👋 Structured Onboarding

A structured onboarding process allows organisations to transfer within a set deadline, the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours required for new hires to perform autonomously in their new role.

Daniel Jarjoura
Daniel Jarjoura

Let’s talk about structured onboarding.

💡
A structured onboarding process allows organisations to transfer within a set deadline, the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours required for new hires to perform autonomously in their new role.

🤔 Why you should care about it

Organisations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. Companies with weak onboarding programs lose the confidence of their candidates and are more likely to lose these individuals in the first year.” - Brandon Hall Group report for Glassdoor, 2015

Every organisation, especially those going through hyper-growth, needs new hires to reach full performance potential as quickly as possible and contribute independently.

😫 Problem(s)

Training a single new engineer takes 5 to 10 hours per week from trained engineers in their team —> waiting too long for new hires to perform autonomously impacts the team’s velocity since senior colleagues are too busy getting them up-to-speed.

Newcomers can’t learn everything on their own —> a new hire’s first months is a combination of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. If new hires are left alone, they incoherently acquire the things they need to succeed in the organisation.

Only 12% of employees feel their company does a good job onboarding new team members —> It’s so hard to hire talents in today’s environment, especially engineers, it would be a shame that their first impression of your company is a bad one.

The absence of a strong onboarding program can make your work environment less inclusive —> new hires who are part of the dominant group can acquire knowledge more easily from social interactions, creating a disadvantage for people outside this group.

😃 Solution

A structured onboarding process, aka “onboarding as a product”, transforms incoming new hires into autonomous and performing team members through a checklist of knowledge to acquire, people to meet, skills to master/improve and behaviours to pick up. A structured onboarding has set start and end dates and quantitative KPIs to measure the new hire’s transformation.

💡 Key Concepts

Employee Handbook —> a compilation of the company’s culture, required information, procedures and working conditions targeted at new hires.

Bootcamp —> an intensive program designed to immerse new engineers into the code base, internal tools and processes and help them create a network of trusted colleagues.

Mentorship program —> a structured one-on-one relationship between a new hire and a more senior team member who’s had the same position in the past.

😡 Detractors

We’re too busy; we don’t have enough time to dedicate to new hires.

—> Unfortunately, the time not spent getting new hires up-to-speed will double down the line when the same new hires aren’t able to complete tasks on their own.

Onboarding is for big companies; we don’t have the resources.

—> But you have the resources to lose talents a few months after they joined because you didn’t give them the tools to succeed in your organisation.

Talented individuals don’t need onboarding; they can pick up everything themselves.

—> Some people can pick up information, skills and behaviours independently, primarily through social interactions. Unfortunately, informal onboarding creates gaps between team members, disadvantages those who are less comfortable with social interactions and does not promote diversity.

📚 Top books

Amazon.com: The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter eBook : Watkins, Michael: Kindle Store
The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter - Kindle edition by Watkins, Michael. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The First 90…

⚙️ Templates / Tools

Aanmelden bij Facebook
Meld je aan bij Facebook om te delen en contact te maken met je vrienden, familie en mensen die je kent.
GitHub - basecamp/handbook: Basecamp Employee Handbook
Basecamp Employee Handbook. Contribute to basecamp/handbook development by creating an account on GitHub.
GitHub - 92bondstreet/awesome-onboarding: 🌻 A curated list of awesome onboarding new developers resources.
🌻 A curated list of awesome onboarding new developers resources. - GitHub - 92bondstreet/awesome-onboarding: 🌻 A curated list of awesome onboarding new developers resources.

📝 Content

Onboarding software engineers
How to design a great onboarding process for software engineers
Onboarding Can Make or Break a New Hire’s Experience
Poor onboarding can leave your employees with lower confidence in their new roles, worsened levels of engagement, and an increased risk of jumping ship when they see a new, more exciting position elsewhere. On the other hand, companies that implement a formal onboarding program could see 50% greater…

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Daniel Jarjoura

Helping CTOs scale their team and grow as leaders | Founder @ The Unicorn CTO | Solopreneur