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Onboarding a new recruit

We try and make people start their job on a Friday for a few reasons;

  • The new team members gets a sense of accomplishment wrapping things up for the week with the rest of the team.
  • The team tends to be more relaxed and available for a chat than at the beginning of the week when things are kicking off.
  • Hires get to work for a day, get situated and have a full weekend to recover from the first impressions before attacking a full week.

Before they arrive

  • Gear; make sure the employee is set with a proper chair, a laptop and a desk (you’d be surprised how easy it is to run out of space). We also usually prepare a tote bag with some swag (tshirts, hoodie, mug…) and a welcome card.
  • Software; make sure you create all accounts and send all invitations ahead of time:
    • Google: create the email account, update aliases if needed (e.g. marketing@wiredcraft.com) and invite the person to the relevant Google Drive folders (e.g. WCL Business).
    • GitHub: since we test candidates, the person should already have a GitHub account. Invite him to the proper teams in the Wiredcraft org.
    • Slack: Our main tool for smooth communication.
    • LastPass; we use it to save and share credentials across teams. Make sure the person is invited to the relevant groups.
    • Other; some people may require additional software, licenses or invitations. For example a Sketch license for designers or a Streak invite for sales people. Check with the team leader to figure out what tools may be required. Additionally, Chinese employees may need a VPN (we often pick Astrill).
  • Mentor & Leader; make sure the team is clear on who is the new recruit’s leader and who will mentor them through their first month. Typically, a leader is in charge of the team while a mentor is here to orient and train the recruit.
  • Paperwork; have the employment contract, IPA and NDA printed, reviewed and ready for them to sign.Check with the new hire if any additional paperwork is missing or help is needed.
  • Probation period; add the end of the probation period to the calendar (with a reminder) for both operations and the new employee’s leader.

On the first day

  • Sign hard copies of the employment contract, IPA and NDA.
  • Intro to the team. Walk the person through the office and introduce him to his colleagues. We often have an all-hands meeting on Friday, when we usually collectively welcome newcomers.
  • Walk him to his desk and make sure he is set (gear, software, swag, wifi access…).
  • Point the employee at the playbook, starting with this page, then the company & employees sections. He can then read the other sections depending on his team and interest. Make sure you also show him how to contribute to it (and why he should).
  • First SCRUM; this should help get the new recruit started with our process and is a good starting point to identify what he’ll be working on the week after, explain responsibilities and orient to job duties.
  • Friday team lunch We love our Friday team lunches and it’s a great opportunity for the new team member to meet everyone and find the first topics to talk about.

The first week

Focus on getting the new person started with our process and best practices (collaborating through GitHub and Slack, having a SCRUM every day, working on clear communications…).

During that first week, we usually get the employee to review his recruitment issue and collaborate to an issue in the marketing repo to write a blog post announcing him joining the team.

The first month

We schedule up to 10 short (15 to 20 minutes) “coffee breaks” between the new recruit and other team members (preferably outside of his team).

This month (which coincides with the probation period in China) ends with the monthly One-on-One meeting where both, team member and team lead, can share their thoughts, feedback and set up next steps.