You’ve Hired A New Employee Virtually (Or Are About To) – Now What?

As a board, search committee, or executive director you have put so much time and effort into hiring a new employee – now what?  You’ve hired a consulting firm, like Armstrong McGuire, to conduct a search for a new employee. How do you make sure they are onboarded correctly, performance measures are in place, and an environment promoting longevity is achieved – especially during COVID-19?  As nonprofits start to come back into the office full-time, a few days a week, or continue to work virtually, there are many ways you can onboard your new hire during the pandemic:

Before the First Day

  • Prep a workspace if they will be physically working from the office, or make sure your new employee will have everything they will need to work virtually (like a solid video platform for meetings).
  • Make sure your new employee has everything they need to be functional such as a computer (laptop from home), cell phone, working email, software access, and any other necessary tools or supplies.
  • Make an outline for the new employee's first week including the date, time, and participants for each agenda item, such as first-day introductory online meetings for the new hire and their supervisor and key colleagues, online training sessions, online staff meetings, and check-ins.
  • Ask your new employee to complete any necessary employment forms and review employee policies and benefits ahead of time.
  • Send the new employee the organization’s annual report, current budget, an updated organizational chart, staff bios, and a summary of your strategic plan. Include a copy of the new employee’s job description and supervisor's job description.

First Day

  • Arrange a welcome virtual meeting. Use the opportunity for your new hire to get to know the staff, what they do, and how they each relate to the organization as a whole.
  • Meet with your new hire virtually one-on-one. Give them your background and what brought you to the organization and share some of the challenges your organization might currently be facing.
  • Explain the office culture, communication guidelines. and general expectations.
  • Work together to define what a successful first 60 to 90 days would look like.
  • Ask your new employee if they have any questions and thank them for joining the team.
  • Explain important safety and emergency information.
  • Assist employee in setting up voicemail and email signature.
  • Provide a name tag, badge, and/or identification card and information on accessing the facility when it’s time to go into the office.

First Week

  • Explain the roles of the board and the executive director.
  • Describe how the employee's job contributes to the organization's goals.
  • Assign a buddy to serve as an informal guide.
  • Arrange for the new employee to virtually shadow their supervisor to learn more about the organization and its culture.
  • Discuss performance expectations and explain the annual performance review process.

First Month

  • Identify performance and professional development goals.
  • Enroll employee in any required training programs, such as health and safety training.
  • Ensure the employee understands additional learning opportunities, including internal and external resources.

Beyond the First Month

  • Continue to meet virtually or in person with newer employees monthly to check in.
  • Ask the employee if they have everything they need to be successful.
  • Make sure timely performance evaluations are completed. For a new employee, an evaluation, which can be done virtually, could be held at 6 months and then one year and annually after that.
  • Ensure each employee’s performance is connected to the organization’s strategic planning outcomes and impact measurements.
  • Follow up on professional development opportunities.
  • Make sure staff meetings are engaging, all voices are heard, and employees who have exceeded expectations are recognized.
  • Monitor that PTO is taken so that employees are able to recharge when needed.

At Three Months

  • Meet virtually or in person with the new employee to discuss what is going well and what could be improved.
  • Meet virtually or in person with the new employee and their supervisor to discuss the orientation process and any additional training that would be helpful for the employee.
  • Ask the new employee to provide feedback on the orientation process.

Helpful Resources:

BetterTeam New Hire Checklist
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Practical tips for new-employee orientation by Alicia Abell
Free Management Library: Orienting new employees (new hires, on-boarding) by Carter McNamara

Please email April at with any comments or questions.

Back to Blog

Latest Musings

We want to hear from you!

Whether you’re ready to expand your organizational capacity and move forward with purpose, or just want to talk shop, we’d love to connect.

Get In Touch

From our hearts to your inbox.

Sign up for our newsletters.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.