Skip to main content

Remote onboarding: getting new sales staff up to speed

In the digital age, remote onboarding has become of significant importance to teams worldwide. While human interaction and face-to-face meetings used to be integral when showing someone the ropes, onboarding can now be completed remotely. 

But what exactly is remote onboarding? What are some of the challenges of bringing someone up to speed without face-to-face meetings? And how can you build a good team ethic remotely? 

We answer these questions and more below as we show you how to get your new sales employees up to speed without the need for face-to-face communication.

What is remote onboarding? 

Remote onboarding involves all the traditional steps associated with preparing employees for working with your company but is aided by various digital tools. In other words, there’s no need for face-to-face communication. Onboarding is a crucial part of the recruitment process and ensures your employees can work to their full potential. 

Thanks to the broad range of digital tools at your disposal - CRMs, video conferencing, direct messaging apps, etc. - you can onboard new employees from practically anywhere, allowing you to increase the scope of your prospective talent pool and attract the best candidates for the role in question.

The importance of getting the onboarding process right 

Glassdoor statistics (The True Costs of a Bad Hire, Laurano, 2015) show that effective onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% while increasing productivity by 70%. Ultimately, suppose a new hire doesn’t feel at ease and empowered throughout the onboarding process. In that case, it will affect their performance and the time they spend with your company. 

When a new employee is working remotely, onboarding is even more critical. After all, they can quickly feel isolated and detached from the company when working from home, particularly if you don’t integrate them into the team effectively from the very start. 

Three unique challenges associated with remote onboarding 

Onboarding employees is tricky, no matter how you go about it. However, there are some challenges unique to remote onboarding, including: 

  • Unfamiliarity with new systems & processes: To succeed in a remote working environment, your employees need to be fully integrated into all systems and processes that facilitate the arrangement. Given how many new tools and systems a new hire is introduced to at the same time, it can be overwhelming and difficult for them to become efficient and familiar with their new working environment.

  • Introduction to teams: When you onboard a new hire in person, you will probably take them on an office tour, introducing them to all the teams and showing them the ropes. It’s much more challenging to manage this process remotely. As such, new employees might not fully understand the connection between each of the teams and their position within your company. 
  • Feelings of isolation: While the whole world is getting used to remote working, new hires can feel particularly isolated if the entire onboarding process occurs online. Human interaction has traditionally played a big part in the onboarding process, and no amount of tech can replicate the act of welcoming a new employee to the office. 

Additionally, you’re faced with all of the traditional challenges relating to onboarding. It might be deciding what to teach and what your new hire can learn on the job, allocating a buddy and mentor to a new hire, and ensuring your new staff member is guided efficiently through their first weeks and even months on the job.

We’ve put together a post on devising an induction programme to help you tick all the relevant boxes and seamlessly integrate any new hire into your team, whether you complete the onboarding process in person or remotely. 

How to build a good team ethic remotely 

Each of the three unique challenges associated with remote onboarding is exacerbated because it’s much more challenging to build a good team ethic remotely. While conventional team-building exercises have focused on get-togethers and outings, remote team building requires more imagination. 

To ensure the remote onboarding process runs as smoothly as possible, here are some remote team-building exercises you can try: 

  • Schedule regular check-ins and meetings: During and immediately after the onboarding process, it can be easy to fall into thinking that your new hire is now ready to crack on with their work and your job is done. But in reality, you need to regularly check in with them to monitor their progress and offer support. One of the most important things about building an excellent remote team ethic is showing everyone that they’re valued and supported, so don’t overlook this after completing the onboarding process.

  • Set up virtual break rooms: Now that remote working is here to stay, research has found that employees miss socialising with colleagues and office banter more than anything else. One way to ensure your employees can maintain their relationships is to create virtual breakout rooms. This allows your team to let off steam throughout the day and provides new recruits with an opportunity to get involved in the social dynamics of the office. 
  • Host virtual company events: Arranging key-note speakers and other events are vital for building the company culture. Therefore, don’t stop planning these events because you can’t do it in person. Virtual events enable you to attract guests from further afield and add excitement to a scheduled event. They also allow your new recruits to get a feel for your company’s culture. 
  • Arrange face-to-face meetings: At the height of the pandemic, face-to-face meetings were out of the question. However, now that life is back to normality, consider inviting your team to meet in person for work or purely a social get-together. Your team might do lunch or dinner once a month, or you may schedule a bi-weekly in-person team meeting to go over some important points. Few things are as effective at binding a remote team as occasional face-to-face meetings, so be sure to schedule some in the diary. 


When you’re onboarding a new hire remotely, the critical thing to remember is that you need to help them integrate into your team. The last thing you want is for your new recruits to feel isolated and left out, as it will affect their productivity and cause them to look elsewhere for a new opportunity.

Final thoughts 

While onboarding new hires remotely isn’t easy, it’s far from impossible. Just be mindful of the unique challenges that remote onboarding presents and ensure you offer support and guidance to your new recruits throughout the entire process. 

Sure, you will encounter snags along the way, but remote onboarding is an excellent way to integrate new talent into your team and is so vital in the digital age and post-pandemic world that we now live in.

About the author

Darren Dewrance

Darren spent six years in sales and field sales before joining the original sales recruitment specialist, Austin Benn, in 1998. After achieving the status of top consultant, out of about seventy at the time, Darren rose from Senior Consultant to Operations Manager of the commercial sector before leaving to join a London based Headhunter in 2003 before setting up Aaron Wallis with Rob in October 2007.

With a natural leadership style, Darren is an expert on putting his finger right on the heart of the problem. His natural commercial instincts have helped hundreds of employers make better recruitment decisions. Darren is married with two children, and when not at work or with his family, he likes nothing more than to be on the side of a river or a lake with a rod in his hand.

Please call us to discuss your vacancy

Milton Keynes



Our employers say...

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Our candidates say...

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate