Internal documentation is probably the most powerful onboarding tool. And one that HR has nothing to do with.
Peer to peer knowledge transition is great, but nothing beats solving those embarrassing or silly little questions yourself by reading the docs.
We took this one step further at Red Hat. As part of the Engineering Content Services team we actually built the publishing tools we used (which is what inspired spinning out Corilla — we needed to build the “GitHub for content teams” that we couldn’t find in the industry).
As we hired new technical writers, they were given a technical buddy, a culture buddy, and the docs. Their first week task was simply to improve the onboarding content that they were using to learn how to improve the onboarding content… a productive and engaging kind of inception.
This ensured our content was always up to date, gave the new hire their first successful commit or build, and got them thinking for themselves whilst still having their buddies to ask for tips while on the mission.
Another “docs or didn’t happen” moment.