How We Changed The Face of Staff Onboarding at

Oct 24, 2017

Any HR person worth their salt knows that recruiting although interesting is hard work. You spend hours bent over online assessment or CVs depending on your company’s policy. Next, you do the physical interviews. If you recruit for Customer Support agents like yours truly, you’ll have to do telephone interviews too. After all these processes you finally have your new staff. But that’s only one half of the job done.

You now have the daunting task of onboarding the new staff. This was a challenge we faced in my company. How do we get an onboarding process that does not disrupt work, has all the necessary information and would be very effective? So when my manager called to show me a sample of an onboarding Trello board made by the Trello team, I was thrilled by the possibilities it presented. As such when he asked, “ Can we do this?” My response was “Why not?”. This was my thought, there is nothing new under the sun so I am all for reinventing the old and making it your own.

The Content of The Board

While I was aware of the fact that we needed to make our own board, I was however stuck regarding how to build the content. I wanted a board that was similar to the sample I saw yet had a level of originality that spoke volumes about our company at one glance. So I did the next thing any logical person would do, I visited our friendly neighborhood, Google and I was truly amazed at the number of samples I saw online and the amount of information regarding it. I mean people were actually doing this and I wanted our company to be a part of it too.

Board Building

Although there are a lot of articles about Onboarding using Trello, the one that stuck with me was an article by Elizabeth Hall on Medium; Onboarding New Hires with Trello which I found rather helpful. She helped me understand why Trello is the best platform for onboarding.

Some may say her opinion is biased seeing as she is the VP of People at Trello, but she made valid points that guided me while I was making the board for my team. I am familiar with Trello, I use it to manage my department’s quarterly projects; however, this was a new terrain for me. So I drew sketches of what I wanted the board to look like on a piece of paper until I finally had the idea I wanted.

Who is the Board for?

The answer is simple, the entire company. We needed to ensure that the board resonates with not just the staff working at the office but the team working remotely as well. The goal is to ensure that new hires not only get onboarded but they are also able to answer the question “why” like Hall stated in her article.

They need to know why the Growth team will never win at Karaoke Night and why half of the company orders lunch from Marvise Restaurant. This is because they will encounter these conversations on Slack and they need to understand as we don’t want anyone left out of office jokes or serious facts.

The Board

This is what our board looks like. The board is sent to your email a couple of days before you resume and it gives you an actual idea of what working for the company would be like.

The first 4 cards give you all the information you need to know about the company. They tell you what to do before your first day and what to do on your first day. This saves you the awkward situation of having the HR person taking the new staff around from office to office like a priced bull with the owner looking for the best offer.

The beauty of Trello is that you can attach images and documents to the cards which makes the board rich and the onboarding process easy. It saves you the time would have spent printing and distributing the employee manual/ the sexual harassment policy.

Fun facts with images are not left out.

We have cards that run from your first day till you are a week old. We also have cards that let you know who is who and you know the right office to walk into.

Once we started sharing the board with new hires we had people adapting easily to the company. As soon as people resume they already feel like a part of the company.

Our new hires now have all the information they need before they resume and are super pumped to work for the company. All these without any pressure on the HR team.

If you are reading this and you have a Start-up or work in HR, then I beseech you to join the wagon because this was how we changed the face of Onboarding at!