You’re hired: our 3 step onboarding process

Following a series of Private Events with a big corporate partner, we received an email that really surprised us. “We would like to know about your onboarding process”. Given the size of the partner, we were all extremely flattered by the request, especially me, I’d been fortunate enough to work on this process since becoming the People and Admin lead at Fuckup Nights.

After an interesting conversation with our partner, I thought about how lucky we are to collaborate with people who are humble, honest and eager to learn. I also reflected on the importance of sharing learnings, of course, it was the knowledge of others that guided us in building the process that we have today.

So, we decided to share, the 3 step formula of our onboarding process, in the hope that you might find it useful for sparking new ideas and processes of your own.

The need to create a clear and structured onboarding process came after we had some negative hiring experiences. We hired the wrong people and it took us too long to realize our mistake. We started to grow very quickly and with this came the urgent need to hire new team members, with little time to consider the best way to do it.  During the hurry to get more “hands-on deck” we rushed the selection and induction processes. This was our Fuckup!

To avoid this mistake happening again, we did some research and I took the webinar “5 easy strategies to hire better employees” with Entreleadership. They focus on the following: choose passion over experience every time because you’re not hiring a machine just looking for a J-O-B. You need a team member who is on a crusade for your company, and this person is always worth waiting for. 

With this in mind, we realized the importance of a structured onboarding process, this helps to set each new team member up for “success” and provides insightful information about the person you’ve hired and how he/she can adapt to the company.

We researched best practices from some top employers, for example, Google is known to be one of the best when it comes to onboarding. One of the elements that stand out is their “Google’s just in time onboarding checklist” this helps to prioritize the process and shares a sense of urgency within the team.

Julio (our COO and Co-founder) shared some helpful onboarding practices from Cirklo (a side project) and with all of this in mind we generated our process.

Following a “keep it simple” process

Our onboarding process has three simple stages: before, during and after.

Before: This starts on the day we say “you’re hired!” We begin by making the newcomer feel like part of the team, we send them an email introducing them to the key people who are going to support them during their onboarding. Then, prior to their first day, we send another email welcoming them, explaining the itinerary for the first day and the tools they’ll need to start working.

These emails are important for creating a sense of urgency and priority for the onboarding process (as emphasized by Google). We want each new member to feel comfortable within the team, but also to be prepared and get off to a great start in their role. 

During: We plan the first day, the first week and the first three months. We coordinate with their manager to create an agenda that enables each individual to understand the Fuckup Culture and get to grips with their role and responsibilities. This part is important for making sure that they understand who we are and what we represent. We also need to train them to do the job we hired them for. 

As mentioned, we had some bad experiences in the past, the most complicated part is ensuring the “cultural fit”. This is why we focus on culture during this part of the onboarding process, it helps us to detect any yellow or red flags early.

After: We have a 3-month trial period. During this time we constantly challenge our new hires and schedule monthly performance reviews to see what they are doing great, what they can improve on and how they are adapting to Fuckup. As the last step, we congratulate and welcome them again.

The trial period is the most important aspect of the onboarding process because it helps us to measure how well the person is adapting to the team and how capable they are in the role. It also allows us to act accordingly when something is not going well. 

We hope this information is useful. This is an ongoing process we review it often and try to keep it as up to date as possible. As you know, what works for us, may or not work for you, but we are happy to share and discuss how we are doing things.

Let us know how you handle onboardings. What are your pains and gains? Let’s learn together and share best practices.

Ileana Castro

Ileana Castro

People & Admin

Following the best practices of failure by doing business with her best friend. At this moment, she is leading the People area in Fuckup Inc. helping people breaking free from their paradigms. Loves long and deep conversations, long walks, traveling, and swimming.

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