Did you miss the “Improving Your Onboarding” webinar held on August 4th, hosted by CTO Connection and featuring esteemed engineers from Cars.com, Neu, Grammarly, and Works? If so, you have missed out on a remarkable opportunity to gain valuable insights and be inspired by the best practices for recruiting and building high-functioning teams, which is of paramount importance in the current distributed work environment.
What follows is a sneak peek at what awaits you.
What Made My Onboarding So Terrible
At the Cars.com event, Chief Technology Officer Fred Lee delivered a keynote address entitled “Why I Hate Your Onboarding,” in which he discussed his personal experiences with inadequate onboarding. He expressed his frustration at the lack of thought and care shown in some orientations, such as having a desk set up without a chair or providing a list of websites for essential information without any instructions on how to gain access.
Fred has proposed that the hiring manager should take responsibility for completing the onboarding process by creating checklists that detail the information that the new recruit must learn. Additionally, in the first two weeks of the new recruit’s employment, Fred recommends that virtual lunches be scheduled with key people in order to facilitate and prioritise interaction. Lastly, Fred pointed out that recruiting, orienting, and training new engineers should be viewed as a single, interconnected process. He also highlighted the fact that the significance of the onboarding process is often overlooked.
Related Article: 10 Tips for Successful Remote Software Developer Onboarding
An Introduction to Onboarding from a Distance
Claudius Mbemba, Chief Technology Officer at Neu, recently shared his insights on the best way to ensure success in onboarding engineers remotely. He proposed that companies should prioritise a “remote first” approach, as this model of onboarding presents greater challenges that require greater discipline. Mr. Mbemba believes that the benefits of improving remote onboarding extend beyond individual engineers, providing a positive impact on the entire business.
Given the current circumstances of remote working, Claudius has emphasised the importance of having a paperless onboarding process, whereby new hires learn by doing and have a sense of social support from their colleagues. By doing so, he has suggested that the onboarding process should not involve the use of physical documents or binders, and that employees should not feel isolated in their new role.
Stop Rejection of Tissue
After just three weeks in her position as Head of Engineering at Grammarly, Heidi Williams had already developed some useful insights on how to set new senior hires up for success. Specifically, she warned of the dangers of “tissue rejection” — a phenomenon wherein a new hire is not trusted by the existing team if they had expected someone from within the company to be promoted instead. Furthermore, Williams noted that executives often have the most difficulty adjusting to a new company’s culture, particularly if they had been employed there for an extended period of time.
Heidi laid up a plan for the first 30 days on the job, the first 60 days, and the first 90 days for both new hires and their supervisors.
An “I” Doesn’t Belong on a Team
At the conclusion of the conference, the Vice President of Partner Engineering at Works, discussed her comprehensive approach to onboarding, which she called ‘Onboarding that Accelerates Development and Delivery’. She emphasised the importance of efficient onboarding, as it involves time and resources from the entire team, and can lead to a short-term dip in output. However, she highlighted the impressive long-term benefits of successful onboarding, which can boost operational performance by 147 percent and increase productivity by a staggering 70 percent.
The Vice President of Partner Engineering at Works emphasised the importance of viewing the onboarding process as a collaborative undertaking, rather than a single individual’s responsibility. She highlighted the importance of quickly getting the new engineer up to speed, as this is essential for the team to reach its highest potential. In particular, she detailed the expectations for the first thirty days on the job, the first week, and the following sixty to ninety days.
Related Article: 6 Difficulties with Remote Hiring and Solutions