Companies with the Best Remote Onboarding Practices

With remote work a part of our normal lives now and – potentially – a lot longer, the entire experience of working for a company has pivoted to a new paradigm wherein employees may never meet their co-workers or leaders in person – and may in fact live hundreds or thousands of miles from the company’s home base (if it even has one.)

So how do these companies make their new employees feel at home? How do they let new hires know important about processes and points of contact? It all happens just as remotely as the eventual work itself. Here’s how these seven companies are doing it, and we’ve gathered these tips in hopes of helping to streamline this new facet of working for readers.


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

Creating a human connection and a sense of belonging has always been important at GoodRx, and it has become even more essential during COVID when all of our onboarding has taken on some remote components. Each new hire receives 5-6 emails before they start, introducing them to their IT, HR, and Workplace Experience resources, as well as a new hire buddy and other people at the company. Once employees start, they are invited to two primary orientation sessions via Zoom (one on HR and one on culture and values) and then 10 department-specific sessions to give them an understanding of how we all work together. In their first week, employees are randomly paired with someone for a casual lunch and also with a senior manager at the company to answer any questions they may have. In short, we make new hires feel welcome, invited, and included, and show them they will have great support throughout their GoodRx journey.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding? 

When you have people spread out across the country as we do, they can sometimes feel isolated and less engaged in our work. We make every effort to find people who are geographically close to them that they can collaborate with. We also regularly send members of the HR and Workplace Experience teams around the country to visit offices, share some corporate swag, and make sure they “feel the love” like they would if they were with us at our headquarters. Many think onboarding stops after the first day or the first week, but at GoodRx, our attention and care for our remote employees is an ongoing commitment. That helps to keep team members engaged and committed to our mission and our values as a company.

Check Out GoodRx’s Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

Communication, culture, and community are key! We clearly communicate expectations to our new team members upon accepting their offer with a welcome note and a preboarding checklist, once they start, we have an Onboarding section built into our Remote-First Handbook that includes information on their day 1 schedule and an overview of their first 100-day onboarding program. To build culture and community, each new team member is matched with an onboarding buddy – a “go-to” partner for their first 30-days. They are also placed into a cohort group with other new hires starting on the same day. These cohorts last for the duration of our 100-day onboarding program. Cohorts communicate with each other through a private Slack channel. They get to know each other and the company by attending synchronous sessions together and experiencing asynchronous content.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding?

We onboard new team members in over 11 countries and in almost that many time zones, which means that each of our new team member cohorts spans the globe. Finding times for synchronous sessions that work for all new team members globally can be challenging and sometimes impossible. We launched a new Learning Management System in July 2021 which enables our new team members to consume onboarding content at any time that works best for them. This includes watching recordings of any sessions they may be unable to attend live. Building new relationships without ever meeting in person can also be challenging. To help with this we offer multiple opportunities for networking “coffee chat” sessions and we’ve started to provide more opportunities for new team members to get to know each other asynchronously in their cohort Slack channels. This includes weekly “Would you Rather?” questions where team members can vote for their favorite using emojis.

Check Out Vistaprint’s Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

Ensuring our new employees feel comfortable on (and ahead) of their first day starts with an inclusive remote onboarding process and we are dedicated to making this happen with three key areas in mind – Feeling Comfortable, A Sense of Belonging, and Building Personal Connections. Feeling Comfortable: Knowing how to set everything up and how to navigate through our systems is imperative in helping our new hires feel comfortable even before day one. To do this, we start with a welcome email and call prior to their start date to ensure they’ve received all the necessary equipment, discuss how to set things up, explain where to find certain things, and answer any questions they may have. Sense of Belonging: There’s nothing we care about more than our CIVIC culture and it’s important that our new team members feel like they are a part of it from day one. We start by mailing them a swag bag full of goodies and scheduling time for them to attend a virtual meet and greet with our CEO and two additional executives. Building Personal Connections: Ensuring our new hires have the opportunity to build personal connections starts with matching them up with a buddy through CIVIC’s Buddy Program as well as providing more ways to connect through virtual events and daily huddles with their team.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding?

One of the biggest challenges in a remote onboarding setting includes equipment and the internet. In combatting this challenge we’ve implemented a welcome call discussed above to ensure they have what they need on time, have them set up all equipment to make sure it is working properly, and answer any additional questions they have before starting. Additionally, we provide a monthly remote stipend to help with costs when it comes to paying for supplies, internet, and phone usage. This helps to ensure our employees are taken care of and are able to have strong internet access to try and avoid consistent network issues. Our IT is available remote as well through our help desk where our team members can put in a request ticket at any time if issues or additional questions arise to ensure our remote team members are always taken care of!

Check Out Civic Financial’s Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding?

