Picture this; you accept a new role and walk in on your first day with jitters. You swing the double doors open and are welcomed by the fresh scent of kombucha on tap and the buzz of office chatter. The front desk receptionist welcomes you with a warm “hello!” and a freshly brewed tea or coffee. A member of the onboarding team shows you to the training room where you are seated with 20 other new employees and you chat about how excited you are to start! Onboarding commences and you learn all about your new company and role through group exercises, guest speakers, and a free lunch from the nearby cafe that you're likely to frequent regularly.
Now fast forward to remote work; your first day at your new company commences with the opening and logging into your new laptop as you kick off one slipper and sip your Mr. Coffee brewed cup. You inhale the fresh scent of your new laptop as your dog runs behind you and your neighbor slams their front door. How in the world could those in-person first day experiences be matched in this new world? At Rapid7, we have leveled up our remote onboarding experience to be as (close to) amazing as it once was in person (and will return to in the near future), minus the fresh brewed coffee and in-house provided lunch of course. Read on to hear from our People Development team to learn more about our remote global onboarding program and how you will feel like part of the herd on day one!
What does the onboarding experience at Rapid7 look like today? How do we support new Moose?
Let’s start before the first day! Today, all New Moose (learn about why we call ourselves moose here) are added to a pre-day one Slack channel (a primary communication platform at Rapid7). This channel enables our New Moose to ask ANY and ALL questions before they start, as well as connect with other New Moose, globally. In this channel, New Moose are encouraged to introduce themselves and share what “Brings You.” We also provide them with a first-day information guide.
Day One is Finally Here! First thing, the morning of day one, our New Moose are sent some engaging content to build the first-day momentum. This includes a welcome video from our very own Chairman & CEO, Corey Thomas. Next, they have an onboarding overview session with their starting cohort and our Workplace Experience Coordinators. During this session, they discuss all things onboarding — Making the Band (our 90-day onboarding experience), getting their employee profile set up, and our Rapid7 Culture (to name a few key elements). To support accessing and absorbing all of this new information, we recently created a new hire website to keep all of this information in one place throughout the onboarding experience. After this session, New Moose have an IT set-up session. Our IT team pairs each New Moose with an IT buddy to support their tech needs during the first few weeks. Following this, they join their team!
Some other fun components: New Moose begin receiving communications from our Slackbot, Donut, on day one! Donut is a Slackbot that sends automated messages directly to a New Moose to guide them during their onboarding experience. Donut pairs each New Moose with a buddy (a fellow New Moose). This buddy is someone they can have an introductory coffee with and bond over their first few weeks! It is a great way to build your Rapid7 network and “Bring You!”
Ongoing Making the Band: The onboarding content is very similar to what was received pre-remote work. Our content is self-paced and housed on our Learning Management System- School of Rock (notice the music theme). The 3-months of content support helps New Moose to live and breathe our core values, apply our mission, understand our portfolio and customer base, as well as explore development opportunities to be “Never Done.” Lastly, our New Moose (Director and below) are enrolled in our 2-day New Moose Live Performance. This session is held via Zoom, but no fear, we integrate unique technologies and engaging activities to build an understanding of our Core Values and portfolio, as well as connect New Moose across the ecosystem. Sneak peak: one of the activities entails planning the trip of a lifetime for Corey. How does that relate and/or apply to being a New Moose … you will see!
What’s New? Some new onboarding elements: firstly, a monthly social event for New Moose to connect and engage in some friendly competition! Secondly, SWAG! North America New Moose receive a swag voucher for our Rapid7 Swag Store and our EMEA/APAC New Moose receive a jam-packed swag box to their home location!
How has the onboarding experience changed since we went remote?
We have tried to anticipate the fact that our New Moose probably have many more questions and wonderings pre-day one. So in addition to the pre-day one Slack channel, we have added remote-specific information to both our new hire websites (internal and external). We also created manager and employee-specific resources for managing/working remotely and incorporated some connection prompts that are automatically sent via Slack and engage our New Moose in some “get-to-know” you conversations. Our swag offerings have also shifted so that our New Moose feel welcomed to Rapid7 as soon as possible and also have a choice in what they receive. Lastly, our New Moose Live Performance is now remote (and a little shorter), but still as engaging and as collaborative as ever. We have utilized animations and gamified components to support our New Moose’s learning of key content areas.
What’s one piece of the onboarding program/experience that’s unique to Rapid7?
We think that our Slackbot, Donut, is unique to Rapid7. This Slackbot helps provide our New Moose with new connections across the company, helpful timelines for important deliverables, and key resources to support their onboarding during their first 90-days (and beyond). Another defining element is our pre-day one onboarding so that when our New Moose arrive, they already are diving into the onboarding experience. This quickly enables them to know what to do and helps them fully understand who we are as a company and their impactful role. Lastly, we gather a lot of feedback from our New Moose regarding their experience. Specifically, we do this on days one, 30, 60, and 90. This feedback helps us to better understand the needs of our customers (the new hire) and iterate as needed!
What is the most common question asked by new moose preparing for their first onboarding session (pre COVID era and during COVID) and what is your answer?
How will I receive my IT equipment? Our amazing IT team will confirm a New Moose’s current address with their Talent Acquisition Partner and then share a tracking number with both the New Moose and their manager upon shipping (usually the Thursday before their first day). Our New Moose will receive a laptop and charger but are also provided with a voucher for $150 to purchase “at-home office” equipment upon their start.
What is one word you would use to describe Rapid7’s onboarding program and why?
World-class. Remote or non-remote, we work to define what “the best” looks like for onboarding. We truly work, with and for our Moose, to be “Never Done.”
“Honestly, I am thoroughly impressed and have no negative feedback during this onboarding process. Everything was super clear from the start and I've had no issues with any of the software or hardware. I've really appreciated the attention to detail during these interesting and tough times and definitely feel welcomed!” (Daniel Kim)
“As onboarding goes, Rapid7 has exceeded expectations and everyone seems a pro at onboarding people remotely!” (Thomas Franklin)
“The onboarding experience was very helpful, one of the best I ever had. In my experience, most companies fail when it comes to introducing new collaborators to the structure/foundations/values of the new company. Here my experience was completely different.” (New Moose)
“As a very introverted new moose, I was really surprised at how welcoming the People Development were in helping us get onboarded and getting us involved in the two day live training where we were exposed to what Rapid7 does and the cultural aspects of the company.” (New Moose)