In a remote setup, it’s even more important than usual to ensure that your new-joiners feel well set up for their new role, can connect with the rest of the team, and feel like they can reach out for help whenever needed.
That’s why we are asking tech leaders in our community for a few quick tips on how they approach onboarding in their own teams. Here are the insights from David Küsel, Chief Product Officer at Sanlam Indie.
David Küsel, Chief Product Officer at Sanlam Indie
Onboarding really, really matters! You’ve spent a lot of time and money finding the right talent, so giving them the best start is critical. We are constantly trying to do onboarding better, but some things we’ve found really effective are:
Give people context
In someone’s first week with us, we spend a lot of time going through our history, vision, values and strategy. This gives people a lot of context, and helps them see why they are working with us.
Be very intentional about creating social connections
We schedule “get to know you” calls with a random bunch of people on the team for every new-joiner, so that we create social connections quickly. This can be awkward at times, but it’s totally worth it!
Have a playbook
This is something we are still working on and building as we go, but it’s already been incredibly useful. Having a well-documented ‘Guide to working in our organisation’ brings consistency to your onboarding, and saves you a huge amount of time in the initial setup.
For a playbook, I would recommend making sure you tackle things that actually matter to people - these could be things like leave, career progression, and access to systems you use.
Pro-tip: You can always ask your team what they think you should include in your playbooks!
Have a ‘Who’s who’ list
We have a list of who is who in the team, with a short description of their role, what they are responsible for, and what kinds of things people can talk to them about. This makes it a lot less ‘scary’ for new-joiners when they get to know to our team, because they’ve likely seen or heard of someone before they interact, and can talk to them about whatever was in their ‘Who’s who’ biography.
If you’ve had to onboard someone remotely, let us know in the comments below what has helped you set up your team and your new-joiner well! We always love hearing from you, and would love to know if any of the above has been useful for you and your teams!
- The Ultimate Developer Hiring Guide. This guide covers every aspect of the tech hiring process, from sending the first message, to interviewing and onboarding developers.