Sharing company culture with candidates and new hires is critical to your ability to hire, onboard, and retain top talent. For remote hiring teams, this can be a challenge. You can say anything you want about company culture, but how do you show it?
Hiring teams love Gather because you can actually show candidates your culture in action by walking them around your virtual office and letting them casually meet members of the team.
Candidates will be able to see members of your team collaborating in meeting rooms, walking around the office together, stopping by each other’s desks, and maybe even dancing or throwing confetti to celebrate something – it’s energizing! And so much more dynamic than a Zoom call.
The result is that candidates and new hires get an actual lens into the personality of your company. And that sense of presence will help them feel connected to the team faster.
Holding interviews and training in a virtual office is also more efficient for you and your team – less scheduling on everyone’s calendars, and more natural connections happening between team members.
To help you create a better remote hiring and onboarding experience, this guide will teach you how to do the following in Gather:
New Hire Onboarding
A quick note: If you’re brand new to Gather, read our Getting Started Guide first to learn the basics of starting conversations, audio and video settings, and moving around the office.
1. Candidate Interviews
When you hold interviews in Gather, you unlock new ways to engage your candidates during the hiring process that are basically impossible on other virtual meeting apps.
For example, when doing an interview in Gather, you can:
Show your culture in action with a tour of the office. This makes for a great icebreaker to ease them into the conversation, and gives them a chance to see your team collaborating in real-time.
Casually introduce candidates to members of the team. For example, if you’re hiring a new Engineer, stop by the EPD desk pod and say hi to whoever’s around. It’s much simpler than trying to schedule quick hellos on calendars!
This brings some of the best elements of in-person interviews back to your remote team, and will create a memorable interview experience to help you stand out to the candidate.
How to do it:
1. Schedule the interview in Gather
Give your candidate a heads up that this interview will take place in your virtual office. Share this Candidate Quick Start Guide to help them prepare.
Setting up an interview is just like scheduling any other meeting in Gather: You’ll choose a location, add your meeting attendee (the candidate), and then they’ll be able to join via a meeting link in the calendar event.
2. Use Guest Check In to admit them
When you have Guest Check In enabled in your office, you’ll get a notification when your candidate is ready to enter. Here’s what they see:
They’ll select your name, and once you’ve admitted them, they’ll enter the office. It’s kind of like checking in at reception.
We recommend admitting them 5 minutes before the interview starts to give them a chance to settle in and look around.
3. Walk them around the virtual office
Before you start the interview, give your candidate a tour. This gives them a chance to see their future team, hear the ambient noise of people collaborating, and briefly say hello to folks.
To have the candidate automatically follow you, click their avatar and choose “Request to Lead.”
As you walk around, mention things like:
Where their team sits
Where relevant cross-functional partners sit
How they collaborate with each other
For example, you might say something like: “See these two people talking? They’re probably debugging code for an upcoming launch. You’ll see people stop by each other’s desks for a few minutes to talk through problems in real time.”
This is something you can’t replicate in Zoom, unless you spend a very long time coordinating a lot of people’s calendars. No thanks!
4. When it’s time…make the offer!
With a virtual office, you can turn this into a special moment for your new teammate that goes beyond a video call.
Set up a special celebratory spot in your office that’s specifically meant for extending offer letters. Decorate with balloons, throw confetti (by pressing ‘f’), and if they accept on the spot, you could even invite members of their new team to drop in to say congrats.
2. New Hire Onboarding
Traditionally, joining a new company as a remote employee can be lonely and hard to navigate. Your new hires have to learn how the company operates, who’s who, and how to collaborate with others – all without the visual aid of seeing it in action in an office environment.
Working in Gather, however, brings back the visuals that help fast-track onboarding and empower new hires to build relationships with their remote teammates faster.
Specifically, your new hires will be able to:
Mingle with their new teammates casually throughout the day, no scheduling required
See who’s available for quick questions instead of waiting on answers in Slack
Visualize the org chart based on your seating arrangement to learn who’s who
See other people working so they can feel connected to the team and company culture faster
How to do it:
1. Assign their desk
Help new hires feel like they’re part of the team right away by assigning them their very own desk. To do this, hover over an empty desk and select “Invite team.” We recommend inviting them via email so they have all the details in their inbox on day 1.
Have them sit with other members of their department or near cross-functional stakeholders. Just like a real office, putting them in close proximity to the people they talk with most often will help them feel connected to the team and speed up collaboration.
2. Give them a detailed tour
While new hires might be familiar with your virtual office after receiving a tour during an interview, plan to give them another to help them settle in.
On this first day, you’ll want to:
Walk around the office together. Show them exactly how to use different parts of the space.
Share team norms for working in the office. For example, when should their video be on? What do you do when you’re on a lunch break? Is there a coworking zone?
Take them to their desk and introduce them to their new team. You can also coordinate with their manager for this part!
3. Build “downtime” into your new hire training schedule
No one likes to be in meetings all day, and especially not new hires who are absorbing a lot of new information.
As you know, one of the benefits of working in Gather is that it’s easy to hold spontaneous conversations with people in the office. Give your new hires this same opportunity to naturally chat with others.
For example, end a training session by encouraging them to go meet a new member of the team. You can even watch the office to see if they do – giving you early insight into who’s engaged or who may be struggling to build connections during onboarding.
3. Private HR Conversations
New hire onboarding is a fun and exciting experience, but it also comes with some sensitive logistics. New employees might have questions about insurance, policies, or payroll that are better handled in a private conversation.
Even in a virtual office, these private conversations are easy to hold.
How to do it:
1. Enter a Private Area
If you’re chatting in the hallway of your office, the chances that someone walks into your audio range increase. So step 1 to private conversations in Gather: Hold them in a Private Area.
When you’re in one, the rest of the office will dim and you can see exactly who can see and hear you by looking at the Participants Panel.
2. Lock the area for extra privacy
In the Participants Panel next to your current area, you’ll see a lock icon. When you click this, anyone new that tried to enter the space will need permission before walking in.
This is a great way to ensure no one accidentally stumbles into your conversation, and is perfect for any sensitive HR convos that come up with new hires. (Or any employee for that matter!)
To wrap it up
Your virtual office isn’t just a place to work – it can be a powerful tool in your ability to hire, onboard, and retain top remote talent for your team.
Show candidates your culture in action and help new hires feel connected to the team, in a way that’s easy for you and results in less meetings for everybody.
If you haven’t created an office on Gather yet, get started here.
Recap of resources to share with candidates and new hires: