Onboarding process

24 August 2018, Aleksandra Kilar

Nowadays, finding and keeping a perfect new employee can be demanding. However the work you put into recruiting process and what comes after that, can really make or break the growth of your team. Follow the old-fashioned onboarding process and you’ll be left with distressed staff or notice of resignation.

Last month a dozen or so new employees joined Pretius. Starting a new job could be stressful, especially if it is the first one in your professional career. I try to recall my first job and feelings I had back then: on the one hand jitters and stress, but on the other hand exciting experience that has opened new paths of my career and gave opportunity to meet a lot of new people. For some time I have been wondering what could be done to make this process easier and more friendly, what results in new onboarding process implemented in Pretius. Below you can find short summary of how it works now.

Pre-onboarding

Positive first impression is not only challenge for employees but also for employer. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that onboarding can’t start until the employee is physically present in the company. Onboarding process starts from acceptance of job offer. We send out helpful information for new employees a few days before they join our teams. That helps to calm a new employee’s first day nerves by clearly communicating all the information needed for the first day. It includes details on work beginning, short agenda for the first day, briefly introduction of the team including name of their mentor ‘buddy’ and who to ask upon arrival to minimize first day of job stress.

First day at work

Project Manager helps new team members with getting through their worksites, receiving equipment and our applications access. The first mail in a brand new email box with subject “First Steps in Pretius” includes some tips about important things in the form of FAQ. New employees want to know about their jobs, obviously but first they have a number of basic questions that you’ll want to make sure to cover:

  • where are the restrooms or chill room
  • who’s who (address book)
  • where is the nearest tasty cafeteria
  • which tools can they use on the daily basis, like:
    • work schedule software (we use JIRA)
    • internal communication software (we use Slack)
  • how they can join English course in Pretius
  • etc.

We constantly update our FAQ in Confluence. Most of our employees are developers and we try to keep rule: ‘commit on the first day’ 😊. Buddies (usually senior developers) introduce new developers into coding standards, application layout, building and running application. They assign tasks to new developers and guide them through making changes, testing and committing to GIT repository. Entry tasks range from small exercises and solving simple issues, to developing new functionalities of the systems. New employees learn our development process and working with issue management system as well. All these steps allow new developers to work on real projects that we develop for our customers on their first days at Pretius.

Integration

When the newcomers show up for their first day, they begin the process of getting to know the team and company’s culture, comprehending their role, setting up their tools, and getting settled into their work environment. Effective onboarding helps new employees to integrate with company’s culture. Under no circumstances should  newcomer feels like an outsider. Organizing staff activities such as ‘Lunch & Learned’ workshops is an excellent way to avoid isolation and to foster communication between employees.

In July the whole Poland (also Pretius Team) was watching 2018 FIFA Word Cup. Additionally Pretius organized an internal competition on FIFA Playstation game: 32 guys represented 32 footballs teams which attended the competition. We cheered together and integrated by having fun.

First review and setting targets

In the first weeks we give the new employee their first evaluation. We try to check newcomer’s fitting with a team and speed of implementation into his new position. When necessary, we meet more often and discuss worker’s progress. This is also a great time to set short-term goals.

Trial period summary

At this point, the newcomer should be fully integrated into the company and effectively working. Moreover, the several month trial period is drawing to a close and we must take a decision on the future cooperation with the employee. Goals results and coworker’s opinion has an impact on our decisions.

Gathering feedback

As a last phase of onboarding process we gather feedback and recommendation from newcomers for improvement of onboarding process in Pretius. We must not forget that this is learning process for us too and continuous process of improvement.

If you want to test our onboarding process and join our team, check out open positions – http://pretius.com/kariera/.

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