Virtual Onboarding: The Future Of New Hire Onboarding

After months of deceleration in hiring, virtual onboarding is an economically and logistically viable option for companies. It helps them move on from the freeze in hiring and return to a sustainable operational status quo even in a slimmed-down cost structure.

At times, virtual onboarding may feel as if the touch of a handshake is missing. But given the circumstances of the pandemic spreading rapidly to every corner of the globe, the caution is warranted. At every stage of business interaction, administrators and leaders now prefer the contactless variant of interaction.

Virtual interviewing and hiring have become indispensable to recruiters at this crucial juncture. Personnel and top executives realize that the evaluation of candidates’ competencies and potential for growth can be tested even as they are forced to break away from the tradition of face-to-face interviews. Gamification includes a wide variety of challenges that can be set across several rounds on different platforms. The insight into the abilities of candidates who get selected based on these tests is accurate and easily documented. Virtual interviews use AI-based scoring systems that can streamline the productivity of the recruitment team besides being scalable. From the perspective of the candidate, they offer the benefit of being inventive and adaptive (in terms of difficulty level), while being high on the element of fun. In the latter stages, this same model of gamification can be used during the induction activities.

You might also be interested to read: Onboarding Isn’t Enough: Cultural Integration of New Executives is a Holistic Venture

Making news for some months now, the coronavirus pandemic spread to cities and then to smaller towns in India. But India has now taken a state-led approach to lockdown. Further, business leaders and administrators are encouraged to kickstart economic activity in a safe but proactive fashion. 

Employee online onboarding systems have, as a result, gained new strength in India in 2020. There are virtual onboarding and operations software solutions like BambooHR, Workbright, CakeHR, and ClearCompany, among several others. Online onboarding software today can be interfaced with a mobile device, personal computer, or desktop. There are cloud-based logs to mark up meetings, work hours, leave requests, and more. The one-size-fits-all approach is gone for good as there are specific online onboarding processes recommended for startups and larger business entities based on the staff size.

Virtual onboarding is a welcome relief for taxed HR personnels as well as new hires who worry if their job offers are rescinded due to the lockdown and economic slowdown. Virtual hiring has reached the hassle-free, post-testing phase where candidates have successfully passed through several rounds of remote interviews and induction. They now contribute through remote working scenarios and make a difference in the operations of a business without being physically present. Deloitte India and Wipro are some of the companies that delayed onboarding as of June 2020, but others like Flipkart and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have powered forward with a promising set of recruits. The latter, in its capacity as a personal care and consumer goods firm, attempts to attain an ‘essential goods’ label so it can continue to serve its customers.

As such, P&G continues to recruit through online job portals like for roles such as customer service executives and inventory management specialists. Side by side, P&G and several other conglomerates like Unilever acknowledge that logistical and personnel problems continue to weigh down.

Online onboarding fits well with India’s dynamic, multilingual workforce. It is a clear pathway to economic catalysis and eventual return to financial viability in the new normal. For the people-led approach too, virtual onboarding is an inclusive, standardized set of tools to offer engagement and a sense of belonging.


  • Sreeradha Basu, Companies make the shift to virtual onboarding of new hires, ET Bureau, May 18, 2020
  • Ayan Pramanik and Anandi Chandrashekhar, Onboarding delayed for newbies at IT companies, ET Bureau, June 09 2020
  • Sagar Malaviya, P&G in talks with state governments to earn the ‘essentials’ label, ET Bureau, April 21 2020

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