How we work: Onboarding and training at Adjust
Nothing at Adjust stays the same for very long. Between growing offices and regular product launches, there are always new faces to get to know and new facets of our product to utilize and understand. Back when Adjust was a wee tiny mobile measurement company, new employees would shadow a colleague until they got the hang of the place, but we’ve come a long way since then. Adjust has since put a human resources team in place and divided our onboarding into two halves: HR and product. The face of product onboarding and training at Adjust today is Louie Moore, our Senior Product Specialist for Internal Education. We spoke to Louie about how education has evolved since our early days, and how she created a product curriculum that fits the needs and learning styles of all Adjusters.
What are the first couple of weeks at Adjust like for new employees?
Great question. I do the product onboarding for newbies, which takes up two full weeks of every month. We carry out whiteboard sessions in person - we fly everyone into Berlin (no matter what office they’ll be working in) for two to three weeks of training. This is a great opportunity for newbies from all over the world to meet their colleagues and connect with one another. It’s also extremely intense. People vary in their level of industry knowledge when they come to us. For example, one person who is training now was formerly working on an oil rig in Norway, while someone else in the same group had a lot of experience in mobile marketing, and we have to cover the same amount of ground.
How did Adjust’s onboarding program get started?
I was an account manager for two and a half years and there were about 30 people in the office when I started. We were growing and several of us noticed at the same time that the product was also growing, which meant that our internal information and docs quickly became outdated. Our goal was to make sure that the newbies were getting training from one specific person and one set of up-to-date information.
I enjoyed teaching, so my account manager role slowly evolved to include that. It became official because I’m passionate about teaching; I’d always wanted to teach. I was a little bit strict about all of the information being current and correct, making sure that we were sharing the right information with our sales team, who could then pass it along to our clients.
How did that develop into the training program Adjust has today?
When Katie (Adjust’s Director of Product) joined, we sat down and decided that we needed to compile every piece of information, so first we created a document called the ‘account manager bible’. It worked great to begin with, but we kept having to add updates to it - the more features that came out, the more it needed changing. So Katie finally decided that we needed to take it to the next level.
Today the product half of our onboarding program is known as the ATOM, which stands for ‘Adjust training and onboarding material’.The ATOM was initially created by Katie and Simon ‘Bobby’ Dussart (VP of Support), but I took it over to introduce a fraud course and include videos and interactive material. Originally it was conceived as a resource for current employees, but we quickly realized it would be an amazing tool for onboarding. We started using it in April of 2016.
What’s changed since ATOM launched?
200 users have now gone through the product training program, including all employees and candidates for technical roles. We’ve introduced ten additional courses, one being an actual screening process for new client-facing candidates. We now also test new applicants to see if they’re able to troubleshoot and problem solve, use their initiative, communicate in a professional way, keep their cool and not get easily overwhelmed, and think outside the box. Since it’s been introduced, we’ve been able to make more informed decisions when hiring - we’re more confident now that when we bring someone new aboard that we’re investing in the right person.
So what’s a day in the life of Louie like?
My day starts with checking every applicant’s ATOM tests and giving feedback. Next, I’m working on rolling out a sales certification program. When our sales teams are done with these new courses, I’ll be judging their practice pitches and demos. Writing new courses is also a big part of my day - making them more interactive, getting feedback about how sales team members like to learn and how we can improve based on that as well. I’m also working in the feature groups for every product release. I need to know about every single feature that’s happening and I need to train everyone about what’s coming out. When I'm not doing any of those things, I'm running the product onboarding (24 hours of training spread out over two weeks) and answering any questions other Adjusters might have about our product.
What kinds of experiences and perspectives did you draw on when creating our onboarding program?
I drew from the experience of working with clients who had no idea about the industry - there were a lot to begin with. And I tried to think about their questions and their point of view. Because I was an account manager and worked closely with sales, I can also think from their perspective; I know what the account managers are going to need when troubleshooting, and what kinds of client queries around these new features might come up.
I’ve also tried to be sensitive to the fact that people learn better in different ways - some prefer visuals, colors, interactions to help them memorize things, so I make sure to include way more diagrams, videos that break everything down (especially fraud, because it is so technically complex). But I also had to spend a lot of time learning the details of absolutely everything so that I felt 100 percent about breaking it down and explaining it in simple terms.
How will onboarding and training at Adjust evolve in the future?
Right now, with the expansion of the company and the fast growing Adjust product, we need more hands on deck to ensure we can meet the demand to provide top quality training for existing & new employees at the same time as releasing new courses always one week before a new feature is deployed - the pressure is on
Additionally, the sales certification program will be forever ongoing. When sales are fully aware of the details of our new features, that means our clients are fully aware of them too, and the same goes for the account managers. Great training makes a difference; for example, when account managers go to in-person meetings with their clients to discuss how they’re using Adjust, we can give them the resources to make them feel fully confident. What I do helps them save time so they can dedicate more resources to building relationships with clients.