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How to Set Goals for Your Technical New Hires

Kristen Buchanan

In any tech onboarding program, the general consensus is that new technical employees should be fully operational and independent within the first 90 days of their employment.

But for most developers, this crucial 90 day checkpoint simply isn't reached. In fact, in our work with technical companies we've found that most managers don't report developers and software engineers being up to speed until their seventh or eighth month on the job...and often it takes much longer than that.

So how can technical teams course correct and shorten their new hires' time to productivity?

A good start is through setting clear, practical goals at the 30, 60, and 90 day marks.

Setting clear milestones for technical new hires keeps them engaged with their own development, and offers a guideline for their progress. Managers can check in with the new hire at the one month, two month, and three month points to assess how well the new hire is doing, and what additional support they need.

This also sets the new hire up for being self-directed in their own development.

Creating goals gives technical new hires and engineers the freedom to explore their new role and learn the necessary processes needed to meet each milestone. They can also begin to understand what they don't yet know, and seek help in the form of resources and peer support.

It's important to remember that these 30, 60, and 90 day goals will vary greatly between organizations, teams, and even new hires.

To begin determining what goals are practical for the 30, 60, and 90 day points, check in with your team and brainstorm what critical projects and responsibilities the new hire should understand in the first three months of their work. From there, you can break those responsibilities down into smaller skills-based learning goals.

This process will give you a framework for introducing new hires to their role one step at a time. Then you can use that framework to keep new hires focused and on track, and ultimately get them up to speed in less time.

How do you keep new technical hires on track during the onboarding process?

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