When a company scales from 60 to 100 employees in just 1 year, some processes will have to change. And employee onboarding is one of them.
Founded in 2018, Alasco is on the mission to enable real estate owners to maximize their ROI and minimize their footprint through workflows & data-driven decisions. And the Munich-based startup seems to be quite successful at it.
This success is also reflected in the number of people that continuously work at Alasco:
Until the end of 2022, the plan is to grow to 280+ employees. All while shifting from a pre-pandemic office-only to a hybrid work model.
In the company’s beginning stages, onboarding had not been a huge issue:
When a new hire joined, they would get a thorough personal introduction to all important topics - from industry insights to product demos and a deep dive into Alasco’s vision and mission. All these introductions were held by fellow colleagues. On top of that, the HRIS system would send out 5-10 emails with administrative tasks, links to important pages, and checklists for new colleagues to go through within their first weeks.
While that might not have been the creative experience solution in the world, it did work well at the time.
But once the company had to go remote while simultaneously moving into a fast-growing stage, it was hard to keep up with all new joiners and to give everyone the same high-quality experience.
- In online onboarding meetings, engagement wasn’t as high: People hesitated more to ask questions and the experience felt one-sided.
- The lack of structure became more evident: Too little guidance, too little overview. Many meetings turned out to never have taken place. Checklists and links got lost in inboxes.
- As the number of new joiners grew every month, so did the amount of manual effort needed for meetings, repeating the same things over and over again.
“We had to create a more systematic and structured onboarding process. Our priority was to ensure that every employee goes through the same steps, the same insights. And sending a whole bunch of emails just didn’t result in a fun or nice experience.”
A streamlined onboarding became a key OKR for their HR department.
“In recruiting, we always speak about candidate experience. But once somebody starts, they are often left completely alone. If you consider the trial period, onboarding is an important part of that overall experience. In today’s job market, it’s not easy to find great talent. And neglecting this connection is a mistake”.
A new onboarding tool for Alasco needed to fulfill a few key requirements:
The solution comes down to 3 main pillars:
A systematized process that is the same, equal, and consistent experience for each employee. Everybody gets the same general infos - with a tool setup that works for everyone.
Different teams have their own set of onboarding needs. Sales, engineering, marketing are fundamentally different. And their journeys reflect that, bringing new team members up to speed on individual tools, best practices, and other functional collateral.
Instead of bringing yet another tool to the table, Zavvy combines them all in one single place. The result:
...that directly embed company image videos from Youtube, and founder intro videos made on Loom, feedback surveys from Typeform, and documents on Google Drive. And on top of that, engaging messages are sent via Slack.
...that gives people stepwise elements, visible progress, and a feeling of accomplishment. The previously static content on Google Drive and Notion, “now feels like an actual journey.”
“The Slack integration is so cool - and we want to get everything out of it: From automatically creating channels for new cohorts to reminding and engaging all stakeholders involved.”
From a productivity standpoint, especially the team-specific journeys are paying off:
New employees are now productive within 2 weeks, instead of 4.
And on top of productivity, there’s experience:
“I’m very proud of our onboarding experience. Our goal was to increase the candidate experience and create an innovative process. And we did. The feedback we’re getting from new colleagues is great!” Nina says.
What new hires value most is 1) the clear structure, 2) the rich mix of engaging formats, and 3) the visible progress.
Another plus is that people can now flexibly decide when to go through the content and do so in their own time - instead of being tied to a fixed calendar.
From a People Ops point of view, Zavvy allowed them to save hours every month, by automating repetitive parts of the process. This way, the team can be sure that everybody gets a solid experience - without having to worry about invites, reminders, meetings, compliance, or anything else.
- 4.7/5 average rating from new starters who love the new onboarding process at Alasco
- Cut time-to-productivity in half
- An overall improved candidate experience
- Hours saved from manual onboarding every month
- People receive all the info they need so they can get started right away
Much like Zavvy, Alasco sees hybrid onboarding (remote and on-site) as the foundation of their employees’ success. Looking ahead, they plan to unleash the full potential of connecting Slack, onboard 20 people every month, and increase the focus on conveying their organizational values remotely.
With the launch of Zavvy’s automated data sync with Personio, even invitations and assignments can now be preconfigured.
And independent of whether they'll be hiring 200 people or 2000 next year, they can face the challenge with peace of mind.
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