Employer Branding Webinar: Rachel Waldmann

May 28, 2021
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Jimmy Lynn
Copywriter at Before You Apply
Jimmy Lynn
Copywriter at Before You Apply

Why should companies prioritize onboarding?

A good onboarding experience is crucial in employee retention given that it serves as new hires’ first impression of how employees are treated at your company. And employee turnover is not only expensive, but an obstacle for your team’s overall success since you’ll need to dedicate more time and resources to getting new hires caught up to speed.

“When an employee departs an organization, it could cost the company anywhere between one and two times the person’s salary,” Waldmann said.

Executives at some companies have the faulty perception that onboarding is a waste of time because it prevents new hires from jumping right into their day-to-day work. But according to Waldmann, an effective onboarding process more than makes up for that delay because employees will have a much better grasp of their role and responsibilities after completing it.

“Understanding who does what and how all the pieces fit together, especially because we are such a tight-knit team, is really important to us,” Waldmann said.

How have you built the onboarding process at Privy to be visual, interactive, and experiential?

Every new hire at Privy receives a document with their onboarding schedule, which consists of both live sessions with experienced employees at Privy and self-guided, asynchronous learning sessions. Waldmann and her team built out the self-guided learning modules using Teachable, an online course-building and coaching platform. By using a fun, interactive interface like Teachable rather than having new hires scroll through old documents and resources, onboarding becomes a more meaningful and memorable experience for employees.

Even after Waldmann and her team implemented their comprehensive and interactive Teachable courses into Privy’s onboarding process, they searched for ways to make onboarding less of an isolated and one-dimensional experience. Waldmann wanted to account for the fact that different people have different learning styles, and she wanted Privy’s onboarding to be adaptable to every new hire’s preferences. The first iteration of Privy’s onboarding was a bit overwhelming to look at, so another focus of Waldmann’s team was making the appearance more user-friendly and digestible. Finally, Waldmann and her team wanted to inject some of their values into the onboarding experience to give new employees a taste of Privy’s work culture and collaboration practices, which was especially important in a remote work setting where employees and new hires weren’t able to do standard things like grab lunch together to understand who their team members are.

“It was very scrappy. It cost $0,” Waldmann said. “We wanted to come off as polished. We wanted to build a community, but make it a more seamless, virtual community.”

What else do you do at Privy to foster a sense of community?

Every Friday morning, Waldmann and her team host a company-wide “show-and-tell” meeting. These are brief sessions designed to give each employee a chance to share something they’ve learned in the past week. Not only are show-and-tell sessions a great opportunity for team members to learn from each other, but they’re also great informal opportunities to learn about your coworkers and build a strong community.

Waldmann and her team also run an internal mentorship program at Privy, which she described as very informal. The program gives each employee a chance to either deepen their understanding of Privy or the ecommerce industry by signing up as a mentee or to develop their leadership skills by signing up to be a mentor. Waldmann’s team reviews the goals that each employee who signs up for the mentorship program is hoping to achieve, and they pair mentees to mentors based on those goals. They’ve incorporated Teachable into this program, too, to build mini-courses for mentors and mentees. These courses focus on a wide range of topics including effective goal-setting and how to stay accountable.

Onboarding is an employee’s first taste of their new company’s culture, and yet, many organizations tend to overlook and undervalue it — which can be both expensive and detrimental to your brand as an employer. The employee experience starts with onboarding, so it’s important to ensure that your onboarding process mirrors your company culture, values, and working style to give new hires a sense of what they’re joining and where they fit in. For more onboarding advice, check out the full episode of Employer Branding Show-and-Tell to learn how Waldmann and her team built out an engaging, multidimensional onboarding experience for their employees without investing a lot of money or resources.

Hey. I’m Nate, a co-founder here at Before You Apply. Ready to connect? Drop some time on my calendar—or feel free to email me at nate@beforeyouapply.com.

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