You see resources out the wazoo on how to recruit the best candidates and the latest performance management best practices, but there is too little discussed about the time in between. The irony is it’s during the new hire onboarding process that companies are most vulnerable to losing their newest employees. In fact, research by the Aberdeen Group found 86% of new employees decide whether to stay or quit a new job within their first 6 months.
We searched the pages of Quora to find a handful of companies changing the game with some of the most unique new hire onboarding processes out there. These employee onboarding trailblazers have transformed the candidate experience and people are out there spreading the word! What is it that sets them apart from your company’s onboarding process?
Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
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Facebook’s Onboarding Boot Camp Program
Quora user, Joshua Chaisson, recognizes Facebook’s military-esque employee onboarding program:
“…if you are an engineer it’s hard to beat Facebook’s onboarding bootcamp program. Bootcamp for engineers is an intensive program designed to immerse new hires into the [company’s] code base, give people the chance to push code to over a billion users in their first week, get a comprehensive overview on the entire engineering organization and ultimately help them to select the best team for them to join long term.”
Facebook’s nearly 2-month long boot camp program is used to develop leadership early on, fosters team building and teaches their engineers to maintain the highest standards in their work. Curiously, they don’t place new employees on teams, but instead move them from department to department as technical problems arise, giving them a unique view of how the company works as a whole from day one.
➔ Take a tip from Facebook: Get the mundane and boring parts of the new hire onboarding process out of the way ASAP, preferably before your new employee’s first day. The use of a good paperless onboarding software is a lifesaver when it comes to getting new employees quickly on the path to productivity.
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Medallia’s Self-Improvement Inspired Onboarding Program
Andrew Nunnelly is Marketing Campaign Manager at Medallia and recognizes his company’s candidate-centric approach to employee onboarding:
“…it’s not about teaching people how to be Medallians. It’s about helping them become more themselves. Onboardees are challenged throughout the [first] week through a variety of means — one of which is being asked to identify greatest fears and then tackle them…our “Getting to Know the Business” portion of onboarding is conducted by key leaders across the organization… this includes separate visits from our co-founders — our CEO, Borge Hald, and President, Amy Pressman (who has been known to bring along wine to have a conversation). These intimate sessions allow new employees to not just get a lay of the land, but also dig in and understand the people who have built the company and help formulate its mission and vision.”
➔ Take a tip from Medallia: Work with your new hires during the onboarding stage to discover any deep, hidden fear or weaknesses that you can help them overcome. These kinds of exercises can teach new employees that needing to improve isn’t a bad thing. It can also build trust between manager and employee early on which is crucial for engagement long-term.
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Netflix’s On-Top-of-It Approach to Onboarding
Former Engineering Manager at Netflix, Poorna Udupi shares his unforgettable experience about the tech company’s detailed onboarding process:
“I was given the offer letter at the end of my second round interview. You can imagine that all the folks involved with the interview had already discussed on a “Yes/No” and the compensation package was printed out! My laptop choice and configuration was asked of me on the phone (before joining) and was ready on my desk the day I arrived. I requested a desktop workstation server over a self-serve portal. The next morning a brand new ThinkStation was humming under my desk…”
➔ Take a tip from Netflix: Have your new employee’s work space ready to go before their start date. They will appreciate your preparation, feel more valued by the company and be more prepared to jump right into more important aspects of new employee onboarding.
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Valve’s Humor-Laden Team Style to Employee Onboarding
Shivram Subramanian is an engineer at Digg and recognizes Valve for their unique new hire onboarding process:
“Valve. Since their company culture is known to be quite unique and their management structure very flat, many new hires used to take close to six months to get acclimatized to working there. Valve employees thus decided to create an employee handbook for the new hires. The handbook is known for being one of the funniest and reflects the company culture pretty well. To give you a taste, the preface reads, “This handbook is about…how not to freak out now that you’re here.”
➔ Take a tip from Valve: Include your current employees in the new hire onboarding process! This is not only a great way to immerse new hires into the culture of the company, but gives them an idea of what the people they will be working alongside are like. Make the experience fully personalized by having each department make their own handbook for their new teammates. See, onboarding can and should be fun!
How does your company’s new hire onboarding process compare to these? What makes it stand out? Are you doing enough to “wow” your newest assets? What these company’s unique onboarding processes have in common is that anyone can make it happen! And not for an obscene amount of your budget. If you take anything away from this post, take one of these ideas and make it happen at your company!
Let Clickboarding’s simple, online paperless onboarding system help get you one step closer to engaged, happy new hires!