You can’t expect a new start to sit on a virtual training call all day, it will bore them to tears! It is better to mix up the training with some trainer led and some they can do on their own. Make sure you take it easy with them in the first couple of weeks, as starting a new job can be stressful and demanding. It is important not to put too much pressure on them. Some online training guides would be useful, including information on day to day queries they may have, such as when they get paid, how to record holidays and the sickness procedure. Make sure they are furnished with as much information as possible and that they understand your expectations of them. For example, you may operate a relaxed environment, or you may expect them to hit specific targets. It is important that they understand these expectations before they get started.


No one wants to be micro-managed, so although you don’t want to hound your new start with calls, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. They are likely to have lots of questions during the onboarding process, so if you are the type of person who responds to emails with a couple of days, it may be best to delegate this take to someone else. It is also a good idea to consider setting up an online chat function for colleagues to speak to each other as this can make everyone feel more welcome and is a good way for them to get answers to any questions.

To find out more about CMD Recruitment visit: , call 01225 805080 or email:

Pictured above: Dan Barfoot, Operations Director, CMD Recruitment