62: Onboarding New Hires with Ash Rhodes

62: Onboarding New Hires with Ash Rhodes

Ash Rhodes and I discuss how we can make onboarding a repeatable, scaleable effort. Lists are a big part of that, and checksums too.


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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 62 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is onboarding new hires. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today my very good friend Ash Rhodes, Ash, nice to have you back yet again. The topic for this week is onboarding new hires. And I would love to know how you tackle this trickiest of all situations when we’re growing our teams. Obviously, I’m always interested in your personal experiences and your particular advice, but I think for me, the biggest challenge I Find here is particularly when you’re pretty small and you’re growing, is figuring out how to make this kind of a repeatable process. Because onboarding is something that we don’t do that often when we’re small. And it requires significant effort. Right? So, talk to me about that.

Ash Rhodes 1:19
First, the the repeatability thing, you’re right we, especially when you’re small, it’s something that you, you do so rarely that you kind of lose your mojo. In cases like this lists or your friends. You create a list for when you have hired someone at immediately post hire. This is all the things you need to do a week before they start, this is what you need to do. First day, these are the topics that you need to cover, so on and so forth afterwards. Even better if you are at the point where like, your level of like pseudo OCD, you can get them to fill up Some sort of cset saying, Okay, this is what went smoothly This is what where I got lost, etc. I’ve had friends who did it every single day like where what? what went well? What are you still hazy on to know what they needed to go back over the next day I am not there but I I’m much more seat of your pants as far as training goes. But that’s that’s really what it comes down to is lists and I’m not even that much of a list person. However, I find that if I don’t create those lists if I’m not super on top of it, then something major is going to be missed a policy is going to be forgotten tool will not be explained something along those lines year in trouble. So that’s that’s how I make sure that everybody is covered to, to at least that minimum level. Yeah, right. I think that lists are really important in helping us make sure that we do all the things that need to be done. But I think milestones are part of the story as well, right? It’s actually making sure that the person who you are onboarding is achieving the things and learning the things that they need to achieve and learn, which is the other half of that coin, you can impart all the knowledge you can provide all the documents and all the access, but you have to have those milestones from their point of view. Well, you’re you’re not wrong and I included in this is is two things. One you did you you already mentioned milestones and we do have, it’s not exactly tests or anything like that, but there are certain points where it’s like, okay, person that is onboarding, now’s your opportunity to Wow, us do this thing all by yourself. And we’re going to, I mean, it’s a little nerve wracking. It’s like a test. We’re gonna watch you we’re going to screen we’re completely remote so it’s not like I’m looking over your shoulder we have to do screen shares. So do a she’s freaking me out. She’s making weird faces at me.

Charlotte Ward 4:13
I’m just, I’m just using, what do you call these things?

Ash Rhodes 4:17
hand binoculars!

Charlotte Ward 4:18
hand binoculars!

Ash Rhodes 4:24
but so it’s like make do a basically a perfect bug report or I’ll do a fake ticket that is like very obscure and you need to respond to it correctly. It’s so on and so forth. I also try and have a partner as I go through this. And instead of onboarding someone entirely by myself, I like to have somebody with me, learning how to onboard people as I go, and try to identify people with like some leadership potential some training potential. It also helps Me, because I am not the frontline individual contributor, though on I, I’m not in the queue working tickets all day every day. And also sometimes I get pulled out for meetings. I can have an individual contributor jump in and work with them on tickets and so on during those instances.

Charlotte Ward 5:19
But I think that’s really key as well. Not only are you the, not the single point of failure when it comes to onboarding, but that actually the people doing the work are really key to this onboarding process. And I would be very much more specific that the people who are your newest hires are really key to this onboarding process when you’re small, right? The people that have been through it, and they’re the people who know what the shortcomings are in your onboarding process.

Ash Rhodes 5:48
Yes, exactly. And in this case, I happen to be onboarding someone literally right as I mean, not, not right this exact moment, but I’m going through an

Charlotte Ward 5:59
Onboarding on a podcast would be weird, let’s face it!

Ash Rhodes 6:01
it would be. However, the partner that I wrangled in to help me with us is in fact, our most recent hire. She’s been with us for six months, and is knocking it out of the park and she is doing a great job but also through this is helping us refine our onboarding checklists and onboarding process because of the insight she’s gaining. I cannot recommend enough bringing in like a different person even each time because they will see things that you have missed.

Charlotte Ward 6:41
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/62 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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