Why Is Onboarding Just as Important as Interviewing?

We had an excellent Twitter space today around onboarding and interviewing and why the two are equally as important as each other.

I loved the suggestions of onboarding buddies and red flags so thought I’d open a Club thread for people to share inspiration they may have had from the sharings.

  1. Why do you (or don’t you) think onboarding is just as important as interviewing?
  2. When being onboarded to a new company, who were your onboarding buddies?
  3. What red flags have you encountered in the hiring or onboarding process?
  1. I think onboarding is as important as the interview itself. It shows the process in the company, the culture, and the hierarchy.
  2. It should be conducted from the first day the employee joins and can take more than one day to cover all the points needed to be explained to the newcomer.
  3. A red flag could be to pay attention to the “mindset” and ensure that it matches the company’s culture.

I did listen in there too. 2 places I have worked at have done onboarding really well. You don’t have to be a huge company or a small company to succeed at all. Basically all onboarding steps must be completed in the first 5 working days or else your plan failed.

  1. Imagine just for a moment, you have contractor starting tomorrow, who will only here for 2 months, how much time would you waste onboarding them? For a start a contractor should tell you if you are giving them too many checkboxes to tick, because they are invoicing you for the time to waste doing that, but also, you will focus on their time being money. Imagine for a second the new starter is the CTO !!!, How much of their time should you be using? Why make onboarding more work for anyone else?
  2. Don’t spend more than 50% of day 1 in process stuff, it sets a precedent for process over productivity and over people. New starters overload on week 1 anyway, so make sure that their “buddy” not only is a person not on their team, but also reminds them to clock-out early each day to allow space for the information firehose download to bed in and not wash over them. Schedule in a short call with HR for 4 weeks from start date, to check up in the new starter, and then again after 8 weeks.

Oh by onboarding limit to 5 days I mean logins to all (90%) of tools we expect them to use, VPN, meeting invites, tool permissions correctly set, external and internal tools, HR back-end login etc all checked and working.

  1. I’m wary of comparing the two.

I feel like with interviews the company is (often) trying to impress the candidate, with onboarding that isn’t necessarily the case as they have already won you over.

  1. I don’t remember ever having onboarding buddies but I do remember having assigned lunch buddies at one company. During the onboarding (2 weeks) you would have lunch with a different person each day - people would sign up , that was really cool!

  2. Red flags in past interviews

  • asking for my age
  • talking shit about other companies
  • asking about my current pay
  • giving vague answers as to when I can expect to hear back from them (not like 1-2 weeks, but more we have other candidates to get through sorta thing)

I love this idea! So you can opt into it if you feel like it’s something you’d like to do or opt-out if that seemed daunting. Really cool!


Red flag; here’s your desktop and logins. Not a lap top and no direction or buddy or a chance to succeed. .


Only opt-in.

After I joined the company and went through onboarding, I could also sign up to be a buddy.

A slack message would go out in the general channel, then we could sign up. There generally wasn’t any problem finding people to volunteer to be buddies - my theory is that people were so happy with their onboarding experience that they wanted to pay it forward (at least that’s how i felt).


A red flag is if they expect you to become productive right away - without giving you at least some info and time to get accustomed to your new surroundings.


LOL , agree #ShitUserStories
As a new starter, I want to accomplish one really useful thing in my first week.

Sometimes that will be to make a small product change, and to get your change merged before the weekend. I get a nice feeling when someone in my team can dive in and already start to fix+test small product or tooling defects on their second day at the company. Makes for a good weekend for them.


Yes! “Hit the ground running”


ROFL (RollOnFloorLaughing)

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Institute training on the job is one of W. Edwards Demings 14 Points for Management.: Institute Training on the Job - The W. Edwards Deming Institute The first traning you receive on the job is onboarding. If onboarding does not enable you to know what is expected of you and help you to fit in then you wil be less likely to be successful in the position you have been recruited for. If onboarding is unsuccessful then the pesron may leave, have a bad impression of your company and you have to recruit again. This is a terrible waste. Onboarding is really important


Out interest why is a laptop a red flag to you?

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Hi! It was meant to read, “NOT a laptop” but rather here is your Desktop. Basically saying that we just hired you and don’t want you to be able to do work from anywhere but your desk. I hope that clarifies if not, let me know, thanks!