Onboarding New Employees

A self-directed process with guardrails and check-ins
Key Takeaways for Onboarding
Offer a written onboarding plan for each position so new hires can be self-directed.
Provide a home office supply budget - you want people to be comfortable and feel taken care of.
Be clear about how different communication and collaboration tools are used at your company. When should an email be a video chat instead?
Embrace new hires with an “on-boarding buddy” program and mail them your company’s swag upon signing.

There are three components to a successful onboarding: organizational, technical, and social.

Organizational
Now that you’ve hired a candidate, it’s time outline the onboarding process with them. A few things are necessary for the process to be seamless and welcoming:

Make a clear, written plan for every position outlining expectations with a relevant timeline.
Slack channels to join, contacts to have, general schedule (trainings you should be in, what module you should be on when, etc.).
Be collaborative in your onboarding process with your new hires.
Gather feedback and be open to refining and changing the process.
Create an Onboarding Satisfactory Tracking system.
Set up your new hire with a supplies budget and provide an example list of typical supplies that other employees get set up with.
Consider allowing new hires to buy the right office equipment, where appropriate, for themselves.

Technical
In addition to getting new a hire’s credentials for the internal tech stack, there are onboarding-specific technical considerations to take into account.

Use a platform to direct new hires on company policies/compliance - this will relieve administrative burden and provide new hires the opportunity to complete training at their own pace.
Keep managers in the loop by setting up Slackbots that send alerts when a new hire has passed an onboarding milestone.
Be clear about which tools are used and when: Slack messages vs. video chat vs. a shared notebook vs. a digital whiteboard, as well as what email list to use for which occasion.

Social
In order to establish culture that goes beyond 1s and 0s it is imperative that you build in explicit opportunities for your team to socialize with their new teammates.

Develop an onboarding buddy program - ideally someone from within their team or an adjacent team.
Engineers also get a second, non-engineer buddy to understand greater product influence.
Support the buddy program by rewarding the best buddies (make it fun!)
It’s generally a good idea to create a swag package ready to be mailed upon a new hire’s acceptance of an offer. T-shirt, mug, home cocktail kit - whatever it is, make them feel like they are joining a team and not just a bunch of faces in a video chat gallery window.

👉 Next up:
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