Adobe Acrobat Sign

Dive into remote onboarding and streamline your HR process.

Remote work creates many challenges for HR departments. Bring cohorts of new team members on board with these tools.

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A person working remotely from their kitchen by participating in a video conference call on their laptop

Start off on the right foot.

Whenever your organization adds a new member, you must have a clear employee onboarding experience to ensure that work is not disrupted and new team members can integrate quickly and efficiently.

The best method for that? Remote onboarding — it’s how you incorporate new remote workers into your company quickly and easily. Onboarding typically familiarizes new employees with company culture, policies, and expectations so a new hire can hit the ground running as an effective and contributing member of the team. Plus, when done well, it builds relationships.

If you’re a hiring manager, an HR professional, or a recruiter, knowing what the onboarding process looks like in the remote workplace is essential to success. And it’s important to know why too.

The tenets of good onboarding.

A good onboarding plan accomplishes the following for a new employee:

  • Introduces them to and helps them fully understand their role on day one
  • Provides training sessions on the platforms they’ll use as well as on the work environment
  • Teaches company culture, policies, and protocols
  • Introduces them to and integrates them with their team
  • Schedules regular check-ins and checkups, and gives HR an opportunity to answer questions

The prime objective when onboarding remote employees is effectively transplanting the new employee into the work ecosystem. Employees who are comfortable and understand what they’re expected to do in a job work better and more efficiently. And they stick around longer — especially when streamlined onboarding makes them feel welcome.

Why is HR pivoting to remote onboarding?

There are a number of reasons that many HR departments have shifted to remote onboarding. While initially many began the pivot as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some very real benefits to working remotely (better work-life balance, enhanced productivity, and many other benefits). A hybrid approach that blends both in-person and virtual onboarding can also be effective.

Employees are working from everywhere these days, and with that flexibility comes new HR challenges. Remote work reduces labor and hiring costs, and this situation has created a need for an HR process that communicates effectively and can meet employees where they are. Face-to-face meetings might not be possible, and because getting paper copies of forms and meeting in person might be denied to many HR professionals, they need a new way to bring employees into their companies.

A person writing on a tablet with a stylus while standing in their home office

A new way to onboard.

A remote onboarding process can provide really important benefits and employee touchpoints. From an HR perspective, a remote onboarding process opens your business up to out-of-state hiring, remote talent acquisition, and faster training. But Zoom and other video conferencing services can often create challenges. To solve them, you need a good process.

This new onboarding process includes e-signatures and digital documentation. With e-signatures, you speed up your employee onboarding and signing process, and you also save money on ink and printing costs.

In fact, HR departments that use e-signatures quadruple the speed of their hiring times over competitors that don’t use them. They are also 50 percent more likely to not require assistance from IT services to obtain employee signatures. This allows for more efficient resourcing, which means money saved.

The process, defined.

The remote HR onboarding process breaks down into the following:


The new employee receives an offer, and you send them to your company’s HR platform to access their paperwork, including W-9s, banking information, the employee handbook, and other essential documents.


The employee attends remote orientations as part of an onboarding program, including a welcome and a benefits orientation.


The employee’s managers respond and complete paperwork as necessary (all documents requiring signatures supported by Acrobat Sign).


The employee’s managers orient the new employee to their tasks and other opportunities.


HR follows up with employees after the first week to see how they’re adjusting to the company.

Get the right tech with Acrobat Sign.

No matter the types of forms your organization needs, Acrobat Sign is a powerful tool in the new work-from-home normal. Make your background check forms, rights agreements, offer letters, NDAs, and employee handbooks completely paperless. And, when you need to collect signatures, Acrobat Sign offers powerful signature collection, tracking, and reminder functionality.

Examples of using Adobe Sign for the onboarding of remote employees

Problems and solutions.

Acrobat Sign can provide more than just signatures. An ever-expanding roster of templates allows you to keep a library of documents that can be quickly repurposed when starting a new hire. Acrobat Sign supports custom logos, taglines, and welcome messages to emails that request signatures. Plus, you can customize your confirmation page with branding and next-step information.

There are status updates for each stage of the signing process, including confirmations of receipt, open status, and whether or not a document has been submitted, complete with time stamps for each stage of the process. Real-time visibility into document status, as well as advanced encryption, ensures that Acrobat Sign will be your last stop for all signature needs. Plus, it integrates with dozens of HR platforms as well as other software, and you can access documents and management on mobile devices.

If you’re curious about what Acrobat Sign can do for your remote workforce, there are plenty of resources and case studies to explore to see if your organization can benefit from a digital HR switch. Get ready to surf the sign waves.