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Be Connected: Introducing the City's new orientation program

The City of Boston’s greatest resource is its people. That’s why we began a journey last year to transform the City’s human resources (HR) services, including re-establishing a gold standard orientation program for new hires.

One of the priorities our own employees identified at the beginning of this endeavor was the need to evolve the City of Boston’s employee onboarding experience. Since then, we’ve been using employee feedback to design an orientation experience that inspires, energizes, and excites new hires about their careers with the City. We’ve had to adjust the roadmap following the onset of COVID-19 and navigating our new socially distant environment, but we are pleased to share that the City of Boston’s monthly New Hire Orientation program launched virtually in July 2020 with great success.


Orientation Photo
A group of our new hires posing for a "class photo" during the July orientation session.

The keynote speaker for this inaugural orientation session was Property Management Commissioner, Indira “Indy” Alvarez. Indy provided new employees with an informative, entertaining, and uplifting look into both her department’s operations, and her life as a 20 year public servant in the areas of social work, community engagement, code enforcement, and policy implementation. Attendees gave overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding Indy’s story, describing her as “inspiring,” “personable,” and simply, “awesome”.

Indy Orientation

Towards the end of the session, three employee panelists answered questions about their own experiences working for the City of Boston. Chardline Chanel-Faiteau, Resource and Development Manager for BCYF, Claudia Correa, Assistant Commissioner for Inspectional Services Housing Division, and Tom Johnston, Director of Programming for Arts & Culture shared their unique stories and encouraged new hires to make connections and look for growth opportunities within the City of Boston. 

Orientation Panel

After their orientation, the “Class of July 2020” received a post-orientation guide and a virtual “yearbook” to help them get to know each other and stay connected. Attendees were also asked to provide some feedback on their experience. Respondents overwhelmingly reported feeling energized and excited to be working for the City of Boston.

Orientation Responses 2


The New Hire Orientation program will be offered at the end of each month. New hires and their managers will be notified ahead of each session. The August 2020 Orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 27th (Part 1) and Friday, August 28th (Part 2), with keynote speaker Chief of Environment, Energy & Open Space, Chris Cook. Invitations will be sent to new hires later this week, and managers will be informed as well.

For the time being, we are planning to continue this program virtually, and are working to ensure that it is accessible to all. Please note: This interactive virtual experience currently includes:

  • Live presentations
  • Video and audio recordings
  • Slides that include both images and text
  • The use of digital tools (specifically Poll Everywhere) for live audience response sharing 
  • Participant video/audio capability highly encouraged

If you or your new employees have any access issues, require disability accommodations, translation services, or you have other concerns about their participation in one of these New Hire Orientation sessions, please reach out to ahead of time. 

If you have any questions about the New Hire Orientation program or would like to volunteer to be a presenter, speaker, or to help facilitate a session, please contact

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