At PaperKite, we believe that what’s better for people is better for business. It’s the people that make organisations and engagements successful. We know by fostering a culture of team-first generosity, appreciation, and safety, people can do their best work.
As we’ve navigated the Great Resignation, our streamlined approach to recruiting and onboarding new team members has driven massive efficiencies that have helped keep us ahead. The key to this approach? Human-centered design.
“Part of our PK culture is that we try to ‘Always Be More Better’. It’s one of our company values, and it’s really genuine – it’s not just words we put on the wall,” says Alicia Sowerby, PaperKite’s Community Manager. “PaperKite naturally attracts people who actually put their hand up to make our company better. And over time, that’s led to an incredibly polished process.”
Every business knows that it can be extremely costly to recruit new employees. “But once the employee is hired, it’s easy for a business to forget that onboarding is equally expensive because it’s a hidden time cost”. Alicia, who was hired in early 2022, fondly recalls her first days at PaperKite. “Having been through hiring and onboarding journeys myself as well as having had a hand in recruitment with other companies, I’ve never seen it executed this well before. I recall how I felt at every step of the process and how much I felt that it was just done right. Here, you feel that no piece of the onboarding process is an afterthought. It’s so satisfying to see onboarding done in a way that exceeds all expectations, right from the first email you receive.”
“We have a tradition that everyone starts on a Friday so that they’re immersed straight into our culture, being involved in the week’s all-hands events on day one. Before they arrive, our new starters know where they need to be, when, their workstation is set up and personalised, and meet-the-team sessions all booked in for them. There’s no waiting around for IT to set up their laptop or wondering where the bathrooms are at PK – we’re really proud of the people-first experience of joining our team. It’s consistently a highlight for our new people, and it makes me proud to hear that other PKers are excited about it and eagerly share this story. There’s an infectious enthusiasm that a person walks in the door with from the very first day, and so much good that comes from that.”
We’ve been collecting feedback from PaperKiters who have experienced our recruitment and onboarding process first-hand. Here are some of the highlights.
“I loved having the photo of my desk be sent to me before my first day. I was so pumped to start, it felt like I was being waited on, which made me feel so welcome and empowered.” comments Melina Ariyani, one of PK’s iOS Developers hired in 2019.
Michael Kuhinica, our most recent Web & Platform hire comments on the cross-team collaboration that is encouraged from day one: “Being able to meet each team individually was great! Talking with the experience team and learning that the wider PK team is invited to participate on user experience research, I like being closer to the user. Understanding their goals and worries help me keep motivated and productive.”
Calum Turner, a Product Designer hired initially as an intern at the end of 2022 gives his thoughts on his recent experience with PK’s onboarding process: “I was really excited to receive a picture of my new desk with the welcome card, laptop, stickers, stationary etc. Starting on a Friday was awesome as it gave me chance to process all the information I absorbed, including people’s names! In general, everyone made it abundantly clear to me that I was welcome and valued; especially when I received my first 15Five hi-fives!”
“Coming in for my first day on a Friday when people are more relaxed and experiencing the afternoon full-house, team-wide meetings for the first time was pretty special (still is!)” says Cole Holyoake, Product Designer at PK. “Lots of laughter, snacks, the gratitudes, appreciating mahi and learning what’s going on in all corners of the company. The personalised welcome guide is a nice touch. I felt incredibly valued and that PK were excited to have me.”
We’ve been particularly grateful for our well-honed process as we’ve experienced the Great Resignation. In this time of unusually high turnover across the industry, the degree of polish in our onboarding process has been smart for PaperKite economically, it’s great point of difference for us and has helped our new team members to hit the ground running quickly but with great care – getting all the support they need to start making a difference for our clients in days rather than weeks. And they’re incredibly effective, as Alicia elaborates:
“We believe that if you put good people together, good things happen. That’s why we’re people-first. We put so much importance on putting the right people into the right roles, so we know we’re doing the right thing by our clients as well.”
Our well-practiced onboarding process is good for our culture, she continues. “If you have a healthy culture, people are best placed to do their best mahi. Our culture is very deliberately designed to uplift people and it leads to a happy workplace. It’s a stable foundation for our people to absolutely thrive. What comes out of that? Well, anything’s possible!”
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