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People & Team


A structured onboarding process helped staff adapt to our pace

Derry Holt improved OneUp Sales' onboarding process
Derry Holt uses digital checklists to create an effective onboarding process

Name: OneUp Sales
Location: Birmingham
Employees: 10
Founded in: 2014
Tip: The worst thing someone can say is no – just ask.

The problem

Birmingham-based sales software company OneUp Sales knew their onboarding process had to change when new hires struggled to perform. They had never put any formal processes in place, preferring to train new employees ad-hoc on the job. But as the company grew, staff needed more direction. “If you go through something over and over again and they’re still not doing it the way you taught, it’s not working,” said Derry Holt, OneUp Sales’ CEO. 

The solution

The first step was to choose software that would help give the onboarding process some structure. The business opted for CharlieHR, which enabled them to create checklists for new members of staff. Tasks are assigned to the new employee’s line manager, like circulating a first-day agenda and ensuring the new employee has access to any tools they need.

The next step was to make sure new employees felt included and valued right away. Derry put together a 30-minute presentation on OneUp Sales’ culture, which is given at the start of their first day. The presentation explains their role, the value they add and how they can contribute to the big picture. It also outlined the values of the firm: always be authentic, operate with optimism and go for gold.

In their first week, new staff members sit down with their line manager to plan out what they want to achieve. “They create a 30, 60 and 90-day plan together. We’ll help them, but we want them to lead it. For a developer, the first month might be getting used to the platform, the second might be writing documentation and the third might be getting a feature live,” Derry said.

The results

Derry admits that though the onboarding process can be intense, it’s an important part of ensuring people can handle the pace of a growing business. Three employees have gone through the onboarding process so far, with one more about to join. While it’s something that’s still evolving, he believes it’s having a big impact and helping the firm build the culture they’re looking for.

“The structure of onboarding is the most important thing. If I’m not here for a few days, I might have been nervous before. But now the process in place, everyone knows what to do and other people can help them if things fall by the wayside.”

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