1. Playbook
  2. Ops

Onboarding Ops Guide


The Onboarding process has been designed to be lean and simple; both a self-service guide for the onboarder and onboardee.

There may be occasions where the Ops team is requested to produce contract and initiate onboarding process and this guide includes a process for a requestor to request a contract/onboarding process.

User stories

  • Onboarder / Onboarding Manager = person setting up New Joiner (Needs to be authorised)
  • Requestor = Team member or management requesting.

As the Onboarder I want to know what I need to do for and with the Onboardee and that I've done it all so that Onboardee is set up and supported and I don't miss things out.

As Requestor, I want to know what to provide the Onboarding team with to get a contract for new contractor and start onboarding process so that the Onboarder has the information they need and new contractors get their contracts and are onboarded swiftly.

  • Things i need to do before the Onboardee starts their onboarding (e.g. ensure they have a contract).
  • Things to do during onboarding.
  • Things to do after onboarding.


Onboarding Checklist: Issue template

## Task list:
* [ ] Key terms email is sent 
* [ ] Resourcing@ is emailed about new joiner 
* [ ] Folder on People drive created
* [ ] Contract drafted 
* [ ] Contract reviewed 
* [ ] Contract shared with the onbordee (CC requestor)
* [ ] Contract signed
* [ ] Contract PDF-ed and saved in their folder
* [ ] GSuite Email created
   * [ ] License assigned
   * [ ] Added to Services Team Group
   * [ ] Added to All Team email group
   * [ ] Added to All Team calendar
* [ ] Add to relevant email groups 
* [ ]  [Onboarding call](https://www.google.com/url?q=https://playbook.datopian.com/ops/%23welcome-call&sa=D&source=hangouts&ust=1612361319879000&usg=AFQjCNEVZVwmdwURpNZhJ8-EBOzx7UUOBw) scheduled
* [ ] Person has been shown the following from the playbook:
  * [ ] Culture
  * [ ] RtO
* [ ]  Welcome email sent
* [ ]  Added to GChat
   * [ ] General
   * [ ] Onboarding
   * [ ] Standups
   * [ ] Tech
   * [ ] Watercooler
   * [ ] Travelling Datopians etc
   * [ ] Any other relevant channel
* [ ]  Added to Xero 
* [ ] Ask them for their bank/ payment details
* [ ] Add their bank/ payment details to the Getting Paid sheet
* [ ]  Added to Gitlab
   * [ ] Datopian
* [ ]  Added to Github 
   * [ ] Viderum (Datopian) --> Team "Everyone"
   * [ ] Datopian
* [ ]  Person DB form filled out (Prerequisites)
* [ ]  Their submitted information from the Phonebook Form responses is entered into the [Phonebook](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hFw3jFHq_TF4m_Z76n0uzBz85UB9Yht4P2IZAPicBOI/edit#gid=129072431) 
* [ ]  Their submitted information from the Phonebook Form responses is entered into the [secured People DB](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19QwgZ9aTWzFyXfvVr_FIWN-2UJVTVcg12oaAtSiZgtg/) tab
* [ ] Update the Xero codes tab in the Secured People DB with the new joiner’s information
* [ ]  Added to real rates
* [ ]  Make Gitlab issue assigned to @Kalasha83 to add onboardee to inter-org rates DB
* [ ] [Technical quiz](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dlgdQy3habJpC8sbtd1AVVTu4S-usyCUipMDUmNersA/edit) or [non-techincal quiz](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yE895I0JVGujXS-2scuODOOxssAI5roDK6YU-Rw5n70/edit?usp=sharing) sent to onboardee
* [ ]  Onboarding call 
* [ ]  Message them to have the quiz ready by the time we have the follow up meeting
* [ ]  [Technical quiz](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dlgdQy3habJpC8sbtd1AVVTu4S-usyCUipMDUmNersA/edit) or [non-techincal quiz](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yE895I0JVGujXS-2scuODOOxssAI5roDK6YU-Rw5n70/edit?usp=sharing) passed
* [ ]  Confirm to the requestor that the Onboarding is complete
* [ ]  Welcomed to the team (either via Gchat or in All hands)
* [ ]  Follow up scheduled
* [ ] Added to [glassfrog](https://app.glassfrog.com/people/sign_in).
* [ ] Grant permissions in Bitwarden as appropriate

General Onboarding Agreements

  • For the onboarding of every onboardee we should create a GitLab issue containing the checklist above
  • We start onboarding them early enough (at least 5-7 days in advance) so that
    • we leave them enough time to review and sign the contract and do the prerequisites on their end
    • we leave ourselves enough time to set up their accounts on our end and ensure their smooth onboarding
  • The Welcome/Onboarding call should possibly be on the day before their start date so that the onboardee is all set and can start working efficiently on their first day in Datopian
  • The onboardee should be fully onboarded by us prior to their start date (= Github issue fixed and closed)

Create and Sign the Contract

The contract should be signed within 3 working days, unless otherwise agreed with the the person that interviewed the staff member. Within those 3 days, staff member can address questions and we will try as much as possible to get them resolved.

