The Ultimate New Employee Onboarding Checklist to Onboard Like a Pro

Great employee onboarding is essential to keep the talent you've hired.

In this climate of low employment rates, employees have the pick of the bunch of companies. Therefore, ensure you use this free  a new employee onboarding  checklist, so your new recruits are fully settled in.

Having a fantastic new employee onboarding checklist has many benefits, as stated by an article in HR.com, including:

  • Companies with onboarding programs boost retention by 25% and also improve employee performance by 11%.
  • Employees who take part in structured onboarding are 69% more likely to remain with a company for at least three years.
  • 15% of employees advise that their onboarding program was ineffective and this contributed to them leaving the company.

What is the onboarding process for a new employee?

For new hires, onboarding is an ongoing process through the first few months of a new hire’s tenure at your company. During the onboarding process, new hires learn about the company, familiarize themselves with the team, go through training, and start their new roles. It’s important to start with a structures new hire onboarding process to ensure your new employees are engaged and feel supported during their first 90 days and beyond. 

Why do you need a new hire checklist?

Hiring new employees is expensive. It’s reported that it costs around $3,500 to source and hire an hourly employee. Additionally, it takes about five months for a new hire to be fully productive. If the new hire isn't onboarded properly, your business will have wasted time and money in the recruitment process.

The  sample new employee onboarding checklist below will enable you to design an effective onboarding and orientation process to integrate new recruits into your company in the right way.

How long should onboarding take?

New employee onboarding should be emphasized for the first 90 days of a new hire’s time at your company. During these 90 days you’ll also want to set performance standards and create an open dialogue with your employee to ensure that they continue being onboarded and engaged with at your company throughout the first year. 

What is a new hire checklist?

A new hire checklist is also known as an onboarding checklist,new employee checklist, or new hire orientation checklist. It’s a template that covers different steps for onboarding new employees.

The sample onboarding plan for new employees includes:

  • Preparation before the new hire starts.
  • Providing the necessary tools and equipment.
  • Office orientation.
  • Meeting the relevant people.
  • Evaluating the new hire's experience after the onboarding period.

Now, let's start to compile your new employe onboarding checklist. Use this checklist to create new hire templates for different positions in your company.

Sample Pre-hire onboarding checklist for new employees

The pre-hire stage of onboarding starts before your new employee comes to the office. This ensures that everything is in order and your new hire will be engaged immediately. There’s nothing worse than having someone start a job and get bored on the first day or week with nothing to do.

Part of this checklist is a process called transactional onboarding, which focuses on filling out the necessary forms and documents, so your new employee is able to work legally.

New employee forms and paperwork include:

  • I-9
  • W-4
  • Direct deposit forms
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Insurance forms

A welcome email is one of the first steps for new employee onboarding

In your new hire welcome email, you should state the following:

  • A message reiterating how glad you are that they’re starting with your company.
  • Start date, time and location.
  • Schedule for the first day at the office.
  • Important documents they need to bring.
  • A quick rundown of the dress code.
  • Their contact person.
  • A PDF or link to your employee handbook.
  • A brief information sheet.

Send an email to your current employees letting them know a new hire is starting

Your current employees need to be kept in the loop about their new colleague. Send an email to introduce the new hire, so they can welcome the person.

The email to current employees should include:

  • The new hire's name, job title and designated team.
  • The new hire’s start date, time and location.
  • The new hire’s experience, background and skills.
  • The date and time for the welcome coffee where they will meet the new hire.

Arrange the new hire's equipment and their office

Ensure that the new hire is comfortable and has everything needed to get up and running. They should not be waiting half a day for IT equipment and other supplies. This should all be sorted out before they come, so they have the necessary tools.

The following needs to be prepared before the new hire comes to the office:

  • The right furniture – for example, chair, desk and cabinets. During the recruitment process, you should have learned whether the new hire has any special requests due to issues like disability. If that's the case, ensure that all furniture provided meets those needs.

The workstation should include:

  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Desk supplies: stapler, letterhead, paper, pens, etc.
  • As an additional touch, some company swag, like branded tee shirts or a coffee cup.
  • IT equipment such as a monitor, laptop, mouse and keyboard.
  • Software installed on the new hire’s computer.

The following also needs to be arranged:

  • Add the new hire to the company email list.
  • Include the new hire in relevant forums and chat groups.
  • Prepare HR documents and forms.
  • Provide an ID card or office key.
  • Order new business cards.
  • If you're going for coffee, reserve lunch at a restaurant or café.
  • Organize your new hire's parking, if necessary.

New employee onboarding checklist for the first day

On the big day, your new hire will be nervous. This is the time when you should do all you can to reduce their level of anxiety.

Here are the steps to include in your sample new employee onboarding checklist templates:

Start new employee onboarding with a coffee and tour of the office

  • Arrange for an employee to meet the new hire at reception.
  • Schedule morning coffee to welcome your new employee.
  • Provide your employee with a welcome package.
  • Provide the necessary reading to help the employee get up to speed as soon as possible.

