Six steps to onboarding remote software developers

Successfully onboarding remote employees is a challenging task. Learn how to onboard remote software developers to help them become productive and effective members of your team.

onboarding software developer

Hiring and working remotely is becoming increasingly common in the tech industry. With that comes the challenge of onboarding remote software developers.

Becoming good at onboarding remote developers can become a competitive advantage because it allows you to retain top talents from around the world and get the best out of them.

Table of contents

    1. Remote developers also require a proper onboarding

    Start preparing your new software developers before their first day by sending them resources about the company and the job role. This should go beyond what people can find on your website.

    Some of the information the new employee should have access to:

    • Employee handbook. Share internal policies and regulations in an employee handbook. This will give your remote software developer an idea of what your company culture is like.
    • Profiles of the key people in the company. Knowing key people in the company will help new employees understand more about the company’s background. Additionally, these profiles will show what they can learn from the heads of the company.
    • Non-work related activities. Show your new employee what you do for fun. This gives the company a personality and shows how you balance work and fun. Highlight activities they can join from wherever they are, like online video game tournaments, or a quiz night through video chat.

    When onboarding remote software developers, it’s important for them to get to know the company beyond the tasks at hand because it promotes a feeling of belonging. Showing more in-depth information about the company is a great first step in the process.

    Aside from employee orientation, a significant part of the onboarding process is getting acquainted with the people in the office. For a lot of companies, this is largely informal and involves quick chats around the office and watercooler conversations. Since remote employees can’t do this, you need to find a way to compensate for this.

    One way to do this is by connecting the employee with a manager or teammate. This will make your remote software developer more comfortable with reaching out to other people in the company. Additionally, specify a direct point of contact for HR-related concerns.

    2. Make sure your remote employees have good working conditions

    Make time to ask about the employee’s workspace especially if it’s the first time they are working remotely. Think about how their workspace could impact their tasks and the company. 

    For example, in Asia, it’s common for people to live with their extended family. Their homes are likely full of distractions which may affect productivity. Don’t leave your employee hanging. Offer solutions to help them work effectively like renting a desk at a co-working space or providing funds for better equipment and office furniture.

    A good solution for this is using Emerhub’s workstations. Through our employer of record service, we can provide your employees with a station in one of our offices with the required equipment. In addition to that, your employee will also have access to our on-site HR personnel and we will track attendance for you. An added bonus is your employee will have people with whom they can spend lunch and coffee breaks.

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    3. Involve your team when onboarding remote software developers

    Start your new employee’s first day with a call to introduce the people they will be working with. Have each person describe their responsibilities and follow this up by explaining where your new employee fits into the team.

    This is a great way to start things off on the right foot. A short call will make remote employees feel welcome and make other members of the team more approachable.

    If your company has a physical office, do a virtual tour. This helps make the company feel more “real” to your remote workers. If most of your company works from the same office, consider flying the remote employee to your location either for the onboarding or for annual gatherings.

    4. Prepare tools your software developers will need

    This is the most obvious step in onboarding remote software developers, but it’s also one of the most important. 

    Create a checklist of tools and programs your remote software developer will have to have access to and a guide on how to use them. Send this about a week before the developer’s start date so they have everything ready. Make sure to also prepare any relevant license and API keys for their first day.

    Give them access to internal docs, code repositories, and everything else they need to get started. Make sure that they also have access to the company chat and other communication tools on the first day.

    In short, have all tools, apps, and credentials ready before the employee’s first day. It’s useful to have everything documented so that you don’t need to create a new list each time a new employee starts.

    5. Create a roadmap for onboarding remote software developers

    A roadmap will help ease your new employee into the role and company. Add goals for the developer along with relevant projects and tasks.

    For example, to encourage collaboration, assign a task involving an existing feature. This way, the new developer will talk to other members of the team to understand the feature better.

    Check their progress from time-to-time and make adjustments as necessary. Are they taking longer than you expected? Find out what they find difficult and help them. Are they breezing through tasks quickly? Give them more challenging projects.

    The idea behind this is to make sure your remote developer doesn’t feel “lost.” The roadmap should give them a clear path in the early stages of their career with you.

    6. Regularly chat with your remote software developers

    It should go without saying that you need to touch base with your remote employees often. This is particularly important for new employees. Regular communication is an essential part of onboarding remote software developers.

    Communication within the team is also important. Encourage older employees to reach out to new colleagues and make them feel welcome. A good relationship among teammates will promote productivity and foster a good atmosphere at work.

    It’s also important to keep all communication online, even among employees who work in the same location. This is so everyone stays updated with each other and kept in the loop. It also gives everyone a chance to contribute to the discussion no matter where they are.

    Start hiring remote software developers from Asia. Emerhub offers a range of HR services to help you hire and manage remote staff in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Fill out the form below, our consultants will be happy to discuss how we can help you grow your business.

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