  1. [Optional] Request a contract creation.
  2. Create the contract and update with key terms.
  3. Email the contractor to review and fill in.
  4. Both parties sign.
  5. Email contract and [email protected] with the signed PDF and stored into Drive.
  6. Notify onboarder contract signed.

Request Contract Creation

Follow the steps below if the Ops team should create the contract and initiate the onboarding process:

  1. Once you have shared the Key principles Email after Verbal Agreement with the future contractor and they have agreed, you are to forward this email to [email protected] (cc [email protected]).
  2. Request a contract and/or onboarding.
  3. Make sure that your email contains the key information for drafting a contract:
    • Name of contractor
    • Role / Services they will be providing
    • Start date
    • Rate
    • Urgency level (optional)
  4. The ops team will pick it up from this point and initiate the contract creation and the onboarding process.

Create the Contract

  1. Create a folder for the person on the HR drive (People/Contracts and staff files).
  2. Create a draft contract:
    1. Copy the template contract which is stored here.
    2. Move it to the Person's folder in HR Drive you created in Step 1.
    3. Rename it to Datopian (Viderum inc. trading as) -- {Contractor Name} -- Contractor Agreement.
    4. Fill in any relevant sections and especially the key terms in the Schedule section.
    5. Highlight everything that needs to be filled out by the onboardee.
    6. [Optional] Insert signature. We are happy to do this as key terms are already agreed and we will review before making final PDF.

Contractor Reviews

  1. In Google Docs click Share and share with the contractor's personal email.

    • Make sure to tick "Skip sending notification" as you will notify them by email in the next step.
  2. Email the contractor with an email like the following (CC [email protected]).

    Subject: Your Datopian Contract: Please Review and Complete

    Hello XXX,
    Welcome! This is your contract:
    {Insert Link to Google Doc}
    Please review and fill in any relevant highlighted sections. If you have any questions please note these as comments in the doc. Then:
    EITHER: you have questions. If so, please email us to let us know so we can get those resolved 😀
    OR: it all looks good and you have no questions. Please then sign (insert your signature and date) and email us to let us know. We will then sign and send you a copy.
    Many thanks,

Additional Documents required for the German HR:

  • Anmeldung (residence address in Germany).
  • Social security number (Sozialversicherungsnummer).
    • Ops team needs to register them at Techniker Krankenkasse and provide all needed information for that. For a fast identification when contacting TK, you should use the following reference: 95591608 (Betriebsnummer).
    • Ask the employee to register in the TK online portal so that they can upload their sick certificates and send them to the Techniker Krankenkasse.
  • Tax id (Steuernummer/SteuerID).
    • Should be obtained from the Finanzamt by the employee.
    • A residence address in Germany is required for this.
  • German bank account.

Sign Contract

After the contract has been filled in and signed by the contractor, the Ops team member will remove the highlighted parts, review it once more and then send it to management for final review and signature.

Email Contract

Once both parties have signed we:

  • Make a PDF of the contract.
  • Store that in Drive in the contract folder for that contractor.
  • Email the PDF of the signed contract to the contractor for their records cc'ing [email protected].

Notify Onboarder

Email the Onboarder that contract is signed and CC [email protected].

[Optional]: record the task complete and announce to any other relevant parties.

Setup on Systems

These steps can be done in parallel or out of order.

However, unless otherwise agreed, we should only do these steps once there is a signed contract.

  1. GSuite Account and Email: Create their email account as [email protected] on Google Admin page and share the login details via email (part of email creation wizard in google apps). After you have created the account, make sure you assign a G Suite Business license, so that the contractor can use all the G Suite features and access Google drives.

    • Add to Services Team Group on Google Admin page
    • Add to other relevant Shared Drives (see Shared drives access)
  2. Create accounts / send invitations on systems where they can't create themselves

  3. Welcome Call Invitation: Send them an invitation for a Welcome Call within the next days. If this before their start date make sure you check their availability for the call.

