Every part of how we do business and how we work has been impacted since the start of the pandemic, including how apprentices, are hired or on-boarded. But luckily, due to innovations in technology and the agility of the insurance industry, it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to take on an apprentice and do so effectively in a remote or hybrid environment.
We’ve included some practical tips below which should help employers when taking on an apprentice, but much of these can also be applied to any new hire and should provide a solid start to ensure they hit the ground running.
Make the paperwork as pain-free as possible
Nobody likes paperwork. Unfortunately though a new job often requires plenty of form filling, signing and filing. Use software and tools like DocuSign where you can to help facilitate this electronically and possibly enable you to get the bulk of it done before day one!
Minimise the ‘gap period’ risk
Experts refer to the period between making an offer and the joining date as a vulnerable ‘gap’ period. Some candidates have been known to ‘shop around’ for counter offers during this time and are more liable to be lost, when everything has been conducted remotely.
Keep in contact with your new hire frequently during this time, send them out welcome packs, or a ‘swag bag’, set up informal ‘meet the team’ chats to facilitate a sense of belonging or ask them to contribute to a short Q&A to share with the rest of the organisation before they start. If they feel part of the team from literally day one, the rest should be easy.
Ensure a smooth remote setup
This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks even when we are all in the office. Work with the company Helpdesk department well ahead of time to set everything up for the new hire.
Testing that everything works too can help with troubleshooting and dealing with technological issues ahead of time and minimise the stress and frustration.
Provide digital welcome packets and training documents
For documents you would normally give to new hires in person, make sure you create digital versions for ease of sharing. These could be a simple PDF or a more interactive version of a document (for example a short video of the CEO welcoming new hires filmed on an phone is simple, but meaningful as they might not get to meet the board of directors in their first few days).
Schedule remote shadowing sessions
Encourage collaborative learning through remote shadowing sessions with others. This is a great way for new hires to pick up both informal social cues and the training
topics at hand. It also gives them a much more practical setting to ask questions and receive ‘live’ answers.
Take advantage of virtual technology
Use technology to give that human connection to remote training, such as instant messaging, phone calls and video check-ins. Over communicate with teams if working remotely and remember to be explicit in your direction.
For more tips and checklists to help with your on-boarding strategy, download our guide.