Importance of good onboarding strategies

How following good onboarding strategies can impact new team members retention.

in Software development, IT strategy, MarketingBy Raquel Pereira, Communication Specialist

We naively believe a recruitment process is over after weeks of searching, reading dozens of resumes, endless interviews, and finally discovering the perfect profile for the opportunity in hands. Not necessarily.

In the recruitment lifecycle, the final phase of a recruitment process can take between 6 to 8 weeks, after the first contact is made with a candidate. Only after the selection phase, we can perceive how important an optimised onboarding is.

Given the amount of time, effort and money involved during this process, it is a considerable financial to lose talent a the end of a process.

In times of adversity, many companies are returning from lay-offs and blocked recruitment processes, starting this process, unwillingly to bear more costs than they can't afford to lose a candidate in the initial stages of hiring. An effective strategy in the onboarding process is mandatory for those who want a sustainable development of their business. An onboarding plan must include three dimensions: organisational, technical and social:

Organisational onboarding

The most common component of this plan is the sharing of operational information from the company, avoiding the pitfall of overlading one with irrelevant corporate information. The information here needs to be the one that becomes vital for the new employee's in everyday corporate life:

  • Organisation and layout of the office.
  • Security information (access information).
  • Information on health and safety at work.
  • Restrictions and rules concerning the office and the worker.
  • Regulation and enterprise policies for compliance.

Company culture is also a crucial part of this dimension and goes much further than just saying or listing the values of the company in question. The new employee must be able to understand and integrate the values, on which the organisation is founded. The values need to be rooted in the KPIs plans of all the staff, ensuring their commitment. In light of this, we follow the quarterly meetings to ensure all is going smoothly with the new team members.

Management also plays a role with new hires, as sharing a clear view of essential information: team performance and rewards, new business opportunities, or just moments of reflection and constructive feedback.

Technical onboarding

A new employee can sometimes take up to 2 to 6 weeks after joining a project to be at the desired level of joining delivery sprints. Although the new team member has all the necessary technical skills to carry out your work, finding out the mechanisms and way of work of a new position can take time. This up-to-speed is expected and common in the nearshore and outsourcing services sector, where each client/project has its own restrictions and requirements to comply. Designating mentors within the team becomes key to facilitate this stage, enabling:

  • Effective communication so that no information is lost.
  • Bridging between the customer and the new profile.
  • Experienced support in the project workflow.

Detailing the main responsibilities and indicators of performance and productivity is excellent support since it is possible to manage expectations of the customer and the early steps of the new team member within the delivery cycle.

The responsibility of managers, team leaders and senior elements does not comprise only the technical aspect of the company life of a new employee. Regular meetings allow the constant assessment of the indicators agreed between them, and constructive feedback to tackle any deviation of expectations. Defining short-term objectives are essential to keep the new team members engaged and with a sense of purpose, helping to identify possible gaps and development areas.

Social Onboarding

Although the organisational and technical aspects are 90% of the functions, it is also necessary to consider the social element in an onboarding process to foster the spirit of sharing and belonging to a team.

Why not organise a welcome breakfast for the new employee, or invite him/her to an informal lunch?

A good relationship with colleagues becomes crucial for the team and office environment to be comfortable and healthy for everyone, especially to those arriving now. Strategies such as organising team-buildings, events, celebratory days, or small gatherings of sports or other hobbies, are essential to creating relaxed and social moments.

In a nearshore context, teams need to be able to travel to the client's location, or vice-versa, so that social connections are not lost and contribute to excellent teamwork with the end client.

Nowadays, many companies had to adapt when it comes to onboarding processes for a full remote mode experience. Although all the principles mentioned above remain the same, the tools to implement them undergo some adjustments by the use of technological platforms:

  • Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Meeting: these are secured video conferencing platforms, which enable review sessions or social interactions. Note that it is necessary to ensure that new hires are informed of which platform to use (company & client-side).
  • DocuSign: an electronic signature platform that facilitates new employees to fill in and sign necessary documents.
  • Google Docs, Slack: software that facilitates the access and storage of files by teams throughout the company.
  • Asana, Jira, Trello: support the follow-up and monitoring of a new collaborator's progress in defined tasks.

In terms of social interactions, it is necessary to use the imagination. Although video call platforms help communication between all members, it is essential to maintain certain "traditions" or events that were previously organised. Trivia sessions, Friday happy hours or virtual lunches, will continue to contribute to keep the office environment healthy in the future and to familiarise newcomers with the team.


At Hexis, we understand the importance of an organised onboarding process, that ensures a new team member is acquainted with all the company's dimensions and provides the right tools to succeed.

We want to provide the best experience from day one, and we know that the onboarding process is a crucial piece for effective communication between the new team member and the client. In light of this, we maintain regular contact with the new joiner and the client in the first months, to determine the development of the roles, establish some constructive feedback and cooperate with the client's performance reviews. Constructive feedback with continuous improvement is crucial to the success of the new team member, client product, and ultimately we as a company.

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