How to Onboard Engineers 🎒
The most effective tactics to do it fast and well, backed by research and case studies.
When it comes to hiring and retaining talent, software startups have it the hardest of any industry.
The average tenure of a startup engineer is less than 2 years, and shrinking. Out of these, on average six to seven months are spent to bring the new engineer up to speed in the company.
An outstanding onboarding process is one of the most effective ways to make this better, because it brings two benefits:
Faster integration — top quartile companies make engineers ship production code in less than one week, and fully onboard them in three months.
Reduced turnover — engineers who experience good onboarding have a significantly longer tenure.
When you combine the faster integration with the reduced turnover, investing in your onboarding process becomes a no-brainer that has easily the highest ROI of all of your hiring initiatives.
In the past few weeks I have talked with the best managers I know and researched onboarding case studies from successful companies. I matched all of this with my own experience and tried to condense everything in 2000 words!
So here is my guide on how to onboard engineers. It collects the best tactics I know of, which are:
⬅️ Start before day one
👫 Assign a buddy
🤗 Create relationships
🚚 Ship code in a week
👯 Pair on tasks
🗺️ Create a plan
✂️ Tailor to the candidate
📣 Get feedback
Let’s dive in 👇