Get Up to Speed: Tips for Onboarding New Hires

Onboarding is so much more than just paperwork and orientation. It’s about creating a great first impression and setting the tone for a successful journey ahead.

Here a few tips for a highly-effective onboarding experience for your remote-first team.

A Personalised Onboarding Document

One of the most important things for any new hire is to have a personalised onboarding document.

This document should include an overview of the role, company, and team expectations and objectives. It should also include a timeline of key milestones and tasks to be completed.

By providing a personalised onboarding document, employees receive an understanding of their job responsibilities and expectations on their first day, which helps them to get up to speed quickly. Additionally, the document helps employees to stay organised during their onboarding period.

Case study: A rolling document

I led a new team of engineers across multiple countries and time zones. We lacked an onboarding document, and we anticipated adding multiple new hires in the upcoming weeks and months.

We created a live page on our internal documentation platform quickly. We outlined milestones to define what needed to be completed at the end of the first day, week and month in the team.

We made a rule: the last person to use the document was responsible for keeping it up-to-date. This way, after a few rounds, our onboarding page was in great shape and worked well.

The Trust and Autonomy to Start Contributing to Projects Immediately After Hire

When an employee joins a company, they should have the trust and autonomy to contribute to projects immediately after hire.

This helps new hires to become quickly acclimated to the company’s processes and culture, and gives them a sense of ownership over their contributions.

Additionally, it allows them to gain experience on the job and learn the ropes without having to rely too heavily on the support of their team members.

A Publicly-Available Video Introduction

To make new hires feel welcomed and part of the team from the first day, employers can create a publicly-available video introduction. In the video, the employer can introduce new hires to the team, the company culture and processes, and any upcoming projects or tasks. This helps to create a sense of camaraderie and team spirit right away, and allows new hires to get to know their new colleagues and environment.

Invert the process: ask each new hire to record a brief video introducing themselves. Add these videos to the company library. This allows everyone to get to know their colleagues at their own pace, without complex video productions.

An Asynchronous Onboarding Process

An asynchronous onboarding process is a great way to ensure that new hires can access the resources they need and familiarize themselves with the company culture and processes at their own pace.

In this type of process, employers provide new hires with resources such as tutorial videos and documents, and allow them to choose the order and speed at which they go through the onboarding materials. This helps to ensure that new hires are well informed before they start their first day.

A Short Series of Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) Style Q&A’s with Key Stakeholders to Support the Asynchronous Onboarding Process

In order to further support the asynchronous onboarding process, employers can organize a short series of Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) style Q&A’s with key stakeholders.

These Q&A’s allow new hires to ask questions and gain insights into the company’s processes and culture that they might not have access to otherwise.

Additionally, the Q&A’s provide new hires with an opportunity to build relationships with key stakeholders, which will help them to adjust to their new job more easily.


Overall, a great onboarding experience for new hires involves having a personalised onboarding document, giving them the trust and autonomy to start contributing to projects immediately after hire, creating a publicly-available video introduction, using an asynchronous onboarding process, and organizing a short series of AMA style Q&A’s with key stakeholders.

By implementing these strategies, employers can provide their new hires with a positive and productive onboarding experience that sets them up for success.

Photocredit: Erwan Hesry on Unsplash





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