A golden compass: How LA tech companies create roadmaps for new hire success

by Joyce Famakinwa
July 9, 2018

Starting a new job can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. Making the switch to a new company means immersing yourself in a different culture, working with new people and navigating the general ins and outs of an unfamiliar role.

Here’s the good news: the time period between newbie and OG doesn’t last long, and in the meantime, local tech companies are taking an active approach to make sure their new employees get acclimated.

 

Sidebench team
photo via sidebench

Culver City-based Sidebench is a strategy, design and development consultancy that works with brands to develop technology solutions. The company’s team is made up of strategists, product managers and UX specialists who have worked with brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Red Bull. People Operations Manager Keenan Cronyn filled us in on how having a strong 30-60-90-day plan gives new hires structure in the early stages of their new position.
 

What makes day one at your company special?

Before new hires start at Sidebench, we send them a personalized onboarding packet that contains personal profiles of each employee at the company, their schedule during the first few days and their expectations throughout their first 90 days with us. By the time they walk in on Monday morning, they have a good grip on what’s to come.

Our new hires are also treated to a personalized gift bag on their desk when they arrive, a lunch with their primary team and a handful of smaller meetings with team members who they wouldn’t necessarily work with on a daily basis.

Overall, we’re pretty close-knit here, so the amount of quality time and undivided attention each new hire receives on day one is a key priority for us.

 

How are new hires brought up to speed in their first few weeks?

Before they even arrive, new hires are given a 90-day success roadmap created specifically for them. Once they’ve signed off on their offer, we put together a small team that has a good idea of what success looks like in their role. That team then designs goals and milestones for them to hit during those first three months.

We lay this success plan out in 30-day increments and meet weekly with the new team member to make sure they’re on pace to hit and then exceed their expectations.

Additionally, we enable our new hires to act as shadows and attend as many meetings as they choose. This helps them understand the departments beyond their own and allows them to quickly get a better grasp on our offerings.

 

New hires are given a 90-day success roadmap created specifically for them. Once they’ve signed off on their offer, we put together a small team that has a good idea of what success looks like in their role."


What support systems are in place to help new hires get up to speed?

Each new hire is assigned a mentor or manager who helps guide them through their first few months on the job. They are the primary resource for all questions, concerns and everything in between.

Additionally, we schedule orientation meetings for each employee during their first week so they can meet with the leaders of each discipline and department, as well as those who they wouldn’t normally work with. This helps employees build new friendships quickly, which are just as, or sometimes more important than, establishing a relationship with their manager.

 

Advice from a newbie:

“The requirements laid out in my 30-60-90 day roadmap really brought clarity to expectations and personal goals that I should focus on from day one. Onboarding was very clear and efficient, allowing me to focus on ramping up my workload instead of wondering where my priorities should be in the first week. I felt welcome in the office from the start, and I attribute that to an onboarding process that quickly integrated me with different teams internally and facilitated my contributions on projects right away,” - Spencer van Erkel, product management apprentice

 

TubeScience team
photo via tubescience

TubeScience believes that more than half of video ads fail because hard data is absent from the creative process. The data-driven advertising company produces conversion-optimized videos for a number of Facebook’s largest performance marketers. We spoke to TubeScience CEO Moshe Mosbacher about how new hires are involved in the creative process from day one.
 

What makes day one at your company special?

New hires start the day by having a meet and greet with our founders where they can ask about anything from embarrassing college memories to culture to long-term company strategy. Afterward, everyone has the opportunity to research any client they find intriguing and connect with the lead producer for each brand. By the end of the day, new hires are already involved in the creative process and begin innovating with the team.

 

How are new hires brought up to speed in their first few weeks?

We guide employees through a full production pipeline: grinding out scripts with copy experts, producing content with senior editors and diving into data with heads of strategy. New hires are also encouraged to seek out and create their own projects. Tiffany, one of our newest editors, led a “fast and furious” class on speed editing in her first few weeks.

 

We guide employees through a full production pipeline: grinding out scripts with copy experts, producing content with senior editors and diving into data with heads of strategy."

What support systems are in place to help new hires get up to speed?

We match new hires with a senior editor, producer or strategist based on their skill set. These team members act as a resource on anything from video notes to personal goals to the best tacos in the area.

 

Advice from a newbie:

“TubeScience is an open creative playground. If you have a game-changing idea just grab a camera, book a studio and shoot it! When you walk into TubeScience, there’s a vibe. People are bright and engaging and open to collaboration and feedback from one another. With the entire creative process in-house, there are endless opportunities for internal growth.” - Levi Knox, producer/editor

 

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