As we are all aware, the world of tech startups is a realm of rapid growth and innovation. As these startups expand and evolve at lightning speed, the process of onboarding new hires becomes a pivotal factor in their success. It’s not just about getting new talent up to speed; it’s about catapulting them into the heart of the action from day one.

Enhancing your employee onboarding strategy plays a pivotal role in curbing turnover rates. New hires encountering a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely[1] to seek alternative job prospects, with 20%[2] departing within their initial 45 days. Delving into the fact that the average US employer invests $4000 and 24 days in securing a new recruit, the repercussion of turnover extends beyond mere productivity concerns – it can potentially double your hiring expenses.

Research reveals that companies boasting robust onboarding procedures bolster new hire retention rates by a remarkable 82%[3], accompanied by a substantial 70% enhancement in overall productivity.

We explore some of the techniques involved in a decent onboarding process below.

Preparing for Launch

Effective onboarding begins before the new hire’s first day. Pre-boarding, which involves providing essential resources, access to tools, and a warm welcome, sets a positive tone for their journey.  Do new recruits know your values, mission and company ethos?

Ensure all necessary paperwork is ready and organised ahead of the new employees first day so time doesn’t have to be wasted doing administration.

If you are having a company event internally or externally happening before an employee’s first day, why not invite them along?

Communication is Key

Clearly communicate the employee’s roles, responsibilities and goals.

Provide a detailed job description and explain how their role contributes to the company’s overall success.  The good thing about a startup is that teams are typically small and everyone knows everyone.  This helps with new recruits understanding their position within the company and their peers.

If the onboarding process is clearly communicated with new employees, it will run more smoothly.  This includes providing a schedule of training sessions, meetings and milestones.

Post onboarding, regular check-ins create an open channel for new hires to share their thoughts, concerns, and questions. This fosters a sense of inclusion and shows that their input is valued and integral to the startup’s growth.

Phases for Progress

Breaking onboarding into distinct phases helps new hires adapt seamlessly. From cultural immersion and technical training to team introductions, this structured approach eases newcomers into their roles while fostering a sense of belonging.

Mentorship Magic

Pairing new hires with experienced mentors is a proven strategy to help them feel more comfortable in a new workplace faster.

In addition, mentors offer insights, answer questions, and provide valuable connections, accelerating the integration process and helping new hires thrive.

Tech Tools and Efficiency

Managers need to ensure that the new employee’s workstation, computer and software tools are set up and ready for use.  If an employee is working remotely this all needs to be coordinated and ordered/delivered ahead of the start date.

Furthermore, leveraging technology is a game-changer to ensure a swift and smooth onboarding process. Automate administrative tasks, offer digital resources, and ensure paperwork doesn’t hinder progress.

There are some great resources on the internet offering slightly different solutions.  Here’s a list of some of our favourites:

  1. Personio (all-in-one HR software) offers a free onboarding checklist that we highly recommend.
  2. Freshworks (onboarding tool) provides solutions to ensure your new employees are settles and productive from day one.
  3. Deel (global hiring tool) simplifies onboarding with automated workflows that ‘quickly turns new hires into high performers).
  4. Juno (employee wellbeing software) makes looking after your workforce easier.

Learning Never Stops

In tech startups, learning is a continuous journey.

Providing ongoing learning opportunities like workshops, webinars, and online courses keeps new hires engaged, motivated, and ready to tackle new challenges.

Data-Driven Refinement

Metrics for success are crucial. Define clear performance indicators for onboarding and gather feedback from both new hires and their teams. This data-driven approach ensures that the onboarding process evolves with the dynamic startup environment.

A a streamlined onboarding process is more than just a necessity – it’s a competitive advantage. By implementing these strategies, startups can seamlessly integrate new talent and ensure they hit the ground running, propelling the company forward with innovation and vigour.


References and Further Reading




Natalie Harper

Author Natalie Harper

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