January 14, 2011
My company has been hiring for a while, but we've had trouble finding qualified candidates. We did extend offers to a couple of people recently, though, so the progress is exciting.
We've used this lull in hiring to revamp our new-employee experience. It used to be that when you came to work here, I'd give you a computer that was mostly configured, and basically leave you to your own devices. If I remembered, I'd set up your phone extension, email account, domain account, etc. Thankfully, that is far behind us.
We've had a checklist for a while that we walk through when setting up an image for a laptop, then a checklist that we go through after we apply an image (things like rename it, join it to the domain, and other tasks that don't work well prior to imaging), and a checklist of network services that the new user will need access to (all of our internal services are tied to AD authentication, so the centralized account is important, but our mail is outsourced, and the phone server is utterly disconnected from everything, including reality, so that needs manually added).
What we haven't had, until yesterday, was (please forgive me for the phrases I'm about to use) an actionable list of deliverables (sweet jesus, that was painful). Basically, HR had a list of documents, and we had a list of stuff to do, but nowhere was there a document that described what the employee would actually GET. So I pulled the HR lady and my junior admin into the conference room yesterday and we talked through it.
The end result of that meeting was a list of things that the new people will get. This includes everything from the very basic (a desk, a trashcan, a stapler, etc) to the technical (a computer that's as thoroughly configured as possible, according to the existing image and checklists, telephone w/ extension configured, etc). In addition, they are going to get a three ring binder, within which will be all of the important company information, contact lists, organization charts, and a section for IT documentation which will have a summary sheet (which includes important things like their username, overview of server names they'll need to know, etc), a small amount of printed software documentation (such as how to use passwordsafe to remember passwords, and truecrypt to encrypt and decrypt USB keys), and all of the IT security policies.
The combination of all of these lists will be that the employee should be much more empowered to get work done as soon as possible.
I'm interested in hearing what kinds of things you do to help get your new employees on their feet as soon as they arrive. Please comment and let everyone know!