Is It Better To Onboard Teammates Together Or Stagger Onboarding?

We’ve done a lot of hiring over the years and one of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves is whether it’s better for new Buffer teammates who will be on the same team to start at the same time or warm up start dates. ?

We’re a relatively small team and since we’ve been actively hiring for various positions over the last year and a half, we’ve wondered what’s best for both colleagues and hiring directors. Recently, a new hiring manager asked some other executives for their experience with teammates starting the same day compared to teammates starting a few days.

In this piece, I’ll review exactly what three Buffer hiring managers shared, along with some of the tips, conversations, and best practices we have for joining a distributed, remote team.

When you should schedule teammate start dates

In 2021 we hired 26 people in nine months, which was a lot for our under-90 team. Some of these new hires focused on Engineering, Advocacy and Product teams. This was an additional burden for some specific teammates (and hiring managers!) To make the most of the new addition.

We do not ask new hires to start on specific days – we encourage new hires to decide which start date is best for them, their previous employer, and their family. So sometimes we have classmates who start the same day, or a few weeks apart.
Remote incorporation usually requires a lot of preparation and guidance. We prepare a centralized document for all new hires that clearly describes the expectations of the first 30-60-90 days and also assign a role friend for specific job help and a culture friend to help with the values ​​and cultural issues. The involvement of three teammates for each new recruitment demands a lot from the team in general, but it has been a proven means to support new hires (especially on a remote, global team).

Learning from one experience to another

Our defense team leader Darcy Peters added two new teammates to his team in late 2021, and each teammate started three weeks apart. Darcy said he found it very helpful to get them started at different times, especially from the perspective of learning what to do best for the next round of incorporation.

“I learned from my first experience. I wish I had asked my friends another question in 30 days? Would you arrange the synchronization of the 60-day celebration with the team member in a different way? ”- Darcy Peters

Reduce the impact on the team in general

Another defensive leader, Ross Parmly, also intervened, citing that the staggered start dates were a little easier to adapt for the team as a whole and did not affect the goals of the area. same way.

“The first few weeks tend to take the role of an Advocate’s Role Buddy away from the inbox, so having that time staggered is quite useful. This may not apply directly to other teams, but it could it will be useful to consider the friendly component of the incorporation role and whether the space between things will create a smoother experience where too many teammates do not stray from other tasks at once. ”- Ross Parmly

When you should line up your classmates’ start dates

Hailley (whom you often see here as she manages our content and communications) started two new hires during the same week.

Group training and milestones when you can

“I thought it was great to have two new teammates starting the same week. I had their incorporation ready at the same time instead of staggering, they were also joining in the same role, so they were able to support each other and learn tools and processes at the same time “. – Hailley Griffis

We also aim to celebrate and share useful feedback on 30, 60, and 90 day markers. With multiple teammates starting at the same time, there may be extra work to hire managers, but also larger group celebrations when new teammates reach 90 days.

Getting started at the same time could help you synchronize milestones, and you could group them together instead of having to review them a bit separately. “- Ross Parmly

Make time on your schedule for new hires

Having two new people at the exact same time meant that I had to lock up much of my calendar for the first two weeks to make sure I was available for more support than usual, as they were two people, but overall, especially since these two colleagues have the same role, I think that was the best way to start. “- Hailley Griffis

Create links for new teammates in a remote environment

Regardless of the specific start date, creating a community and a link space for new hires is useful for virtual machines. We invited our new 2021 hires to a Slack channel to chat with each other and also accompany each other as new Bufferoos.

“This could be the case though [my new teammates] they started together, but I found that they were a great support for each other. Fern was able to feel empowered immediately as she had some experience in Buffer and was able to support Lexi in a small way. They later discovered that each was strong in different areas of support (probably due to their friends ’areas of experience) and that they could support learning for each other. Also, even though they were two weeks apart, they were able to make a few calls with each other: one with Joel and then several mini-training calls with different Lawyers. “- Darcy Peters

The work done to incorporate new teammates has many benefits during your teammate’s tenure. Provide clear lines of support and identify who your teammates can request to back up. New hires usually form deep bonds with their co-stars, co-workers and also: friends from the start date. Whether it’s weeks or days apart, this is a great opportunity for new hires to connect with their co-workers.

To you

What is your experience joining a new business, large or small? Are you interacting with other new contractors and forming a connection with a contracting cohort? What would you prefer as a hiring manager? Send us a tweet and let us know!

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