  4. Welcome email: Send them the welcome email to their new personal email and their Datopian email.

    Subject: Welcome to Datopian – next steps in getting you set up

    Hi {XXX},
    Welcome to Datopian. This is the beginning of an amazing journey! 🚀👩‍🚀
    **1. Start Setting Yourself Up!**
    Please start getting yourself set up here:
    As that says, **please complete the "Prerequisites" section at least two hours before your Welcome Call**. Doing this allows us to grant you access to all systems and makes the the onboarding process super-smooth.
    **2. Welcome call**
    A welcome call will be scheduled. Please accept the invite. 😊
    If you are **unable** to make that time please let us know asap by declining the invite and suggesting an alternative time!
    Looking to having you on board!
  5. Add the person to the Rates DB & Inter-org DB: Complete the Rates DB sheet using the rates in their contract. Fill in : the daily rate, the currency and the daily rate in USD. (The hourly and monthly rates should automatically calculate). Once completed, create a Gitlab issue in the Project Management repo and assign Michelle (or Esteban) so they can add them to the InterOrg Rates DB.

  6. If a GmbH employee – add them to HeavenHR or whatever HR platform we are currently using.

After new Datopian has filled in Person DB with their Details

Add them to relevant systems:

  • GSuite / Google Drives: add them to relevant team drives (see Shared drives) and google groups by adding them to Service team
  • GChat: add to relevant channels esp onboarding.
  • GitLab: find their role on the Inter-Org Rates Spreadsheet and add them as a member of the org according to the following criteria below:
    • i) maintainer permission level= apprentice, junior developer or developer senior developer or tech lead
    • ii) owner permission level= upper management
  • GitHub: allocate the approporiate permission levels defined below that are respective to their role on the Inter-Org Rates Spreadsheet and add them to the relevant teams (ie: GitHub organisation and the ‘Everyone’ team -if applicable):
    • i) member permission level= apprentice, junior developer or developer
    • ii) owner permission level= senior developer or tech lead
  • Please note: exceptions to the permission levels may be permitted at the discretion of upper management.

Welcome Call

Here is the suggested agenda for the Welcome Call with the new Datopian. The first two sections should usually take no more than an hour.

The Onboarder should use the onboarding meeting doc to capture questions. The Onboarder can forward to other team members any questions they don’t know the answer to, for example technical questions.


  • Introduce yourself, confirm that you are the onboarder [5m]
  • Get them to intro themselves [2-3m per person e.g. 15m for 5 ppl]
  • Expectation and requests from them [10m]

What this call is about – intro to onboarding and company context

  • We’ve designed the onboarding process to be a self-service one but I’m just going to say a few words to intro you to the company.
  • Overview of the company.
    • What we do.
    • Team is global and fully remote. We have team members all over the world from London to Bangalore, New York to Berlin, Kazachstan to Portugal.
    • Flat, self-organizing self-managing organisational set-up [very brief but this informs the nature of this onboarding process even!]
  • Who they will be working with / Apprentice program [intro Apprentice Program Course Lead].
  • Talk about Values & Culture briefly – emphasize we will come back to this and we wanted to flag this now as our emphasis on culture is an important and distinctive part of our approach.
    • Why that’s important to us.
    • Example: Integrity.


Here, the Onboarder is are largely following the structure of the Onboarding Guide.

  • Check that they have done prerequisites [15m]
    • They have access to email
    • Drives
    • Making sure they are all set – no blockers
  • Housekeeping [15m] (for Apprentices)
    • How much time have they got today => Schedule end of day of meeting if possible
    • When are they available this week.
    • Schedule the apprentice welcome meeting if not already scheduled
  • First steps [onboardees / apprentices on their own] => follow the onboarding guide and read the first steps. Check in with them regularly [2h]
  • Reference reading [2h]
  • Homework:
    • Practice markdown and git if you haven’t done that before (do the markdown exercises)
    • Culture reading on "Value Free Approach to Values" (linked from the culture page)
    • Do the quiz (if not done already)

After Welcome Call

You MAY want to have a meeting a week after Onboarding to catch up and see how the new team member is doing. You should use this opportunity to clarify any unanswered questions as well and to provide feedback regarding the Datopian Quiz.

Onboarding aide-memoir

  • Signed contract
  • Access to email, Team drives, Calendar
  • Access to Google Chat, Github/GitLab
  • Completed Phonebook
  • Xero account set up
  • Completed Quiz

Accounting and Finances

See Accounting & Finances Guide