Your first day: How NYC tech companies welcome new employees

Taylor Majewski

The first day at a new job is always nerve-racking.

From meeting your new coworkers, to training, to getting accustomed to the office layout, the day is usually a blur and filled with lots of firsts. We spoke with a few local startups to find out the traditions they use to welcome their new employees. Here’s what you can expect.


Yotpo is a customer content marketing platform that generates reviews, ratings, Q&As, and user-generated content for e-commerce sites. The platform connects brands with their target audience by first asking customers to rate products they just bought, and then the review is shared on the brand’s social media sites. We spoke with head of talent acquisition Sally Bolig to find out how the company welcomes new employees.

“Here at Yotpo, we take the first few weeks seriously,” said Bolig. “Even before day one, our head of training shares reading material, enabling each person to enter training sessions with some background knowledge. Worried about what to wear the first day? Unsure who to speak to about your Wi-Fi not working once you get here? New hires are pre-assigned a ‘Yotperson’ who serves as their go-to for any questions before and after they start. ‘Yotpeople’ also attend a company-sponsored lunch with the new hires to celebrate the end of their first completed week!

“Training is the big focus of weeks one and two — learning our complex product and then responsibilities of the role itself. And after each person completes his/her product certification, the whole company comes together for drinks at the office to toast! Finally, there's no better way to welcome the new hires to our familial culture than at our monthly ‘Yotpo Eats’ — a company-wide catered lunch where all new hires get to share their most embarrassing moments. It's a Yotpo tradition that brings us all together, and there's no shortage of laughter and cringe-worthy moments. It's safe to say that Yotpo doesn't just welcome its new hires as employees, but we take pride in welcoming each person as family, celebrating all the exciting accomplishments along the way.”


DigitalOcean allows dev teams to create, automate and manage infrastructure through APIs, floating IPs, shared private networking and team accounts. In short, it’s ‘the cloud for developers.’ We spoke with employee experience manager Katie Birch to find out how each DigitalOcean employee starts their job.

“DigitalOcean has an Employee Experience Team dedicated to ensuring that employees feel engaged throughout their lifecycle at DO,” said Birch. "Starting with onboarding, the team works tirelessly to ensure new hires feel immediately valued as a part of the DO family. New hires — both remote employees and those that will be working in Cambridge, MA and NYC — come to the New York office on their first day to find their desk decked in tees, assorted DO stickers, hoodies and more. They also have a fully configured workstation, a computer that is ready to go and a handwritten welcome note from the people team! Onboarding for new hires takes place every Tuesday, and with rapid hiring taking place (over 100 hires so far this year), rarely does a new hire finish their first day without a group of new friends. Formal onboarding consists of a half-day information session covering mission, values, benefits and goal setting. As new Sharks settle into their roles, there are casual, department-focused onboarding sessions scattered throughout the first 30 days as well. It's important that settling in doesn't stop with onboarding. DO works very hard to keep the first day excitement going with additional perks, benefits, professional development opportunities and team building events to make sure our employees feel loved and energized to work at DO for as long as they choose to stay.”


Sisense utilizes business analytics software that lets you easily prepare, analyze and visualize complex datasets using its patented ‘in-chip’ technology. Ultimately, the company helps businesses eliminate the costly data preparations that typically accompany business analytics tools by providing a single, complete tool to break down big data.

“With swag bags filled with Sisense goodies (the socks that declare ‘we’re going places!’ are a crowd favorite) and a personalized bio we post on our Facebook page, we make sure Sisensers feel welcome the minute they walk in the door. It’s also important they get to know the rest of our team — so we have each new employee introduce themselves with a new hire cart where we pass out a signature cocktail, favorite retro candy confection or throwback toy to learn new names and faces!  We also want to make sure that Sisensers feel comfortable in our new neighborhood (we just relocated from downtown), so we provide a map of all the closest restaurants, subway stations, Citibike rental and banks.”


Intersection works with governments, citizens and brands to use technology to improve life in cities around the world. For example, Intersection powers the LinkNYC kiosks that are providing New Yorkers with Wi-Fi all over the city. We talked with head of talent acquisition Byron Kendal to find out how the company welcomes new employees.

“New hires at Intersection are welcomed on their first day by their ‘buddy’ who helps them get to know the company, other teams and where to find everything,” said Kendal. “They spend a few hours doing a company induction, tour of our facility and product tour to get them familiar with everything we do. Because we are in the newest part of Manhattan — Hudson Yards — employees also receive a field guide that helps familiarize people with what's available here and in the nearby area.”


Images via featured companies. 

Know more companies that deserve coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.

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