Bringing new Ideas to Life :)

19 Sep

Onboarding new team members

This blog is part of a series of blogs about our team. Other blogs include our hiring process,

It’s important to create a really good first day experience for the new members of the team. A well planned, productive first day is a sign of respect, sets expectations and provides a nice preview of the future.


Note to self: This is one of the areas that we can improve the most.


In the past we used the arrival of new team members as a trigger to change and improve both the technology stack we use (a topic for another blog), our infrastructure and our processes.


So even though we did prepare for the first few days, we had a lot of new technology/processes to test  and invariably things didn’t run as smooth as we have liked; the phrase “I can’t find the password in LastPass” was heard one too many times :)


Nailing the experience of the first few days; could be as short as the first day, or as long as the first 30 days, is a big reason I am writing this series of blogs. In fact, improving the hiring & onboarding process is part of the one of my 3 OKRs for this quarter.


So in the first few days, new team members have a mixture of participating in presentations from other team members, doing small and large tasks and readings lots of materials. Here is an outline of the most basic activities



  • Become familiar with our technology stack (Asana,Slack,Lastpass,Google Inbox, Google Docs, Ditto)


This is usually one of the biggest points of friction for new team members, and more steps should be done to reduce this friction.


  • Read all communication we send to Customers in the sequence we send them. When we say read we actually mean Read and suggest improvements.


  • Read all “Use cases” we have in our product and become familiar with them. This is probably a good topic for yet another blog entry that will be done in due time


Reading Material – Operational

  • Read  the help section we have for all our websites
  • Read the internal help section for all our websites
  • Read all the help files we have on how our team works
  • Read all the Startup Marketing Resources by Ryangum

Reading Material – Cultural

  • Re-read the how our team works blog
  • Read all blog entries at our blog and all links to all resources
  • Read ”Thinking fast and slow” and the ”Lean startup”


Learning worth sharing again

  • The hiring & onboarding process reflect the culture of your company. Take the time to make an experience you are proud of.
  • You must really take time. You probably need one full day of work before you begin the hiring process, many during evaluation, and one full day of work to prepare for the new team members.
  • For that reason it’s probably best to do interviews and hiring in batches.


Lets wind this up

We haven’t nailed the onboarding process yet – not by a long shot and this blog reflects that – it’s much less polished than my previous ones.


I kinda like that as it makes the blog honest, and it also acts as a commitment from me and the team to improve our onboarding process. In that end, I would love to hear any recommendations you might have.

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