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Onboarding at Hyperscience

By: Fatima Ruiz
Published: July 21, 2020

Fatima Ruiz, our People Operations Manager, talks about why she chose to join the Hyperscience team and our industry-leading approach to onboarding new hires.

Tell us a little bit about your background and why you decided to join Hyperscience.

I both majored and started my career in Finance, but after having children I realized it was very difficult to manage life as a new mom and still meet the demands of my job. I stopped working three months after returning from maternity leave and then when my children were older and in school, I was ready to restart my career. Hyperscience caught my attention because of how it prided itself on being family friendly

I met with Peter and quickly realized we share the same values in regards to work-life balance and the way companies should treat their employees. After that conversation, it was clear Hyperscience was the place where I could give my all without having to compromise family time. 

As I continue welcoming new hires and learning about their first interactions with our team, it is so rewarding to hear them express how kind and helpful everyone is and how much they appreciate our culture. It’s been really great to see the same culture of kindness and consideration I experienced during my onboarding has continued 150+ employees later. 

What happens between hiring and day 1 to ensure a smooth first day and transition to the team? 

It’s extremely important to us that we let new hires reset before starting at Hyperscience. We do this in three ways: First, we give them the opportunity to take the time they need before starting; Second, we avoid overwhelming them with information before day 1; and third, we have all new hires start on a Wednesday in their new hire cohort. The latter provides a shorter first week with the added benefit of giving managers more time to prepare. 

Once an offer is accepted, each new hire receives a survey from IT asking their laptop preference and if they need any additional items like a mouse so their computer will be set up and ready when they arrive. We also send a welcome email with helpful articles and a schedule outlining key meetings and what to expect on that first day. 

What can new hires expect, especially with the shift to remote work? 

Over their first month, our leadership team leads sessions for the new hire cohort to introduce them to their department, Hyperscience history, mission, values and more. These intimate sessions allow new employees to understand who does what and how each department’s work connects to our broader mission while also getting to know each leader. It is also an opportune time for our internal subject matter experts to introduce our product and target market. 

Another proactive initiative we began to help build community and connect new hires with employees is our onboarding buddies program. With this program, each new hire is paired with another member of their team who isn’t their direct manager to help answer any additional questions and promote relationship building. 

When we shifted our teams to be fully remote, we moved all the onboarding sessions and onboarding buddy processes to Zoom. We also updated the welcome email to include more details about what to expect on the first day. To us, this was crucial because new employees are no longer walking into an office where anyone can jump in and help, so we had to be extra clear around expectation-setting and making sure everyone knows how to reach out for help and what they will be working on their first few days. 

Additionally, our IT team is now shipping computer equipment directly to new hires and providing detailed instructions prior to their start date so their computer is still ready to go! We are also sending welcome kits [spoiler alert] with fun branded swag items to get them excited about joining our team. 

What sets our onboarding approach apart from other tech companies? 

From ensuring computers are ready to sending welcome kits, we want all new employees to know that they are our top priority and not an afterthought. To introduce new hires to the wider team, managers send a company-wide email on their first day welcoming them to the team with some fun facts and a brief bio. We also hold happy hours, which we’ve moved to Zoom for the time being, so new hires can have another opportunity to introduce themselves to people who aren’t directly on our team.

I think something that really sets our onboarding approach apart from other tech companies are our onboarding sessions with Peter Brodsky, our CEO & Co-Founder, Charlie Newark-French, our COO, and the VPs of each department. Many new hires have expressed that having the leaders take the time out of their busy schedules to lead an onboarding session makes them feel valued. These sessions are a huge differentiator for us and also support our values-driven culture, which includes “imaginative ideas from everyone”. 

How do you continue to promote and show the company culture with new hires during this remote period?

Our People Ops team has put an emphasis on updating and rethinking post-work office activities so they can still happen while we are all remote. Some of our latest happy hours were a magic show, farm visit and trivia night, all of which were held over Zoom! Similarly, we are taking every opportunity for company-wide meetings by continuing our Monthly All-Hands, Bi-Weekly Q&A sessions with Peter and Bi-Weekly Knowledge Sharing Sessions. All of these meetings provide our employees to obtain invaluable insight and transparency into what is happening across the company and departments as a whole, while providing opportunities for questions. 

To promote intra-team connections, we are still optimizing our use of Donut, an app that randomly pairs 2 employees together via Slack to meet up and connect. Instead of grabbing a coffee or taking a walk with your buddy for the week, people are meeting with coworkers virtually. We also encourage employees to join any special interest channels in Slack such as #pets, #baking, #travel and more!

How are the Hyperscience values reflected in the onboarding process? Do you have a favorite Hyperscience value?

My favorite value is work life symbiosis – I believe that when employees have the freedom and flexibility to care for themselves and their families they’re able to work at their maximum potential.

During onboarding, we reflect a few of our values:

  • Do a good job – Our entire team spent a lot of time building our onboarding process and ensuring that it was welcoming, inclusive and refreshing.  
  • Imaginative ideas from everyone – Throughout the onboarding process new hires are prompted for feedback. We probe to know what’s working and what could be improved upon and use their ideas and insight to continuously make improvements.
  • Trade-offs create our identity – We recognize that the time spent in onboarding sessions is time that new hires could be using to start contributing to their teams, however we know that the payoffs of really getting to know our leaders, our team and different functions is worth the trade off. 
  • Equality for all – Whether we’re onboarding a new VP or a summer intern we use the same principles and process for our all team members. 
Bonus Question: What 3 adjectives would you use to describe Hyperscience? 

Caring, Collaborative, Challenging

Lightning Round: Coffee or Tea? Morning or Night? Window or Aisle Seat? Savory or Sweet? Dolphins or Koalas? Mountains or Beach? Pilates or Yoga? Stairs or Elevator? Summer or Winter?

If you’re interested in joining the Hyperscience team, connect with me on LinkedIn or reach out to hiring@hyperscience.com. We have a variety of open roles across our New York City, Sofia, London and remote offices.