Since 2008, I have been working with groups of new hires. There is much stress and confusion when people are relocating to another country. I always try and provide the information new hires need to understand the technology culture at the school, and within the country.
Initially, I was simply doing Q and A, and creating FAQ documents. One year, I realized that I was missing a huge opportunity to do some data driven decision making. I began to develop a set of surveys.
Survey data helps to shape the professional development for orientation and possible configurations for IT systems. Additionally, the data aids in the team building process by identifying new people with higher level skills. These people can then immediately contribute at the level they should be contributing instead of being sidelined because they are new.
Meet Them Where They Are
Many schools are hesitant to do surveys because new hires have a tremendous amount of paperwork to complete. Schools often do not want to add any additional communication to an already very busy process.
I do understand this view point, however, new hires will not be overwhelmed if a technology survey is incorporated into an already required technology process.
In the spring, I recommend all schools setup and activate the email accounts for the new hires. The moment they sign in the first time, they are a captive audience. The first email they see in their inbox could be the technology survey. New hires usually like getting their new account in the spring, so they will not be irritated at the process.
If the school has setup social media for new hires, such as a Facebook Group, those accounts can also be used to share links to surveys.