Starting at a new company can be a nerve-racking experience. From learning your way around a new office space to navigating online platforms, and getting to know your new colleagues, there is a lot to take in! To help ease this transition and support new team members as they join our ApplyFamily, ApplyBoard runs a New Hire Buddy Program.
The New Hire Buddy Program is an initiative that supports new team members by helping them easily assimilate into the ApplyBoard Team and connect with our core values. Each new hire is assigned a buddy from within the same department and/or team, who acts as their ‘go-to’ resource for support during their first 4–6 months at ApplyBoard. New hires and New Hire Buddies meet regularly, helping to ensure team members have what they need to be successful in their new careers.
The New Hire Buddy Program is led by ApplyBoard’s Learning and Development (L&D) Team, who provide training resources to staff across the organization. “The New Hire Buddy Program is an important element of the onboarding experience at ApplyBoard,” shared Learning and Development Specialist Ritika Bhargo. “It is crucial that we support team members by helping them assimilate into the organization’s culture, and by helping them understand the ‘unwritten rules’ of the team.”
In March 2020, the ApplyBoard Team transitioned to temporarily working remote-first due to COVID-19. Despite this change in the work environment, the team is still growing and has since welcomed more than 200 new team members!
In order to meet the needs of staff in a virtual work environment, the New Hire Buddy Program was recently revamped to ensure new team members are supported as we work from home. “While we can’t physically be together during onboarding, it is important that our new team members feel connected to the rest of the ApplyFamily,” says Ritika. “Our culture is essential to our team’s success, and we want to ensure new members feel involved from their very first day. The New Hire Buddy Program is an important way that we can bring this to life.”
Roles and Responsibilities of New Hire Buddies
When starting at ApplyBoard, each new team member will be paired with a New Hire Buddy from their department. New Hire Buddies will be a colleague (not their manager), who has an understanding of their role on the team. To ensure a high-quality experience for new hires, buddies are someone who has been with the company for at least three months and has gone through training in the areas that they will cover with new team members.
New Hire Buddies are meant to be a friendly face that team members can reach out to when they need support and the ‘go-to’ resources for anything that new team members may need when starting out. This can include:
- Assisting with everyday questions and concerns, such as office policies, using company systems, and understanding all of the different roles within the team
- Answering questions about company-wide training, learning modules, and online courses that need to be completed during onboarding
- Ensuring team members get involved in the culture of the team by having lunch together on their first day, introducing them to colleagues, accompanying them to ApplyCommittee events, helping them get to know our ApplyClubs, and learning more about our work environment
Shrutika, a Product Owner at ApplyBoard and New Hire Buddy on the Product Team, says: “Having a buddy creates a safe space to discuss roadblocks, as well as to have someone to chat with about anything work-related, such as: How do I get to the office? Who do I talk to about the Personal Spending Account? And non-work-related things, like: What did you do this weekend? Did you watch the debate?”
Stories from Our New Hire Buddies and New Hires
For our new hires, this program is especially important while working remotely, as it helps to address some of the challenges of meeting new people. When reflecting on her experience as a new hire, Midori, Content Research Specialist at ApplyBoard, said: “My new hire buddy experience has been an excellent way for me to settle into the ApplyBoard culture and my new role! During my first week, my buddy Jessica set up a meeting between her, myself, and my manager, which allowed us to get to know each other a little better and gave me an opportunity to ask questions that were yet to be covered in training. It’s been comforting to know that I have my buddy as a secure touchpoint for any questions I may have about work tasks, the culture, or anything else related to the job.”
Being a New Hire Buddy is not only a great way for new team members to assimilate into ApplyBoard’s culture, but it’s an opportunity for our current team members to develop their skills as a leader. “Being a New Hire Buddy is an incredibly rich experience for making connections with the people I will work closely with,” explained Jobanmeet (Joy), Sales Enablement Specialist and new hire buddy on the Sales Enablement Team. “After this experience, I have gained a buddy for life, and we have grown and learned together.”
We asked some of our recent hires to share how this program helped them adapt to a virtual work environment. “Starting a remote role is never easy, but this program ensures we all stay connected and supported, which are key ingredients that can set us up for a smooth transition and success in a new role,” shared Jessie, Manager of ApplyProof Partnerships.
Supporting Team Success
At ApplyBoard, we are serious about our ApplyFamily, and ensuring that new team members who join the organization are supported is an important element of this experience. We are grateful to all of our new hire buddies who have dedicated their time to support new hires, as well as the new hires who embrace our values and culture from day one!
Our New Hire Buddies want to meet YOU! You can view our open roles and apply: applyboard.com/careers