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There are new chances with the start of a new year!! For many businesses, it means new hires that have been accepted, which gives development teams the chance to add more people to their teams!
This gives us a chance to hire! In the spirit of hiring, I’d like to write about the process of onboarding and how companies can do a good job of it with new Software Engineers.
In The First 90 Days: How to Start Your New Role Off with a Bang, I talked about how new employees can get off to the best possible start. That piece was from the point of view of the employee, but this one is for the employers.
First, let’s talk about why the hiring process is important.
Set out the steps for orientation and onboarding
Having a clear process makes me think of a wise saying:
In other words, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Most people agree that properly training a new worker is the key to their success. As engineers, we should treat this task with the same level of importance as updating a large, complicated system.
The culture of a company is something that they choose and can change. Onboarding is a key step in introducing that attitude in the right way. I think the first question you should ask yourself is, “What are the goals of our organization’s orientation and onboarding process?”
We can do all of them by going backwards from the answers we all agreed on.
Getting started vs. orientation
There are two major parts that make up the onboarding machine. These are orientation and onboarding.
During orientation, you learn about the company and the tools you will need for your job. During onboarding, you learn how to use those tools. To use a metaphor, orientation brings you to a new land, and onboarding helps you find your way around it correctly.
Both contribute to the success of employees, but how can we do either one well?
The Funnel Method
You can think of onboarding topics as being poured into a funnel. Even if all the topics are put into the funnel at once, only a certain number can come out at once.
Putting that idea back into the real world of onboarding, we know that when we use slide decks and movies to show a lot of information, only some of it will be understood.
It’s not fake news; I’ve found that getting too much knowledge in too little time is a common problem when I start working for a new company.
What could we do better?
- Follow the two rules of the funnel method.
- Put only the biggest and most important ideas in first.
- Spread out the more specific and less important ideas over time.
- During education and onboarding, both of these rules can be used.
Overview of Orientation
The main tasks of orientation are to explain the company’s structure, culture, benefits, and working space. This is usually done by volunteers and the HR team. It’s important that HR, IT, and the new employee’s team work together closely on this: The HR team will be in charge of the orientation plan and will go over your new benefits. The IT team will help you set up your computer with tools and access.
The welcome culture that newbies will be a part of is important to both tell and show them in the first few days.
As soon as introduction is over, the train moves on to the next stop: getting to know the new team.
A Look at Onboarding
You’ll learn about the team members, product, tech stack, and team practices during onboarding. From the team’s point of view, bringing on a new member of the development team can be hard because it needs planning, resources, and an open mind.
Here are some questions to help you begin:
- What is the best place to start the process of moving in?
- How can we make everyone on our team feel welcome and open?
- We haven’t set up our development environments from start in a while. Are the steps still correct?
- How can we best describe our building?
- When can we expect our new coworker to start working on sprints?
Once you’ve answered, break it down into steps. This is how I like to do it:
- Before the new person joins the team
- Get to know the team and learn about the product
- Dev environment setup and a look at the designs
- Learn how the software works and start making contributions
- The hiring process is broken up into four steps that make it easier for the team to handle.
1. Before They Begin
To make a good first impression, you need to be well-prepared. We can take care of these prep tasks for them!
Ask for Equipment
I’ve always liked it when all of my gear was ordered and brought to my desk within the first week of starting a new job. It’s even better if it happened on the first day!
If you can, let a new teammate know about different pieces of tools before their first day. Things like the type of computer they like, monitors, docks, or standing desks.
Once you get the choices, you need to order them! Setting up a good workspace on the first day makes the onboarding process go more smoothly and gives the idea that the team is organized, helpful, and productive.
Sometimes when you start a new job, you have to wait a week for your computer to appear. That sure makes it hard to get things done.
Update the paperwork
Another job for getting ready is to keep all of the team’s documentation up to date. Having it recorded, whether it’s in a wiki or a repository’s ReadMe files, makes it easier to get started and set up.
Choose a mentor
They should be given a guide, who is also sometimes called a buddy, before they start. This worker should be able to answer any questions and help with any problems that come up during the onboarding process.
Make a ticket
Putting all of their training tasks on a ticket helps keep track of them and gives you a methodical plan to follow. People who need to read important papers should be given links to them in the ticket. They should also be told who is in charge of different parts of the architecture and what software they need to access or download.
This is mostly about giving them a clear road to follow so they never have a moment where they think, “What should I be doing?”
2: Getting to know the team and product overview
A lot of our time is spent with coworkers, talking things over and helping each other figure out problems. It can take time to build and strengthen this kind of friendship, just like any other kind. Onboarding is the first chance to get started!
Every team member should set a time to meet the new person, welcome them, learn more about their background, and give an overview of some parts of the tech stack. During their first week or two, doing these things will help keep the funnel method of only giving them so much information at a time going.
3: Setting up the development environment and a quick look at design
It might take a while to set up local environments, but new guidance makes it go faster. The next step in training is started by team members giving overviews of the tech stack.
This can be done at the same time as the one-on-ones with a teammate or in its own practice. This is meant to help a new developer get all of their local environments ready and learn about the big picture design, patterns, and features of the team’s app(s).
These are the biggest and most important ideas for the information funnel. Once they’ve been pushed out of the funnel, people will dive deeper into the code as they add to the sprint through tickets.
4. Taking part in the Sprint
The sprint will be helped by the last part of the hiring process.
There are several ways to do this, but my favorite is to give out simple tickets and lower the estimated capacity at the same time in the first few sprints.
Updating test coverage is a job that can help both the code and the developer at the same time. This is because writing tests requires knowing the code underneath them.
In the next step, we’ll work together and ask even more questions. This is where the high-level understandings turn into changes to the code at the low level. They will also be going through code reviews as they learn how to follow new team code rules.
Once the new team member starts working on tickets, sprint capacity goes back to normal. The new developer has now been officially added! The onboarding process is done!
It can be hard to get a new team member up to speed, but if you do it right, they will do great. By getting feedback from new employees after they’ve started working for the company, we can better teach them about the culture, benefits, processes, and code bases. This will help them make a bigger difference faster, be more productive, and have more fun!
Bringing a new employee on board has always been a fun part of my job. I love hearing someone’s story, learning from what they’ve been through, and seeing them grow into their new job. I hope that reading this makes you happy too.
Finally, we hope that this post taught you how to hire a project manager. Additionally, Appic Softwares is a great company to check out if you want to hire devoted developers.
So, What Are You Waiting For?