Think about the onboarding experience at your last job. It likely involved a new commute, paperwork and a box of personal items for your desk. The first days were probably spent setting up necessary technology, get-to-know-you conversations with new colleagues and lots of questions for your deskmates.
Now imagine that process taking place from home.
Making the transition to a remote-first company caused us to reevaluate how we’re onboarding new team members. Without spontaneous interactions in an office, we need to make sure we’re creating a seamless onboarding experience for our employees.
Having a distributed workforce gives Dwolla access to talent across the country. We’re able to easily bring on new employees virtually using effective video conferencing tools and a thorough onboarding plan. The ability to avoid getting hung up at the airport during an Iowa winter or being delayed with travel due to a child’s sporting event has been minimized with the remote-first approach to our teams.
To help ease the transition, we’ll give you a stipend to set up your home office, install the programs you need to do your job and provide instructions to set up the necessary accounts on your machine. We suggest a second screen, mouse and keyboard separate from the laptop. Also, ice machines are awesome and a good coffee maker seems like a necessity.
That’s the technical stuff.
The Dwolla Experience
What makes Dwolla’s remote onboarding process special is the community you join on day one. Whether you’re a Visual Designer living in North Carolina or a Talent Recruiter in a suburb of Des Moines, you’re immediately welcomed to the company during our all-company bi-weekly meetings. The “First Friend” initiative acts as a guide to remote onboarding and is another way we make an effort to introduce new employees to Dwollans across different teams.
Many employees say they stay in touch with their “First Friend” well beyond their initial months with the company and can eventually become the “First Friend” for another new team member.
The Remote-First Task Force, created to act as a funnel for feedback and ideas, is another way Dwolla eases the transition for new hires, as well as long-time employees.
Culture Crews recently launched to bring a diverse group of employees together from different departments to work on passion projects. We believe the more employees feel included in the organization, the more innovation and success we can achieve. Being intentional about communication, engagement and collaboration while working remotely has proven to be the key to keeping team members involved. For example, since most of us can’t eat together, it isn’t unusual for your manager or team leader to get creative on ways to buy you lunch once in a while.
We want to stay connected even if we’re far apart.
What Dwollans Say About Their Onboarding
New employees describe their first few weeks at Dwolla like this:
“There has been a real concerted effort to get me connected to as many people as possible.”
“You feel like you know someone right away.”
“It’s more of a community than just a job.”
As a new employee myself, I second those sentiments.
We rely on Google Meet and Slack to stay connected during the day, but we also take advantage of opportunities to bring team members into the office on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis to ensure teams can form the strongest relationships and meet colleagues across departments.
Dwolla uses Slack to share cute pictures of pets, recipes, podcast recommendations, industry-related news, personal updates, company wins and more. A new Salesforce Administrator said she didn’t like using Slack at past jobs, “but Dwolla makes it fun.”
While onboarding always comes with its challenges (especially at a fast-paced fintech with ambitious goals), new employees say they are pleasantly surprised when the company culture described during the interview process turns out to be a reality.
A Talent Recruiter who came to Dwolla after several years owning her own business said she was nervous about returning to a team structure after working for herself, but has found she enjoyed the transition.
“What they shared during the interview process in terms of team culture and company culture is exactly what I’m experiencing so far,” she said.
Dwolla strives to make its new employees feel comfortable asking questions, learning the nuances of the company and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
A new Accountant said his onboarding experience was made better because the company and his co-workers are supportive.
“Being part of the LGBT community, [Dwolla] was a big draw for me because I have always worked in places and areas where I didn’t really feel—it was OK, but it wasn’t celebrated—so that was really important to me as well. Everyone has been really great with my name and my pronouns.”
Dwolla is dedicated to building an inclusive team to help us continue to challenge the status quo. Our Diversity and Inclusion-themed Hackathon and the policy workshop we held to support the gender expression of all employees are just two examples of the diverse ideas, experiences and people we strive to include in our organization.
If this sounds like the onboarding experience you expect, we have numerous job openings.