How One HR tech firm embraces the Onboarding and Employee Experience

I sat down recently with Brad Goldoor from Phenom People, a recruitment software firm and asked the former Biz Dev pro his philosophy there in terms of onboarding and the employee experience. He recently transitioned to the head of People from the sales side.

One of our internal mantras at Phenom People is “not normal”, and we tend to do things that are in line with that. On people’s first day, we set them up with a buddy and agenda, their computer is up and running and ready to go with their email already entered in.

We have a day one agenda, a week one agenda, we have a buddy for them when they come in, and we have their backpack and other swag items ready to go. They’ve already completed their paperwork online, we use Zenefits as an onboarding tool, so a lot of companies I know use that first day to actually do that paperwork, that’s already done. We take them into a room for about an hour and a half and go through a deck to explain the company’s history.

I do that myself, I’m one of the co-founders and I’m our chief people officer, so having time with me and talking about how we originally started the company and the history people tend to find very engaging, it’s interactive, they ask questions and get a good amount of time sitting there with me. Then really the most unique thing that we do in the onboarding experience is before they start, we actually reach out to one of their loved ones or friends, and ask them to submit a video wishing them good luck on their first day, and we play that video for them individually.

The response has been from tears of joy, to smiles, you know that their cheeks hurt. We’ve had dogs, we’ve had neighbors, we’ve had kids, and we actually had one employee, it was a two and a half minute video with 12 people from around the world, he had in-laws in India, he had friends in different countries, and literally they went through, you know his wife played music to the background.

It’s been such, it’s literally the favorite part of my job right now, is getting to play those videos on the first day. People are blown away when they see the effort that we did, and from a company standpoint, it doesn’t cost us anything.

The next natural question that I get asked with this is, “Well, how do you get that individual’s friend or family member’s contact information?” In the onboarding in Zenefits, they actually have to put an emergency contact in, and so you know they put an emergency contact in usually with a cell phone number, and I text them.

Then the spouse or the friend, whoever it is, they’re so impressed by what we’re doing for the employee, and so sometimes they ask actually about working here by going through that experience. It’s been really a unique and rewarding, and a really a fun thing to do, and again, the response has been just off the charts on it.

For the full audio interview head over to the show page on RecTech Media.

Chris Russell

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