So you’ve hired a new employee. That’s a good sign: it means your business is doing well and you can afford to invest in growth. But it also presents an imminent challenge. Before your new hire can become a valuable member of your team, you need to successfully onboard them — charting a course that will leave them fully familiar with your business and their role in it.
Today, with remote working being the standard throughout the world (and likely to remain the standard even when the COVID-19 crisis is fully past us), you need to start with the hardware. Every new employee needs a new computer, after all: even when they’re willing to, it isn’t good for security to have people working from their personal machines.
And once the hardware has been provided, you need to ensure that it gets used properly. We’re going to cover the whole process in this piece as we look at a straightforward five-step plan for onboarding a new hire with a new PC. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Ask them about their preferences
Some people like bulky business laptops: they like to run hundreds of tabs simultaneously, reveling in the power at their disposal. Some prefer lightweight machines they can carry around easily. And then there’s the PC/Mac divide: the title of this piece mentions PCs, but if your new hire would prefer a MacBook then you should at least consider going with that option.
Might their preferred computer type, size or model cost you more? Sure. But it’s all a matter of ROI. If they can be 10% more productive on a high-end laptop, you’ll no doubt get the extra cost of that laptop back in additional value sooner or later. It’s also true that keeping your employees happy will make them easier to work with and inspire them to develop real loyalty.
Pick a suitable model and arrangement
With the new hire’s preferences determined, you can proceed to choosing a suitable machine for them. Think carefully about the tasks you need them to complete and how much horsepower they’ll require. Do you need a recent model, or can you save some money by going with something a little older? There are plenty of options out there, so take your time.
Beyond that, you also need to think about how you’ll pay for the machine. You could just buy it outright if you wanted to, but there are reasons why that’s a bad idea: it might feel very outdated after just a year or so, leading to the user asking about getting something better, and you can never be sure how well a computer will retain value. So why not lease it instead? A flexible leasing arrangement will give you the adaptability you need to proceed with confidence.
Choose the software they’ll need
Before you send your chosen machine to your new employee, you need to configure it with whatever software you deem necessary. You might need security tools to safeguard your business operations, antimalware systems, communication software, graphic-design tools… It depends on what the user’s role will be, of course.
This might be an expensive step because software can be hugely costly, but it’s a necessary investment. There are some things you shouldn’t scrimp on. It’s hard to look past Adobe’s Creative Suite for graphics designers, for instance, and you need a formidable proxy setup to protect your internal systems. A free VPN (yes, that’s an option) can be good enough for the average internet user, but it won’t be close to good enough for business purposes.
Provide them with a full range of SOPs
SOPs, or standard operating procedures, are the formal records of how things are done within your business. They’re essential because they prevent knowledge of processes being siloed. If you’ve recorded how employees can log HR issues, book annual leave, add clients, and do other such things, you don’t need to walk a new hire through them manually.
Ideally, you’ll have an intranet portal providing a huge range of relevant resources. The more guides you can offer from the outset, the faster they’ll be able to reach full productivity, and the more impressive your company will look (this may not matter that much for someone who already accepted a job with you, but it will affect how they view you down the line).
Introduce them to the entire team
Onboarding someone at a distance can make things fairly awkward when they get started, because they won’t know anyone — and communication between colleagues is the lifeblood of a functional business. While you’re concentrating on getting everything worked out from a technical and procedural standpoint, don’t forget to introduce them to everyone.
It isn’t necessarily the best idea to throw them into a Zoom meeting with everyone, though, so take a more relaxed approach by introducing them to their colleagues one by one. Make it clear where they can turn for help if/when they need it. This might not seem like much, but when you’ve joined a business and you don’t really know anyone, it makes a huge difference.