Robert Altman, SVP of Operations, began working for CloudCall in April 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Because of this he had a fully remote onboarding experience. We caught up with Rob to find out more about his onboarding experience with CloudCall, what he has learnt and any tips he has to share.
What were your experiences of remote onboarding with CloudCall?
Very positive and technology has really helped my onboarding experience. For years I’ve worked for companies that have embraced unified communications and as a result I really like using video. Voice and video have been the biggest contributors to the ability to on-board in the crazy time we have right now.
The other critical element is the people at CloudCall. They have been very open and inviting with me. My initial focus was to meet team members and understand what they do. In the first month that I was here, I ended up talking to over 40 people in multiple countries yet did not incur any traveling expenses.
Has being unable to meet colleagues in person impacted the success of your onboarding?
I’m a big fan of in-person meetings. I think there’s a lot of intangible benefits that you can get when you sit around the table and go to the whiteboard. The current environment is very interesting because I wouldn’t say that the last few months has been less successful without this traditional activity, rather, it is different and shows that businesses can evolve when presented with new challenges.
Perhaps if I was a brand-new repair tech or provisioning rep, it may be harder to get started in this type of environment because you don’t have someone a few feet away to answer questions or easily join a call at your desk, but this can certainly be mitigated with technology and formal procedures. An organization is putting a new hire at risk if that person feels that they are all alone and that is far from what has happened to me at CloudCall.
What are the pros and cons of remote onboarding?
From a productivity point of view, there is an opportunity to do the same, if not more, because you’ve got more time in your day due to the elimination of the commute. It’s one of the bigger upsides. I’ve certainly benefited from that. I can just get ready in the morning and pop into the home office and I’m ready to go.
I believe that the downside is the lack of connection. If you can manage to have daily calls to feel connected that will ease some of the concerns. Certainly, based on personality, if you are an extrovert you may struggle when you can’t walk down the hall and meet somebody at the water cooler or get a coffee together.
What tips do you have regarding remote onboarding?
I think a key action that a hiring business can do is to make sure it is clear who to contact with questions and that there is a regular feedback loop. It might be their direct manager, or it might be a team lead, but there must be the active communication that includes encouragement.
For me, the path to success must ensure that everyone understands where to go and what is expected in the first couple of weeks along with what they’re going to produce. So, I’d recommend having that formal roadmap or schedule that they can follow and make sure the expectations are clear. I also think having the right technology set up in place is paramount, whether you’re a new starter or not, having the tools to communicate effectively is massively important.