All organizations should be committed to hiring the best talent in the world. To do that, you must continue to give the best to your employees. The onboarding process is designed to give the best experience to all new hires at your company. Over time, your onboarding playbook should evolve to meet the needs of your business but this is a template upon which you can build on.
Bolt’s New Hire Philosophy:
Even the best talent will falter if not given the tools to succeed. Aim to provide a solid foundation for all new hires so they can deliver tangible business impact within their first 90 days.
Set your new team members up for success from day 1, by:
- Immersing them in your culture
- Providing them with relevant internal knowledge and company/team norms
- Helping them learn and acclimate to their function-specific skills and tasks quickly
While delivering impact is important, making new team members feel welcome is just as important. Work hard even before their first day to facilitate connections with new team members through coffees and lunches. Once onboarded, your teams should go above and beyond to welcome people, help them get settled, and ensure their experience with your organization is a highlight of their career.
No Early Starts
When hiring a new person, wait until their official start date to onboard them, which includes granting access to email and internal documents. Avoid letting a new hire start early because:
- You’’ll be exposing them to confidential info
- Many candidates are still at risk of actually joining
- Information in Slack or Google drive could tip them away from your company
- You want them to have an onboarding experience with a cohort so they can build camaraderie with others
Regardless of their official start date or urgency around the function, new hires should never start working until a third-party vendor verifies the completion of a successful and clean background check.
Human Resources or the People Function should formally announce your new hires to the organization via Slack or another internal tool (i.e Microsoft teams, email communication, etc.) to welcome to the company. This simple step creates the opportunity for existing team members to reach out to new hires to “break the ice” and indicates to the new hires that they add value to the company. The communication should be sent on the first day if possible.
For VP and senior leadership hires, the Chief Executive Officer, or other Senior Leaders should send out a special note introducing them to the organization. Include in the message why the role is vital to the success of the business, the specific reason why this person was selected, and the value they will bring to the organization.
Things to include in the intros: new hire name, job title, and team they will be working on, where they will be located (SF, SLC, Tor, NYC, Seattle, etc.), a little info on their background (where they worked before, hobbies, etc.), and an invitation to the company to stop by and introduce themselves.
- @channel Please welcome our newest [insert company team name (e.g. Bolters, etc.}! We have 4 new hires (2 interns!) joining our crew this week. As always (and during this remote time in particular), please reach out to them and say hello.
- Jacob (TX) is joining us as our first Software Engineer on the Development team; he was previously at ForwardTechnologies where he was working as Senior SDET/ Automation Lead. In his free time, he loves snowboarding, and just recently started kite-surfing.
- Lisa(NYC) is joining our marketing team, focusing on product marketing; she was previously on the product marketing team at RepublicTech. She has now been in NYC for almost 4 years; before that she has lived in a different city every 3-5 years. She just worked through Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series during her time off between jobs.
Depending on the size of the organization and the number of new hires you are bringing into the company, you should have a regular onboarding class, every two weeks if possible. This will allow your new hires to have an instant group of connections (from across the company) and folks around them to facilitate successful onboarding and learning.
Onboarding can consist of three components:
- Introduction to your company with 1-2 day classroom training spearheaded by your HR function (can be done in-person or remotely)
- Onboarding Checklist with expectations and tasks to be completed over first few weeks
- Manager/team-specific training
The aim of each of these components is to jump-start new hires’ learning when it comes to your culture, working norms and knowledge, and the skills necessary to perform their new role.
Remote Onboarding Schedule Day 1 [Sample]:
Remote Onboarding Day 2 [Sample]:
In-Office Onboarding Schedule Day 1 [Sample]:
In-Office Onboarding Schedule Day 2 [Sample]:
- Monthly Culture Lunch with our Employee Resource Group members
- Department Overview Classes: 4th Thursday of every month at 12pm PT
Onboarding Checklist via Asana:
Every new hire will also need to receive their own personalized Asana project/checklist as part of their onboarding experience. Asana’s onboarding project for each new hire is broken down into several sections:
- Things to do on Day 1
- Week 1 Homework
- HR Needs
- About [your organization]
- Week 1: Things to read and set up
- Week 2: Trainings to watch/listen to
Note: Each department or team should also provide their new teammates with team and role-specific onboarding training and checklist; via Asana and in person (when possible).
Future Vision for Onboarding:
It’s important to continuously evolve your onboarding experience over time.
As an early stage company, your onboarding experience may be a loose process. New hires are given a laptop and a desk, access to whatever documentation/processes, and then work closely with their team members or manager to get up-to-speed. As your company grows you should assess the needs of your new hires based, ask for feedback, expand the experience, and create a cohesive program.
As you think about the future of onboarding, you may want to include the below ideas as part of the program:
- Move toward a more experiential onboarding process (and away from task-based experience).
- Create a new hire journey for the first 90 days
- Days 2-30 are about learning. Getting to know your ecosystem and familiarizing with your values, your processes, and your ways of operating.
- Days 31-60 are about building. This month is about building ties across your organization and seeing how things get done.
- Days 61-90 are about execution. Once new team members are acclimated, give them the freedom to run with and finish a project of their own.
- By the 90 day mark, new hires should confidently say that they made the right decision by joining your company.
Overall, this should be a defining experience or highlight of your team member’s career. This is the moment for your company to be seen as an employer of choice for your new hires and to be regarded and highly recommended as a great place to work.