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10 Unconventional (But Effective) Ways To Support Your New Tech Hires

As technology continues to impact nearly every facet of the business world, the tech and IT departments — and the people who work in them — have become indispensable for many organizations. That's why it's so critical to attract, hire and retain the best tech talent.

One strategy for keeping your tech employees happy is showing them that the company and its leaders will back them up, and help with their projects and processes. Members of the Forbes Technology Council each shared their own favorite way to welcome and support a new hire on their tech team.

1. Offer Remote Work Options

New tech team members usually get the grunt of the work, and can quickly get overwhelmed. To keep things flowing smoothly, I offer the opportunity for those with heavy workloads to work remotely from time-to-time. Some in the tech world – especially developers – thrive on their own at home. If it means more productivity, support it. - Scott StinerUM Technologies, LLC 

2. Send Them To Hackathons

I like new tech team members to be updated on the latest ideas out there, so I send them to hackathons and other competitions to observe great minds at work. I find this helps them become more innovative on the job and familiarizes them with the current environment and trends. -Chalmers BrownDue 

3. Give Them Fun Mini-Sprints After A Long Project

Not everything your company develops is great fun. After a boring or long project, letting your team work on something they've had their eye on for a few days can help refresh minds and build knowledge. Enhance this by actively listening to what your people think is interesting and write it down. When it's time for a mini-sprint, let them pick from that list; it lets them know you're listening. - Brian FrittonPatch of Land 


4. Let Them Share Their Skills

There is no better way to learn a topic than when you teach others about it. We set aside monthly lunch-and-learn events to encourage knowledge transfer within our team. For the new tech team members, teaching a lunch-and-learn offers a chance to talk about something that they know well and integrates into the team, allowing others to become aware of their expertise. The result is a stronger team. - Kurt Dykema, Twisthink 

5. Listen To Them And Take Their Opinions Seriously

I see the entire company as a collaboration, and if a new team member has an idea or opinion on something – even if it's not what they're working on directly – I want to hear it. I find that taking everyone's opinion seriously not only makes them feel more valued and invested in the company, but also actually generates some great suggestions that never would have been put forward otherwise. - Ben LeeNeon Roots 


6. Teach Them The Non-Tech Aspects Of Your Business

Train them on your products and customers. Explain how the business works. Have them meet people from other departments that they may rarely encounter directly on the job. They have all of the rest of the time at your company for tech things and the actual job. Give new hires time upfront to experience the unconventional. It will pay dividends in the long run. - Aaron RankinSprout Social 

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7. Throw Them In The Deep End (But Give Them The Tools To Succeed)

I like to give new hires a really tough assignment right out of the gate. It builds their confidence and demonstrates their ability to persevere. When they communicate and ask others for guidance to complete the task, they enjoy a heightened sense of accomplishment – for which I credit them at the end of the day. - John DerhamIQ Media 


8. Offer The Freedom Of Choice

We encourage developers to use the tools and operating system of their choice. As long as these fit in our development workflow, quality control procedures and security policies, we do everything we can to provide freedom of choice. This leads to two benefits: new engineers become productive faster, and it enables the discovery of new tools and systems that continuously improve our development process. -Arvind PrabhakarStreamSets, Inc. 


9. Use The Buddy System

Working with tech is challenging and rewarding for everyone, so when new members join the team, one of the best ways to support them is to assign them a “buddy” to assist in their adaptation to the new procedures and colleagues. In this way, the new members can find quick and trustworthy access to company and work information while creating a bond that’ll strengthen them for months to come. - Nick ChandiSlickPie 


10. Invest In Professional And Personal Development

Recognizing the fine line between personal and professional development, and investing in both, is the best means of supporting the members of my team and maximizing their contribution to the business. Finding the overlap between someone's technical skills and personal goals, and using this to fulfill the whole person, creates opportunities to motivate that go way beyond performance metrics. - Matthew RussellDigital Reasoning 


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