Best Practices for Recruiting and Orienting New Software Developers


Starting a new job can be intimidating, especially when you are unfamiliar with the role or the company’s culture. If any of your team members are feeling this way, it may be hindering their ability to reach their full potential due to a lack of adequate support. This is a prevalent challenge when integrating new software developers into a team.

While hiring top talent is crucial for any thriving team, it is not the sole aspect to be considered. Research indicates that nearly 25% of employees at major corporations leave within the first eight months, and around 22% of companies lack a structured onboarding process. These statistics emphasise the significance of providing employees with adequate guidance and assistance to enhance their productivity and enable them to succeed in their respective roles.

Having a well-structured plan is crucial when it comes to hiring and onboarding fresh software developers. This article outlines the most effective approach to ensuring prosperous engineering recruitment and onboarding. Let’s get started.

Understanding the Onboarding Process

Onboarding refers to the process of introducing new employees to a company. This involves an orientation session where new hires become familiar with the company’s history, structure, values, and future objectives. The length of the onboarding process may vary among businesses, ranging from a few days to a month.

The primary objective of software engineer onboarding is to assist new hires in integrating with the team and enabling them to make valuable contributions to the company.

What constitutes an effective onboarding process?

  • >

    It is crucial to communicate clear expectations to newly hired software engineers.
  • The company should also outline what the new software engineer can expect from them.
  • >

    Determine how the new software engineer can contribute to the company’s success.

The Significance of Swiftly Hiring and Onboarding Skilled Engineers and Developers

Retaining existing staff is a crucial objective for any company. Studies have shown that a positive onboarding experience increases the likelihood of employee retention (up to 70%) for up to three years. Therefore, it is imperative for organisations to establish effective onboarding processes to ensure the prolonged retention of software developers. Ironically, many businesses tend to overlook this aspect.

Inadequate onboarding can result in new hires lacking comprehension of the company and their position, leading to queries that can disrupt the productivity and efficiency of other team members. To guarantee a seamless integration with the team, prompt onboarding is necessary.

We acknowledge the impressive qualifications and vast experience of the engineers that you are contemplating hiring. Nonetheless, possessing the appropriate skills and competencies essential for the job is still critical.

  • >

    When questioned, staff members desire to know the job expectations from their employer.
  • What standards and guidelines are they required to follow?
  • Could you brief me on the technical specifications and workflow of your company?
  • What should be the expected work pace?

All new hires tend to have similar queries, and their productivity is likely to diminish until they get satisfactory responses.

Hiring and overseeing remote developers may pose some challenges. While virtual communication may not be as productive as face-to-face interaction, the practice of remote employment and freelancing has observed a notable surge amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, many organizations have become accustomed to online recruitment, hiring, and training of personnel.

It seems that you have grasped the significance of having a successful onboarding process for software developers. Now, let us deliberate on how to effectively enroll developers and implement the process.

Step 1: Familiarize the Company’s Onboarding Engineer with the Organization

We are delighted to have a new programmer join our team. As they adjust, it is crucial to progressively introduce them to the team, project, organizational culture, protocols, rules, tools, and frameworks that we use. To facilitate a smooth transition, it is crucial to avoid inundating them with too much information at once.

The new developer must have a proficient understanding of the following areas:

Software and Tools for New Programmers

Developers should receive training on the equipment they will use. As part of the onboarding process, all mandatory software, protocols, corporate policies, and database access must be provided. It is vital to equip them with all the necessary tools to be prepared and start working with us. A guide or mentor may also be assigned to assist in their adjustment.

Objectives and Strategies for the Organization

It is of utmost significance to brief the new engineers on the organization’s principles and goals. Additionally, they must be thoroughly informed about the specifics of the project they are assigned to. Kindly furnish them with the requisite information.

  • >

    What your organization endeavours to accomplish as a unit
  • >

    The Requirements and Objectives of the Project
  • Both immediate and long-term goals

If you inform them about these topics, they will have a better understanding of the bigger picture and be able to adapt more easily.

What Type of Work Culture Do You Foster?

Each organization operates differently. Certain corporations may have a formal dress code, while others may adopt a more casual approach. It is crucial to apprise new recruits of the company’s regulations and work environment.

An employee handbook is a precious resource that provides direction and guidance to all employees. Upon introducing new software developers, a concise summary of fundamental principles might be presented for their benefit.

Colleagues and Peers

To guarantee a seamless integration of a new engineer into the team, it is imperative to complete the onboarding process before introducing them to the team leader and manager. The most efficient method would be to keep the introduction as simple as possible. After the introduction is done, you can step back and allow the employee and their fellow co-workers to acquaint themselves.

Granting the new employee the chance to establish relationships with their colleagues is pivotal. Additionally, it is advisable to inform them if they will have a mentor and ensure that the mentor is equipped for the assignment by presenting a comprehensive overview of their duties and presumptions. Moreover, adding the new developer to the team chat and initiating email exchanges with the rest of the group would aid in fostering communication.

Let us now progress to phase two of best practices for developer onboarding:

Step 2: Allocate a Workspace for the Onboarding Engineer.

