Q&A with Godel’s new Head of Onboarding, Nadia Sabadze

Godel has doubled its headcount year-on-year for over five years, having reached over 1,000 FTEs in 2019. It is providing software engineering teams to a growing base of clients, but such growth presents risk: the company’s number one priority is to maintain its reputation for quality as it scales. Since Godel’s people are its value, over the years it has built an organisational structure that supports every person within every company division. This structure is split into “Functions”, which are groups of people that take responsibility for different aspects of employee wellbeing.

What’s your background at Godel?

Having been at Godel for more than 3 years, I was always interested in different activities besides my responsibilities, and I am elated to have been appointed as Godel’s new Head of Onboarding. Our ever-growing team helps newcomers and Godel to become familiar with one other, bringing the new starter up to speed with Godel values. On top of this, we explain to them to Godel manages expectations, filling their knowledge gaps before building personal connections. To achieve this, we introduce new employees to the whole of Godel: its culture as well as its way of working; whether this be internally with peers, or externally with clients.

As Head of Onboarding, what are your priorities?

My new role has a heavy focus on getting the newcomers involved in the Godel community, laying the foundation for a long term relationship which will present benefits to both sides. Sharing knowledge with new employees is a big part of my role, but at the same time it my responsibility to gather information about them from their own individual stories and backgrounds and transferring this to talent managers. The result of this means that we, as a collaborative team, can assess where new employees will fit best at Godel, and where they will see the most success. A challenge of this is that first impressions aren’t always right, and it isn’t always possible to paint a true picture of someone from day one.

What are your Function’s responsibilities?

The onboarding function takes responsibility for many things, however, for me, the most important thing is that we are the people who greet a new team member, meaning we must demonstrate and make example of the Godel culture, it’s ways of working and its family-like atmosphere. This therefore means we are the first point at which a newcomer will experience Godel’s caring attitude, opening the door to the relationships they will build through interaction. On top of this, it is also our responsibility to understand the personality of each and every newcomer that walks through our door, and share it with the Talent Management function.

Onboarding function has a lot of responsibilities: we are providing the first touch of Godel’s caring attitude, building personal interaction and help newcomers to feel of being valued and taken care of, sharing Godel culture and ways of working with all knowledge pack together with our special family atmosphere. At the same time, we are trying to understand personality of every newcomer and share it with TM Function.

What do you see as your biggest challenge?

As it stands, I think the most significant challenge for me is being able to paint a ‘true’ picture of our newest employees whilst we work remotely. Although we can gather some of an understanding of what our new Godel employees are like, and they can verbalise their own personal interests and experiences, it is hard to get a true sense of their character and understand where they will fit within the wider team. Whilst this is a significant task in the current climate, I think this will change. As Godel continues to scale, a challenge for us all will be to adapt the onboarding process for new offices in other countries. Consequently, you could argue that my job will never be completed and there will always be things for me to learn, and additional elements to introduce to each person that walks through the Godel doors.