Recruiting people in traditional organizations is a highly evolved and customized process depending on the size and field of the organization. When I look at the DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) today, I see primal and very straightforward approaches that create communities with a huge number of people in their spreadsheets, mostly inactive or hadn't even made conversation with. To compete with web2 companies DAOs need more sophisticated and creative approaches in onboarding. I'll be sharing my experiments, research and findings on how we can create unique and decentralized onboarding experiences in DAOs.
Let's put what is different in DAOs and traditional orgs first. DAOs have no hierarchy (in principle) so the onboarding process can not rely on a particular person. DAOs are autonomous so the application process needs to be designed with minimal human involvement. Since there will be minimal human involvement, onboarding should be seen as a process and require community involvement.
An org is many groups of people who are specialized in different fields and progress towards a mission. If you are being recruited in web2, you probably will fill up some application form, will have a meeting with a field-wide responsible person and also will have a meeting with a company-wide responsible person. The whole recruiting process starts to differentiate when a company becomes larger because HR commit more time to eliminate and find people that suit their needs and recruiting process becomes part of the brand.
The first thing DAOs may start with is field-specific onboarding processes. A form that contains quizzes related to a field and brand. This isn't proof of expertise but has several benefits. It signals their expertise and gives an initial impression of a brand. In design, there are many quizzes related to UI, UX, general graphic design and more. In coding, there are huge resources for quizzes. In addition to these field-specific quizzes, there can also be brand quizzes that give an applicant general brand knowledge.
I always liked the idea of people onboarding themselves.
After application, the applicant is invited to introduce themselves in a relevant channel. Community or some kind of onboarding squad welcome them in the channel and ask questions about them. The point here is to place the applicant at the centre and give them a chance to show themselves. That's also for the benefit of the community.
I found bottom-up approaches especially important in DAOs because it may make contributor engagement easier and having different kind of onboarding flows benefit to the brand in general.
Newly onboarded people generally find themselves in confusion with what to do and who can they talk to related to their field. DAOs should provide clear documentation about what are they doing, point of contacts, meeting hours and how to involve. Involvement in works itself is a separate field in DAOs that needs planning.
As we can't fully automate the onboarding process, there will be people who are responsible of running things in the background. This could be a copyrighter, quiz responsible, hr person or something else depending on DAO's implementation. It's best to keep the list of these roles in a table and rotate them per season.
Onboarding in DAOs has a lot of space for creativity. I'm curious about what we will see in the coming months.