This is the first in a series of posts covering what you as a Scrum Master, team member or Manager can do for your next new starter. The aim of these tips are to reduce the stress and uncertainty of the person joining, and make them a productive part of your culture quickly.
In order for a new starter to smoothly settle into your team, their culture must be similar to that of the team. So assuming your team and company have a healthy culture you want to maintain, then you must ensure you communicate that culture to the outside world.
Consider some of the bigger companies such as Google, Apple or Spotify. It is likely at even the mention of these companies you will have an idea in your head what it would be like to work there. If you don’t right now, after 30 minutes searching the internet you probably will.
This is partly because they are big famous companies, but also because they work hard to portray their culture to the outside world. Spotify for example has a very active engineering blog where you can see what they are working on and talking about. Several years ago they went one step further and published videos specifically on their culture.
I am not suggesting that every company goes to these lengths, and some of it will not be in the control of the teams. Everyone can publish to blogs, speak at conferences and attend meet ups, which are all great ways to communicate your culture to the outside world.
If you are in the business of recruiting then I believe attracting a good cultural fit is more important than a good technical fit. Someone’s culture is hard to change.
When you move jobs you may notice two types of interviewers. The first will interview with the sole objective of making sure you would be a good fit for them. The second will likely do this, but equally they interview to see if you want to work for them. This is so important to ensure that the interviewee is a great cultural fit. A step towards achieving this is to dedicate a distinct part of your interview to cultural fit.
There are some additional things you can do at the interview stage that will make the successful candidates first day easier. Meeting the manager / mentor and some of the team during the interview means that they will recognise someone on the first day. This can go a long way to reducing anxiety. A tour of the workplace can also help portray your culture, and gives an excellent opportunity for questions in a less formal setting.