Ensuring a Successful Onboarding Experience for International Developers

By m.kouneli

The way we work has fully changed over the last 2 years. Businesses are now accepting the idea of remote work, and many are choosing to keep a remote workforce even as things return to normal. Working remotely means that there are no geographical limits when it comes to hiring and this enables employers to search both locally and internationally in order to find the best talent.  But how do you make sure that international developers have a smooth onboarding process once you’ve made the hire?


Onboarding remote developers isn’t about overwhelming them with excess information and hoping that they will use it in the best way possible. It’s your new hire’s first official interaction with you as an employer, so it’s essential to establish expectations, make them feel at ease, and support their success.


Technical, organizational, and social facets of the work should all be covered during onboarding. In other words, how tasks are completed, how individuals are  in the organization in relation to one another, and so forth.


Here is a summary of best practices to help you make sure your onboarding procedure is complete.


  • Beware of the legal framework: Hiring developers in different countries can be complex due to variations in labor laws and regulations. During the onboarding process, attention should be paid to generating locally compliant employment contracts, gathering necessary documentation, enrolling employees in local payroll systems, and managing statutory benefits. Global employment can be challenging, especially without an experienced legal team, and establishing local entities can be time-consuming and expensive. However, using an Employer of Record (EOR) can simplify the process by legally employing talent on behalf of the company and managing compliance and risks. A compliant onboarding process is critical for providing a secure foundation and mitigating risk, leading to future success for the company.


  • Set them up: New employees often have a lot to manage during their transition, and overwhelming them with information can be counterproductive. It’s important to find a balance between easing their transition on their first day and making it less stressful. To make the process smoother, ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed online and in advance. Additionally, send out any hardware they need, such as a laptop and keyboard, and ensure they have access to appropriate communication tools.


  • Start with clear communication: From the beginning, set clear expectations and provide detailed information about the company culture, job responsibilities, and the onboarding process. Make sure the new hire understands the company’s values, policies, and procedures.


  • Familiarize the new hire with the team: Introduce the new hire to their team and other key stakeholders, and encourage them to participate in team-building activities. Good relationships with coworkers can significantly impact an employee’s job satisfaction, and informal communication is important for new hires to bounce ideas and ask questions comfortably. However, forming connections can be difficult when remote, so it’s essential to arrange remote onboarding activities such as icebreaker games or informal coffee breaks to help new employees get to know their colleagues. 

What's more...

  • Provide access to resources: Ensure the information that the new hire needs is all gathered in one place. When the information is dispersed across numerous unfamiliar channels or maybe even stored in files unrelated to the developers’ job, it can be one of the biggest headaches for new team members, particularly if they are remote. Choosing the “main place of entry” is the first step you must take. The developers will be able to locate everything they require at this point of entry. You can organize all the data into a single cloud container and grant team members access to it, depending on the tools you have at your disposal.


  • Assign a mentor or a buddy: By placing a new employee with someone who has gone through the onboarding process and is familiar with the team and culture, you can help them feel more at home. Scheduled check-ins between new hires and their designated buddies are a common practice in remote businesses. In these meetings, they can talk about problems, updates, or ongoing initiatives. It can be even more helpful for developers to have a friend who works on the development team. They now have someone else besides their immediate manager they can turn to for assistance with developer-specific tools, procedures, and policies.


  • Provide ongoing support: Onboarding is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Check in regularly with the new hire to ensure they’re comfortable and have what they need to be successful.

It can be difficult to onboard new employees who are spread out across the globe, but with the aforementioned suggestions, the process will go much more smoothly. A successful onboarding process not only ensures compliance with regulations but also helps new developers become productive and valuable members of the team, ultimately contributing to the success of the company.