So you've successfully interviewed and hired a candidate. Congratulations—nice work! However, before you get too carried away, there's one last step: onboarding.
If hires are not onboarded properly, then one of two things will happen: they will quit within the first six months or, even worse, they will be ineffective.
A successful onboarding process achieves these things:
- Reassures the hire that they've made the right decision
- Introduces the hire to key stakeholders
- Gives the hire the tools they need to do their job (e.g., a set-up laptop, access to GitHub)
- Gives the hire context around the history of the company, product line, culture, etc.
- Sets up the hire's first 90 days, decides on key metrics
- Lets them hit the ground running
Nothing beats in-person time for bonding, trust building, and quick communication, so we fly people out to Clearbit headquarters in San Francisco for their first two weeks whenever possible.
A 30/60/90 is simply a plan of what hires will do in their first 90 days. Ideally it should closely align with the Role Proposal you created for the job in the first place.
A good 30/60/90 will be:
- Very specific, with goals orientated around the original role proposal.
- Quantifiable, with specific targets to hit.
- Bought into. Ideally the hire, having seen the role proposal, is going to come up with their own 30/60/90 that you will sign off on. This will ensure that they have bought into the plan.
- Achievable. Hires should be getting easy wins early on.
We suggest splitting out things the hire should learn from things the hire should do, as well as splitting things out by time period.
We have created a sample 30/60/90 here for you to use as inspiration, here's an excerpt:
Goal: Meet everyone, gain context, figure out how to find answers for different foundational questions, and then find them.
- What do the products do?
- Who are the types of people who use them? Why?
- What do all the teams do? What are their goals and targets?
- What does the growth team do? How does the team work together?
- What content exists? What’s the content creation and publishing process?
- What data is available? Where does it come from?
- Participate in ongoing content projects: data playbook, CMO book, persona pages, etc.
- Demonstrate knowledge around SQL joins (e.g., the difference between OUTER and INNER)
- Create drip campaign for leads awaiting response
- Create re-engagement campaign for signup flow abandonment
- Publish a blog post
Early in our history, our leadership team used to do one-on-ones with every new hire. These were an important aspect of onboarding new people and relationship building.
As the company grew, it became untenable to meet everyone individually, so we batch up these meetings into something we call Clearbit Academy, which we run on the last Friday of every month.
Clearbit Academy is about giving new hires (and existing employees) a clearer sense of who we are, what is important to us, and how to be successful in their new roles. Throughout the day, every team presents an overview. This includes team history, key people, how the team is structured, and how best to work with the team.
Check out our wiki for more information on Clearbit Academy and recordings of previous sessions.
Before the hire's official start date, we send them the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. Our Ops team will also collect a brief bio and send a mass email to the entire team, introducing them to the new hire.
A new hire's first day is all about getting set up, starting to bond with their teammates, and having their first one-one-one.
By day two, we want new hires to feel like they know where to find things, who to ask for help, and how they'll be working with their manager.
Suggested first day schedule
- Tech and HR onboarding *
- Assigned the general onboarding project in Asana *
- Added to your team-specific onboarding project in Asana
- Assigned an onboarding buddy who is their go-to for questions during their first two weeks
- Welcome meeting scheduled with their team
- First one-on-one with their manager
* Ops team will coordinate
Week one is about learning, gathering context, meeting with teammates, and writing a 30/60/90-day plan. They should be going through the Asana checklist, reading the linked materials, and checking off the tasks.
By the end of week one, we want new hires to have met with all of the key stakeholders, gotten the lay of the land, built a first draft of their 30/60/90 plan, and shared it with relevant parties for feedback.
We suggest that their plan includes a quick win, one that can be shipped in the second week.
The first and second weeks are critical because they show the new hire this is our culture. This is how we behave. If we expect the new hire to ship the second week, this will set the pace for the new hire. Conversely, if we set a goal for the new hire to ship in 90 days, that will be the baseline expectation of the new hire moving forward.
Week two is for working! New hires get their managers to sign off on their 30/60/90, then publish it in their team's Slack channel.
As a manager, your job is to help your new hire with their first shippable project, ideally shipped before the end of this week. Expect that your new hire will be spending a large portion of this week reading, in one-on-ones, and still learning a ton.
Focus on more shipping the 30/60/90. Hopefully your new hire has completed their first quick win in week two! If they have, have them post it to the #shipped channel.
It's important to remember that your new hire is still being interviewed 30 days in. You'll have had a first chance to work together and gather data that's impossible to ascertain during the formal interview process.
Be asking yourself:
- Is everyone in the team still excited to have this person join?
- Has this person displayed some of our cultural values and behaviors?
- Have we given them feedback? What was the reaction?
- What is their reaction to adversity?
Make sure to collect feedback from the new hire throughout the one-on-one check-ins to figure out what can be improved in the onboarding process. Every new hire should have an increasingly better experience.
At this point, your new hire should be onboarded. However, don't confuse this with "fully ramped." It will take three to six months for most people to gain enough context to start functioning at full capacity.