Andela’s Guide to Onboarding Developers

All too often, the onboarding process for new hires feels as if we’re teaching someone how to swim by throwing them in the deep end of the pool. Without providing anything in the way of guidance, vision, or inspiration, we hope that their survival instincts will kick in, sparing us the effort required to guide new recruits.

Needless to say, the sink-or-swim approach isn’t working.

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 88% of employees believe their organizations need to improve the onboarding process. And it’s not simply team morale that’s at stake. The costs to those businesses who aren’t effectively integrating their new hires can be steep: a 2014 BambooHR survey of 1,000 people found that approximately 33% had quit a job within six months of their start date. Of those, one-third reported that lack of effective onboarding contributed to their decision to quit.

Successful onboarding leads to better employee retention, increases on-the-job performance, and results in a happier work force. So why aren’t we doing it better (or at all)?

Perhaps because the challenges in onboarding new hires – particularly in engineering – appear so demanding. Not only do new hires have to find a role for themselves within the typically fluid hierarchy of a growing business, they’re also expected to familiarize themselves with an often byzantine system of protocols, best practices, and communication channels. And when you’re trying to bring remote engineering employees into the fold, those difficulties can become especially pronounced.

At Andela, we’ve onboarded distributed developers onto hundreds of partner teams over the past several years. And we couldn’t have found success at that kind of scale without understanding exactly what it takes to successfully integrate engineering teams to help build better products, faster.

If you’re a growing company struggling to integrate new engineering hires – whether in- house, remote, or some combination of the two – this guide is for you.

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