Onboarding in IT: What’s worth knowing – Blog Solwit

Onboarding in IT: What’s worth knowing

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Author: Justyna Cichocka, Employer Branding Specialist

There is so much more to onboarding in IT than just health and safety training and handing over the most important company policies. You can consider it a trial day to make sure that the organization you’ve chosen is the right one for you. What should the onboarding agenda entail? What more do you need to ask about, in case it hasn’t been mentioned already? Is remote onboarding so much different from the one held onsite?

Onboarding for a programmer or tester may vary slightly from the one for a recruiter, but there are a few steps that should be taken during every induction. After all, the first day at a new job should definitely be remembered well.

When does the onboarding process begin?

This question is often asked by every team in charge of induction training. The answer to this is actually quite simple: as soon as the offer is accepted. All actions we take (or fail to take) impact the employee experience. So for now, let’s reverse the roles: once you accepted the new employer’s offer, did you receive all the necessary information regarding the contract and required documents, along with the induction plan? If you said yes to all of these things and on top of that, it all happened shortly after your offer was confirmed, then you can rest assured – all is fine. It would also be good to get your head around the steps of the process so you can be absolutely sure that handing in your notice and accepting the new job was the right decision. Especially since most recruitment processes are carried out remotely. And let’s not forget that it’s a little more difficult to build trust when you’re far away.

Onboarding at Solwit - surprises for a good start

Gifts are always nice, what’s not to like about them? Plus, they help to relieve a large portion of those first-day jitters.  Here at Solwit, every new employee receives a starter pack. The content varies based on the needs, but we make sure that there are only great things to be found in it. And we must immodestly admit that our welcome gifts are greatly appreciated and make new colleagues really happy. Your Welcome pack comes along with all the necessary documents including a hard copy of the onboarding plan and greetings from Leszek Pankiewicz, our CEO.

Good onboarding is key!

Our remote onboarding checklist also includes the equipment – after all, you have to work on something. Make sure to find out at the very beginning if the equipment is prepared for you and sent by courier or if you should pick it up in person. As long as the company is based in your city, this should not be a hassle, but if you are several hundred kilometres apart – it needs to be taken into account. 

There is one more point worth making here: with remote working in place, especially if there’s another pandemic wave on the horizon, companies rarely choose to invite the new hires to the offices. See if, under convenient circumstances, it would be possible for you to pop into the company to work on-site for a bit and meet your teammates in person. 

What does the onboarding process look like?

You should be well advised of what will be waiting for you on your first day of work. Here at Solwit, the onboarding process is divided into three stages, spread over two days. This is a method we have developed over two years of conducting onboardings remotely. And these were far more difficult than when we met in person.

 

Training sessions

We cover information security, health and safety, as well as a cultural and organizational training session where you learn all you need to know, especially during your first few days in the company. After the two blocks of training on the first day, the rest of the time left is just for you – you can delve into our intranet, prepare your workstation, or read materials that were not available to you before. As our policy states, you get access to Solwit’s/Solnet’s internal platforms only after you have passed the security training.

Before starting work, you’ll be given a schedule for the first two days so you can know, with no stress, what’s in store for you.

Get to know the company's culture

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Python developer, automation tester, or embedded developer – whatever your role in the organisation, it’s incredibly vital that you get to know and understand the company culture. In Solwit, we cover these in the organisational part – we talk about everyday life in our company, the benefits we offer, and what and with whom you can get things done.  While we introduce you to the people you will be working with, we also take a dive into the business side of Solwit. We discuss clients and projects, and show financial results in a transparent way. For us, this part of onboarding is just as important as Health and Safety, or Security training!

Keep in mind that this internal training is above all for you – don’t be too scared to ask any questions. If you have access to internal company resources beforehand, consider whether you are missing any information. 

Project work

This is the culmination point of the onboarding process. I assume that you have had the chance to meet your leader or manager during the recruitment phase, so it’s time to discuss all the topics you couldn’t be briefed on at that stage! After the training part, you get to meet your leader – we hand you over to them, so they can take it from there. In addition to this, you are assigned a buddy, i.e., someone who will introduce you to project work and help you during your first days in the company. 

Onboarding is for YOU

It is customary to introduce a new employee to the rest of the company – even if they will be working remotely. We do it in two ways: on the first day of work, we introduce the new colleague by sending an email to the whole company informing them who has joined us. The second way is a personal welcome by Leszek Pankiewicz, our President. During regular remote meetings called ‘Coffee with the Board’, Leszek welcomes all new joiners, mentioning them by name and indicating their specialization. Let’s hope we return at some point to the times from before the pandemic when we used to meet every quarter with the whole company and welcome new people there, too.

Onboarding is not only about ticking off another hour of training. It is the time when you have a fantastic chance to get to know the company, have a glimpse at its culture, and ask about the aspects that concern you. Bear in mind that this time is yours!

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