New Employee Onboarding During COVID-19
4.24.2020 by Availity
The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies to pause hiring or implement temporary furloughs. At Availity, we are very fortunate. Our business remains strong, and we are continuing to hire for roles across the organization. But our temporary, all-remote status means we’ve had to quickly re-engineer many of our hiring and onboarding processes.
Fortunately for us, Alyssa Arena, our onboarding specialist, has mastered the art of remote hiring and onboarding. Over the past month, she has welcomed 80 new associates in Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and remote locations, and she expects that number to increase.
According to Alyssa, the biggest challenge with the transition to remote onboarding has been managing start dates and keeping the new hire groups small enough to be manageable. When an offer is accepted and the hiring manager submits the new associate’s equipment request, the clock starts running for the enterprise security and desktop support teams. They have less than two weeks to set up network access, create passwords, configure the laptop, and ship it so the associate receives it on their planned start date.
On the associate’s start date, they are invited to a conference call hosted by Alyssa and members of the desktop support team. Here, they learn how to access the Availity network and get set up on our collaboration tools, including Microsoft 365 (Teams and Outlook) and Zoom. Following this call, the associate meets virtually with Availity’s Benefit Manager and then has another follow up with Alyssa to complete compliance and other tasks. Finally, the associate meets their department’s onboarding buddy, who welcomes them to their team. Most new hires have been pleasantly surprised that they can start working in the midst of the pandemic, noting that it is “really cool that you can do that.”
While the logistics of remote onboarding have gone smoothly, Alyssa recognizes that new associates are missing out on many of the social dynamics of working face to face. It’s much easier to ask for help from your co-workers when they’re sitting next to you, instead of having to call or ping them on Teams. To address this, Alyssa and her team want to offer tips and tricks in Workday to make it more user friendly. She also plans to survey associates hired during remote onboarding period to get their feedback. And once we return to the office, HR will give all new associates a proper welcome with a special luncheon and office tours.