Onboarding for Tech Scaleups: Getting off to a Flyer

Failing to onboard adequately can get expensive fast.

 

The tech industry has a turnover rate of about 15%, with the average stay at any one company being a little over a year  [Source].

Thus, it pays to have a plan of action in place and to enshrine it alongside the rest of your hiring practices. We’ve put together some simple, actionable ideas to help.

Provide Actionable Feedback

More companies are realising that it’s a great idea for their employer brand to offer feedback to the unsuccessful candidate. We agree!

But at Move, we also make a point to provide feedback to the successful candidate, which is something that other companies often neglect. Why do we do this?

From the interview process, you have a tonne of information about the new hire. With all this to hand, why wouldn’t you use it?

Once the hire has joined you, let them know the following:

  • Why did you hire them?

  • What areas did they excel at?

  • What areas needed improvement?

  • What would you like to see from them going forward?

You can work with the hire to build a development plan. Figure out where you’d like them to be in a month, six months, and a year, then check in with them at those points.

This feedback will make a candidate feel like you’re invested in them and their success, that you paid attention to what they were saying, and help them continue to develop at your company.

Make Use of Virtual Tools

Onboarding can begin as soon as the candidate accepts an offer from you. By using the various tech solutions available, you can start on the best possible foot before the hire even enters your premises.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Slack (or other communication platforms) lets new hires introduce themselves to the rest of your team

  • Employee handbooks can be adapted to feature more e-learning [Source]

  • Frequently Asked Questions about practical considerations (amenities, transport links, company perks) can take out lots of guesswork

Think about the questions you had when you first joined the team. Smoothing over these cracks ahead of time will make the process of joining your team simpler.

 

From the interview process, you have a tonne of information about the new hire. With all this to hand, why wouldn’t you use it?

 

Refine The First Thirty Days

Your new hires’ first month is the crucial period for settling into your company. How can you make them feel as welcome as possible?

Consider some of the following options:

  • A goody bag of treats and other thoughtful gestures on a first day is a really simple way to make someone feel appreciated

  • Introduce them to your leadership team

  • Introduce them on your social media platforms

  • Have an open dialogue with the new hires. Get them to talk about team members who helped them.

  • Get an understanding of what success means to the hire, and how that relates to success for the company

  • Assign a buddy outside the usual chain of command, they can handle more informal questions and help get the new hire acclimatised.

Above all- keep this consistent between your new hires to make sure everyone has the same experience. You’ll help foster a sense of loyalty, and help the new hire feel passionate about working for your business. They are part of your team now, make sure they feel like it!

We’ve talked a little bit about having a value system in place and understanding it on this blog here.

Build Up to Bigger Tasks

Odds are, there’ll be a lot of unique quibbles to how your company does things. Even the best new hires will take time to adapt.

Putting new hires straight to high-intensity work leads to a lot of pressure, both for you and them! Nobody wants to be the programmer who breaks an online platform because they weren’t sure what a comment meant. Thus, it’s good practice to have them start on simpler projects for a while, just while they get used to how you do things.

Examples include:

  • Have them work on bug fixing or other often overlooked tasks.

  • Shadow a more experienced employee

  • Pair up new employees to work together for a while: two eyes are better than one!

[Source]

Final Thoughts

The key to all of this is to have things set in stone before you need it. Don’t be afraid to adapt to new situations, but don’t be caught out and forced to improvise on the fly. Get your onboarding process documented, be consistent, always be thinking from a new employee’s perspective, and you’ll see the benefits in no time at all.