I’m new here … Part 1 – Hiring

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.

Public Relations

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.

Interview

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.

Interview

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.

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5 comments

  1. […] Part 1 of this series covered what you can do while hiring to help ensure that the successful candidate is a good cultural fit, and relationships have already been started. Now that you have hired the perfect person, there are a number of things you can do before their first day. Some of these will seem obvious, but each will make a significant difference, and in my experience are often missed. […]

  2. […] Part 1 covered what you can do during the hiring process, and part 2 covered once you have hired someone but before they have started. This post does not cover a specific part of the new starter timeline, but instead looks at how you can use your existing processes to your advantage. Most teams have some processes they follow, this may be a framework that works towards agile software development, or other similar approaches. In all these instances there will be opportunities to use this to help a new starter settle into your team, you can even use this time of change as a chance for improvements. […]

  3. […] series has now covered what we can do before you hire, once hired, and how to use existing processes to our advantage. This article will cover how we […]

  4. […] previous parts of this series have an underlying theme of building strong relationships, during the hiring phase, once hired, and how your processes and support system can encourage these relationships. There […]

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