New hire office orientation

Give the new hire a tour of the office, so they know where important common areas are, such as:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Support desk
  • HR area

Assist in using company software

  • Allow your new employee to sign up for a parking card, elevator card and any other amenity card.
  • Assist your new hire in setting up their IT equipment.
  • Give your new hire instructions on how to use IT and the different office equipment.

Process new employee HR documentation and paperwork

This is the stage where you go into a bit more depth about the business. Explain how the new hire’s position is funded and the impact it will have on the company.

During new employee onboarding, you should:

  • Talk about the benefit package your new hire will receive, such as health insurance.
  • Show them where work HR policies and procedures are kept.
  • Go over safety and security procedures.
  • Show them health and safety aspects of the workplace, like fire escapes.
  • Explain the code of conduct.
  • Complete any necessary forms and contracts.
  • Let them know about different types of leave, such as vacation time.

Take the new hire to lunch

Having lunch with your new employee will help your existing team members get to know them better in an informal and relaxed setting. At lunch, ensure that everything remains professional. Team members should discuss their work and interests, rather than making this an interrogation of the new employee. Remember, during new employee onboarding, you want your new hire to feel comfortable. Ensure that lunch is a conversation and not a Q&A with your current team.

Meet with the head of the company

Meeting with the head of the company shows your new hire that the CEO and other senior leadership care about every new recruit. When meeting with your new employee, the CEO should do the following:

  • Provide a brief summary of the company history.
  • Give details about the company's vision, mission and values.
  • Provide the context of your company's place in the overall industry.
  • Emphasize your company's objectives.
  • Demonstrate how the new hire fits in.
  • Emphasize the fact that the new hire is a very welcome addition to the company and the CEO is looking forward to their contribution.

Meet with the new hire's manager

The new hire's manager will enable them to have a more detailed understanding about their role and day-to-day activities.

When meeting with the new hire's manager, include the following on the sample new employee onboarding checklist for the both the manager and the new hire.

  • The new manager should go over the company's organizational chart and show how employees fit it.
  • Discuss the new hire’s responsibilities regarding their job description.
  • Ask a new hire about their hopes for the job as well as any issues or fears.
  • Clarify expectations for the new employee for the first month, three months and six months in relation to work output and conduct.
  • Show the new hire a career development plan, which includes the path to promotion and how bonuses are earned.

Sample new employee onboarding first week checklist

The first week is just as important as the first day when welcoming and onboarding your new hire.

Include the following on the new hire onboarding checklist:

  • Manager to set up a series of one-to-one meetings to explain expectations.
  • Discuss the new hire’s career aspirations.
  • Allocate work that will help the new hire understand their role better.
  • Invite the new hire to any social events such as Happy Hour, team lunches, etc.
  • Invite a member from HR/personnel to explain everything to the new hire, so they’re clear about policies.
  • Encourage the new hire to ask as many questions as possible.
  • Organize different types of relevant training.

Sample new employee checklist for the first three months

Onboarding a new hire doesn’t end after the first day, week or month. It can go on for up to a year. According to an article in SHRM, 23% of employees left their jobs during the first six months saying that, if they had received more effective training, they would have stayed.

So, the first three months is a time to continue to implement the sample new employee onboarding checklist and do the following:

  • Plan for six-month goals and ensure that you track progress and give feedback at different checkpoints.
  • Make training sessions available that ensure that the new hire is better able to their job.
  • Encourage team members and other managers to provide constructive feedback for the new hire to improve.
  • Add an informal performance review to your new hire's calendar.
  • Ask for feedback from the new hire.
  • Talk about the end of the probation period.
  • Set performance goals and objectives.

Sample new employee onboarding checklist template for after six months

If your new hire is still with you, congratulations! This means your company has done a good job, but this isn’t the time to sit back and relax. This is the time to continue to implement the items on your new hire checklist to ensure that they stay with the company.

At this stage, the following should be included on the new employee onbaording checklist:

  • Yearly performance review.
  • Recognition of your new hire’s achievements.
  • Provision of an unofficial career development plan, taking into account the new hire's professional and personal goals.
  • Carry out a six-month performance review.
  • Provide objectives and goals for the coming six months.
  • Ensure that the new hire is still receiving all the necessary training.

Evaluate your new employee onboarding checklist

Find out how effective your new employee onboarding checklist is by asking your new hire to evaluate your onboarding process. You can create a quick survey to learn what they thought about the process - what was good and what needs to improve.

If you’re looking for a modern recruitment hiring tool that has onboarding features as standard, check out Fountain. It gives you the functionality to send and request documentation and order your new hire’s paperwork through one secure and safe portal.

Get started with a free trial of Fountain today to see how you can not only recruit new hires quicker, but also give them a seamless onboarding experience.

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