How to Have an Effective Onboarding Process
How to Have an Effective Onboarding Process
Picture of Santi
15 March 2023

Planning it, as if it were a curriculum.


Typically, companies do it this way:

First, they write a job description that, in theory, they took the time to align with what the team needs,

with the other positions the new person will be working with, with how that team will be working and with what the company needs overall. 

Second, they go out and find the right person that not only aligns with what the company needs,

but also has requirements that the company can meet.


Companies do this, better or worse, but they do it.

The problem


They forget.


Most of the time, once the employment contract has been signed and the time comes for the new person to enter the company,

everyone forgets two essential things: 

How important it is to welcome this new team member, to make them feel good and safe, to support them.  

To put everything in place so that the new person can be productive as quickly as possible.


This is where many companies fail. 

It is common for companies to expect the person to start being productive on their own, and right from the start,

in the job description they describe someone who can hit the ground running. And it is totally wrong to say that someone

has to hit the ground running, because if the person does not know about the business, the industry, the people who work

in the team and many other things, how can you expect the person to hit the ground running? It's quite contradictory.


Unfortunately, this is how most companies welcome employees who start from scratch. 


This is related to employer branding and how to go about hiring people.


If someone asks a new employee "how are your first days?", and they answer "they haven't given me anything to do yet,

I don't know anyone yet, I don't understand anything, they flood me with information to read, they throw me to solve problems

when I don't even know how everything works structurally, and everything is for yesterday," obviously the person is not going

to have a good experience. 

And this is the problem that most companies have: they take so little time to do a good selection process and

onboarding that they don't give the new employee a good experience. And that's why a lot of people in the first three to

six months on the job decide to change, because they realize that it's not the place they want to be, because all that stuff that

looked good wasn't so good. 

Expectation vs. reality


It's like booking a hotel because it looks beautiful in the pictures. But when you arrive, you find that your reservation was wrongly made,

there is no room and you have to wait. And when you enter the room, you see that it is dirty, has hairs, and the jacuzzi does not work.

Besides, the pool is closed. Then you say, "What happened here?”


And that is what happens with the onboarding process. Many times, companies sell an idea of what it is like to work there,

but once the person enters, they realize that the reality is very different. 


This is what is wrong. 

The solution


Go from the back to the front. Start at the end and move forwards.


The first thing is to understand the team you have:

Who are they

What each one does

What are their objectives

Who is contributing to the team in what way

How that team is contributing to the company's objectives, etc.


The second thing is to understand what you need. For example, a software developer who is going to be working

on the back end of an application making a business logic of a new product or feature. If I already understand that

this person is going to be working on this feature of the application or this product, I understand how this is going to be

related to the different applications of the company, the different software applications, AND the other products.


Then, once you understand what your team is like and what you need to do, you can define the job.

Don't start by defining the job. Do it the other way around. Start at the end and move forwards.


By defining the job, you will know:

Who you need to talk to

Who you will be working with

What the person needs to understand

What he or she has to learn in the first month, in the next three months, six months, one year

Who the person is going to have to work with inside the team, outside the team

How he or she is going to help the other teams achieve their objectives, etc.


Then, once the person starts working, you already know who they have to meet in the first month,

because you already know what they have to achieve in the first month,

you already know what they have to learn in the second stage, and so on.


It is like designing a study program. In a course, there are levels, ranging from basic to advanced.

When students start the course, the teacher knows what they need to learn first and what to learn later to improve.

And students know there is a program. There is an order, a plan.


It is the same in the workplace: you have to have a learning plan that defines how the person is going to learn about the organization,

the way of working, the culture, technical issues, best practices, etc.


You have to put together a learning plan for the person so that they can add value as quickly as possible.

And that is done by starting at the end and moving forwards.

About  Santi  
Helping candidates find a job and companies find candidates, by understanding exactly what both are looking for. Constantly talking with candidates to get to know them and connect them with roles that match their knowledge, skills and capabilities.
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