Following the briefing of all necessary information to the new developer, it is time to proceed to the next step. This involves familiarizing the new employee with the office and ensuring that they have everything they need for the day before starting work. This includes, among other things, …

  • >

    Complete access to all necessary hardware, software, and data sources is available. Kindly provide the appropriate credentials and link everyone to the messaging system used by the team.
  • Capability to access, modify, and test infrastructure using API keys.
  • Disseminating essential readings such as how-to guides, user manuals, and reference directories.
  • >Recording absenteeism and presenteeism is vital. Remote work time monitoring software is essential.

During the onboarding process, it is recommended to provide the primary credentials to enable employees to commence their work and gain a better understanding of the company promptly. Supplementary credentials can be distributed at a later time, if necessary.

Let us move on to the third recommendation for Developer onboarding:

Step 3: Guide for Getting Started for Programmers

While the previous phases of software engineering onboarding are usual, this subsequent step pertains to new developers specifically. Technical documentation is necessary to move forward with project activity. These guidelines can be utilized as a metric to track progress. Insufficient developer onboarding documents can lead to difficulties and consume significant time for explaining the project and deciding on the most suitable approach.

A significant issue for organizations is the absence of transparency in the flow of data within their systems. This can create difficulties in monitoring progress when teams from various departments collaborate to address the same problems. To address this, it is critical to establish comprehensive documentation.

An illustration of a developer onboarding process: here are examples of some essential information to incorporate in your documentation.

  • >

    Installation Procedure
  • Independent test suites at every significant level
  • Access to Source Code and Git Repository
  • >Database Guide
  • Server authentication while deploying.
  • It is necessary to have schematics and flowcharts illustrating all significant parts and systems.
  • >Access Tokens for Software and Online Services.
  • >Versions of all essential libraries for the current project
  • Notifications on “Version Control System” that offer context
  • >Sample data and input instructions.
  • >Accompanying instructions and Docker file
  • This article investigates the association between languages supported by Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), which can be evaluated with Java documentation system – JavaDoc.

Furthermore, please furnish any development notes you possess that can aid in advancing the project initiated by the prior team and help rectify any arising issues.

Ensure that the documentation is comprehensible by incorporating diagrams and flowcharts that assist novice programmers in expedited learning.

Step 4: Recommendations for Hiring and Enlisting Software Developers

Once the developer onboarding procedure is finalised, it is crucial to utilise a checklist to ensure proper execution of all best practice steps. This subsection will also act as a review since some subjects have been previously addressed.

Hiring Readiness Checklist Before Employing an Employee

As a component of the onboarding process, we extend a warm welcome to our new software engineers. To facilitate our remote workforce, we leverage video conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom.

  • You can apprise them of their task, team, benchmarks, workflows along with your expectations.
  • As part of the onboarding process, it is desirable to introduce the developer to the organisation’s culture. This includes presenting the firm’s objectives and principles and sharing the employee handbook.
  • Prioritize completion of all necessary documentation signatures before the initial day of employment to eliminate delays in commencing work and maximize productivity for the employee.
  • Guide them through the technical standards that must be upheld. Introduce them to pertinent chat rooms and grant them access to your login information.
  • Prior preparation is vital if the intention is to disseminate products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, computers and other hardware. This guarantees timely delivery of these items to the developer.

Prepare for the new employees’ first day by adhering to these guidelines. Let’s move on to the next item on our Software Developer onboarding checklist.

Morning Routine

Once you go through the process of hiring software developers, the subsequent step is acquainting them with the team. To foster this, it may be advantageous to share some essential information pertaining to the new team members, such as their location and hobbies. This facilitates better comprehension of each other, creating a mutually respectful environment.

We are delighted to welcome [name], who has joined our team in the capacity of [role]. [name] hails from [country] and has a keen interest in [activity]. We are excited to work with them.

Providing new hires with an uncomplicated task early in their tenure is crucial to help them acclimate to the workplace, build confidence in their abilities, and cultivate a relaxed work climate, all while alleviating any undue pressure they may be experiencing. Having covered this, we can proceed to the following item on the Software Developer onboarding checklist.

Checklist for Documentation

Incorporating software developers into any organization is an ongoing process and extends beyond the initial few weeks. Room for improvement is constantly present.

  • >

    Holding weekly meetings proves to be a productive strategy for keeping abreast of recent workplace developments, exchanging constructive feedback, and resolving any concerns that new hires may have, as well as other supplementary advantages.
  • Scheduling brief daily meetings is a viable solution to maintaining awareness of the project status and addressing any issues as they arise.

Orienting new hires to the established organizational protocols and ensuring their compliance enables them to acclimate better and gain confidence in expressing their views while guaranteeing the safety of any sensitive data.


For businesses, implementing a strong onboarding process for software developers is imperative. In its absence, businesses may struggle with an ongoing influx of new staff, depleting resources and complicating operations management. It is, therefore, essential to locate and retain proficient personnel. People are an organization’s most valuable resource, so ensuring their well-being and requirements are met is of tremendous significance. An effective onboarding process plays a pivotal role in achieving these objectives.

We trust this post has delivered valuable information on the onboarding process and motivated you to create your own. If you are considering assembling a distributed development team, please head to our homepage. At Works, you can relinquish the concerns regarding the onboarding process’s intricacies. Our team collaborates with yours to deliver optimal outcomes.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs