How Y-Combinator-Backed Awesomic Gets Their Top-Notch Designers Up To Speed

Designers Onboarded Within 6 Months
1-Year-Headcount Growth
Completion Rate




Internet Marketplace

(HR) Tools:

  • Pandadoc (Contracting)
  • Google Suite (Gmail, GDrive)
  • Slack (Collaboration)
  • Zavvy (Onboarding, Training)

People are the core of Awesomic's business.

The Y-Combinator S2021 startup matches top-notch freelance designers with global companies in need of one. And premium contractors need premium onboarding.

Helen Horilenko runs onboarding and training at Awesomic.

We asked her

  • how she uses Zavvy to get designers (and the core team) up to speed
  • what onboarding at Awesomic actually looks like.

The Challenge: Getting remote contractors up to speed and ensuring top-notch quality

Since Awesomic's whole business model bases on easy access to pro designers and a smooth service, introducing new freelancers shallowly was not an option. At the same time, it's a global service with people working remotely from all parts of the earth.

But doing onboarding well requires time and care - resources that are scarce once the company hired multiple contractors at once.

Doing things manually? Not an option:

"Manual onboarding is super outdated. As a remote-first company, imagining how to onboard people manually is super difficult.
[...] It's not the solution we are looking for nowadays in the 21st century."

"I would probably be like a TV for the newbies because I will need to speak to them every day, teach and show them everything manually."

"So, thank god, we (now) don't have to do it manually. Really."

The Solution: A fully-automated, engaging, and human onboarding flow

"Our onboarding needs to be short, well structured.
It needs to be interactive so people are not like sleeping after the first journey.

So we try to engage them as much as we can to provide them with information - and at the same time receive feedback on how we are doing and what we can improve."

⚙️ Automatic assignment after signing

Awesomic directly hires the designers.

Signing their contract via Pandadoc automatically triggers their invite to Zavvy - along with the right onboarding journeys for them.

All without a single click needed from Helen.

Automation at Awesomic
New hires automatically get added to "All employees" upon signing on Pandadoc

🔀 Structured journeys

At Awesomic, rich training content is structured into

  • One general onboarding workflow that takes new hires, buddies, and people managers by the hand. Steps are sent out over a period of multiple weeks.
  • Multiple, smaller journeys on topics like their app and customer communication. Those knowledge bases are accessible from day 1.

Here's a look into the general workflow.

Onboarding Workflow at Awesomic

Being a design company, look and feel matters greatly. Hence, all journeys contain original images in their unique look and feel.

Awesomic Onboarding Journey

New designers receive engaging material on topics like

  • Introduction
  • How the Awesomic platform works
  • How to talk to customers
  • Daily workflows
  • and more

👥 Onboarding buddy program

Onboarding buddies are a key element to making new hire experiences more human and effective.

Luckily, Zavvy has a practical template for that.

So, how does it work?

  • Buddies: People who have been with the company for more than 3-6 months get matched with newbies.
  • Guidance: Both newbies and buddies receive just-in-time info, practical questions to ask, and reminders when it's time to meet.
  • Duration: 1 month
Day 2: Onboarding buddies get assigned their tasks (Workflow Builder View)
"You can assign journeys and go through the content yourself.

But it's still important to have a peer - not the manager - who will be taking care of all your questions. [...]
Like a friend in the company who can help you with some tips how to be successful in your job."

The Result: A 96% average completion rate and great user feedback

📈 Completion rates? Sky-high.

Onboarding is the single most essential step towards reaching new hire productivity.

At Awesomic, thorough but to-the-point new hire training is firmly embedded into every newbie's experience.

The result? A 95.5% completion rate.

This leads to

  • Faster completion times and hence faster time-to-productivity
  • Happier customers

⭐️ User Feedback? Super.

New hires especially like that it's...

  • "super easy"
  • "super informative"
  • "super well-structured."

And it even helps attract new designers - the buddy program is a key argument on Awesomic's talent page.

⏱ Manual work? Minimal.

"You just forget about the automation.
You know that it works its own way, the way that you set up, and you don't need to manually go and change the settings every time."

What's next?

As the designer onboarding worked so well, the company's core team members from all other departments now also have their own programs.

Next on the list:

  • Training programs like Diversity & Inclusion
  • Guiding journeys on processes for performance management and more

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