Imagine, if you will, your first hotel stay, post-COVID. You arrive in the lobby precisely at check-in time, so ready for some relaxing time outside of your home. When you go to check in, the clerk, beaming and bubbly, says, “Oh, things are just crazy around here! We don’t have your room ready yet; we’re not even sure which room you’ll be in, but rest assured we’ll find one!”
This is what it feels like when an employee arrives on their first day, and you’re not ready for them. If you ran a hotel, you wouldn’t treat your guests that way or you wouldn’t be in business long; likewise if you run a development team, don’t treat your developers that way or you won’t have a development team very long.
In a tweet, software strategist Mike Veerman shares a more on-the-nose story about how he was once hired as a software developer, only to arrive on his first day to learn his computer had not been requested yet and his team was too busy to train him.
I had my own similar experience as a college intern at a major telecom corporation; when I arrived, the intern coordinator didn’t even know which manager I would be reporting to, and walked me to a cubicle currently being used for excess chair storage.
Don’t be that team! Certainly you can do better for your new hires.
We’ve previously talked about several things you can do to ease the transition onto your team for your new developers. Taking these messages together, the larger point I’m trying to make is that when you bring someone new onto the team, your work starts well before they show up on their first day. As soon as they accept the job, it’s time to order equipment, gather paperwork, organize, and plan. If you’re not able to set aside time for that, then you’re not ready to hire anyone.
Don’t wait until they show up or log in for the first time; don’t be that team!
Be ready, be waiting, be welcoming.