The goal of Flywire’s onboarding program is to provide new FlyMates (Flywire employees) with the developmental foundation needed to deliver impact and move seamlessly towards personal fulfillment. To achieve this globally, we have an “onboarding working group” dedicated to creating consistency around process, learning, and cultural integration, always keeping the FlyMate experience at the forefront. There are many stages to the onboarding program, one of the more notable being our Global Induction (known as Flying Start). Whether in-person or virtual, Flying Start provides our new hires the opportunity to learn about the business and culture through different perspectives, all the while having the opportunity to interact with members of our leadership team and FlyMates from across the globe.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding?

When the pandemic hit, we transitioned our Global Induction from an in-person week in Flywire’s Boston office to a virtual program. This meant navigating time zones, designing eLearning experiences, optimizing technology, establishing virtual connections, and much more. Looking back, many of these unforeseen challenges were turned into opportunities to enhance the onboarding experience for our FlyMates, now and in the future. While we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we know that continuously listening to our FlyMates is the answer to evolving our hybrid culture.

Check Out Flywire’s Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

Our program has evolved a lot over the past few years. We went from hosting orientation in our San Francisco, Toronto, and Atlanta offices every week, to building out a fully remote experience for new hires joining us from their kitchen tables and makeshift home offices. Sure, there might be chaos outside of our screens—kids running around, dogs barking, Zoom school going on—but on screen, we want New Carrots to know they can show up as they are, ask questions, and let the chaos in. Engagement and access to leaders are key parts of our remote onboarding. We create smaller Zoom rooms throughout onboarding so folks can connect, build relationships, and ask questions in smaller groups. We also ensure that leaders from around the company, including our Co-founder, join every week to walk new hires through their side of the business and answer questions.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding? 

Since going remote, Instacart has nearly doubled in size, and we have onboarded over half of the entire team remotely. The earliest challenge we faced was how to replicate the social aspect of onboarding virtually. We know it’s just as important to connect over things that aren’t work-related, so we also host virtual events just for New Carrots like meditations, home scavenger hunts, and trivia games to get to know your onboarding cohort. As cities re-open, we have also hosted optional outdoor New Carrot lunches and meetups. Because we place such an emphasis on Belonging at Instacart, a lot of onboarding comes down to facilitating a positive and connecting experience—after all, people might not remember every detail, like Slack channels to join or who to contact for insurance questions (that’s what our Wiki is for), but they will remember how supported and engaged they felt during their first few weeks.

Check Out Instacart’s Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

At Barracuda Networks, our corporate onboarding, in general, has two main goals in mind. First, there is the technical/administrational goal that covers a huge area from setting up required HR data, payroll, benefits, and fulfilling all legal requirements, to providing the proper equipment to the employee. The second goal is around cultural integration where we focus on Vision, Mission, and company values, as well as who we are and our purpose. Getting both goals right provides a very positive employee experience and results in higher, longer-lasting engagement levels. With remote onboarding becoming the new normal, the two goals haven’t changed as much as the approach to achieving them. On the first goal, process improvement and better cross-functional integration have become paramount to ensure the fundamentals for employees’ onboarding experience. Whereas in an office setting, in a best-case scenario, team members and the manager could cover up missing hardware or system access by literally stopping by the desk and pulling the employee into meeting rooms wherein a remote setting doesn’t allow for that physical intervention. Without a computer or proper access, remote employees will spend their first day(s) truly cut off from everybody and everything, i.e., idling and wondering if they made the right choice. For the second goal on company culture, remote employees are missing out on early “water-cooler” interactions, e.g. talking to peers and colleagues in common areas, hallways, before and after meetings. The culture journey, be it on the corporate or team culture, is much longer and perhaps never-ending. Providing virtual events like weekly HR onboarding and quarterly New Hire Summits is one steppingstone on this journey. Other tools in the toolkit are New Hire checklists and a peer buddy system template that the managers can deploy virtually as needed.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding?

Making remote onboarding work successfully relies on the right timing and correct integration of cross-functional processes, data, and IT systems. If either timing or integration does not work it immediately leaves a noticeable impact on the employee’s experience. This causes internal support teams across all functions to work exponentially harder to limit or eliminate the negative impact on the new hire, manager, and organization.

Check Out Barracuda Networks’ Careers Page Here!


What are some of the best practices you use for remote onboarding? 

We have adopted a pre and post-first-day communication process so that new hires and any questions they have are being answered right away. We hold regular new hire check-in sessions (at two weeks, one month, and two months) to make sure they’re settling in well and providing any support that is necessary. We also send all hiring managers, who have new hires starting soon, a set of remote onboarding guidelines including an onboarding plan for the new hire with meetings, trainings already set up for the new hire on Day One.

What are some of the unforeseen challenges of remote onboarding?

The most challenging is simply how the new hire can build relationships with the team. As supportive as the teams are, it doesn’t take the place of in-person communication and experience.

Check Out Wish’s Careers Page Here!