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The Manager’s Guide to Remote Employee Onboarding

Get expert management tips as the workforce goes remote
Many of the things managers take for granted when onboarding on-site employees break when they have to onboard remotely.

With remote onboarding:

  • There’s no learning by osmosis
    Managers can’t simply provide skeletal training materials and expect reps to soak up the rest in the office.
  • It takes longer to answer clarifying questions
    If a new hire doesn’t understand something, they need to follow up via email, Slack, or some other remote communication channel. Without vigilant monitoring of these channels, it can take much longer to respond to them.
  • Errors or misunderstandings go undetected
    A surprising number of opportunities for correction happen just by overhearing a misstated value prop on a sales call or other chance observations. Those opportunities disappear when you go remote.

Betts Recruiting surveyed our partners to better understand their expectations when it comes to ramping and onboarding new reps. Here’s a sample of the results:

  • 66% of managers expect newly-hired AEs to start pacing toward quota within a quarter.
  • For AEs promoted from SDR, that figure rises to 79%.
  • Of those, some managers expect AEs to pace toward quota within the first month or two.

Without a detailed, comprehensive, and well-established remote employee onboarding process, this timeline will extend.

Building a successful remote employee onboarding program


Review your in-person onboarding process. What parts do not work remotely? Room reading and impromptu whiteboarding won’t work.
Keep engagement up with probing questions, and make sure structured content can fill the time.

Pre-boarding checklist

Smart onboarding starts before Day 1.

  • Evaluate your tech stack. Does everything work together nicely?
  • Make sure employee access to all systems is set up before their start date.
  • Avoid disruption: Be sure computers and other equipment arrives several days before the new hire’s start date.

Essential components

Employee onboarding programs will differ by company, team, and role. But all of them should incorporate these elements:

  • 90-day plans: Have hires create plans based on their individual role.
  • Variation: Blend live virtual sessions with online self-teaching resources.
  • Schedule lunch/coffee breaks, happy hours, and self-guided time.

Remember: Even remotely, you can still make onboarding interactive. The use of video conferencing doesn’t preclude real-time activities or comprehension exercises. You can also give homework assignments at the end of your onboarding webinars.

Your onboarding regimen should…

  • Include: Who to reach out to for what information; 1- to 2-week schedule of training meetings; ample resources for self-teaching
  • Cover: Product functionality and value props; competitive differentiators and big names in the space; sales playbook

Brought to you by the sales hiring experts at Betts Recruiting

Betts is the leading recruitment firm for revenue-generating, marketing and people operations roles. Since 2009, Betts has partnered with the biggest names across multiple sectors offering a customized approach to each search. Through our recruiting services and online hiring platform, we’ve established networks of genuine relationships that allow us to source the highest-quality talent and execute quickly. With offices in San Francisco, New York, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles, Betts works to help companies build their organization, and to guide talent into an exciting career, faster and smarter. Betts Recruiting has received numerous accolades including being recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s top 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America.

For more information, reach out to our team.

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