At Twitter They Toast You

twitter toast First of all, it's not called "getting hired" anymore. At Twitter and many other tech companies these days, the correct term is "onboarding," and it also refers to acclimating you into the company.

Sort of reminds you of embarking on a cruise, doesn't it? Some employees who have recently been hired by the uber social networking company based in San Francisco say it does feel a bit like a cruise -- especially in the begining, with Love Boat-like perks such as meals with the "captain," and even toasts to your arrival.

According to Alex McCauley, known as the Twitter BizOps Guy, here are some of the perks new employees receive as part of the onboarding process:

  • You start from day one with the e-mail address you get to select.
  • There's a T-shirt and bottle of wine waiting for you at your desk.
  • Your desk is strategically located based on what you're working on and with whom.
  • You'll find colorful PDFs sent to you to explain what to expect on your first day, etc.
  • On your first Monday, CEO Dick Costolo has breakfast with all new hires.
  • They reserve tables in their lunch area for each new hire to eat with their new team "(no "who do I sit with in the cafeteria?" anxiety).
  • Your first afternoon is spent in a "company ramp-up" session, where new hires are brought up to speed on teams, projects, company history, inside jokes, Gmail filters, internal tools, etc.
  • There's a monthly new-hire happy hour with the senior team.
  • Moving forward, there's a rotating five-week schedule of 30-minute presentations on Friday afternoons, in which new employees get to meet with just about all of the leads, PMs and managers and ask questions. "The most popular is definitely Ev and Biz's 'Twitter Story,' according to McCauley. "It's funny, inspirational and powerful."

But onboarding is an ever-changing process at Twitter. "We're making little tweaks here and there to reduce confusion or lulls, and swap content here and there to make it flow more logically. We talk to folks one or three months in to see how we can make it better. It's one of those things that will probably never be 'done,'" he says.

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