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The New Hire

Onboarding Checklist:
E VE RYTH IN G YOU N EED TO KN OW

The new hire onboarding process is your chance to make a great first
impression and to create a strong bond with a new employee. An effec-
tive onboarding process needs to help new hires learn the operational
ropes and feel like they are part of the team as quickly as possible. But
in hyper-growth environments, it’s easy to lose track of the details, es-
pecially as you mix on-site and remote employees. A new hire checklist
can save the day.

That’s why new hire onboarding can’t be left to chance—or to the last
minute. According to a survey by The Aberdeen Group, best-in-class com-
panies were 53% more likely to begin the new hire onboarding process
before day one. Many of these companies use online training portals to
introduce new hires to the company culture and experience onboarding
content before they’ve even set foot in the office.

A well-documented new hire onboarding process takes time, but it’s well
worth it. In past studies, The Aberdeen Group found new hires were 54%
more productive and their retention rates were 50% better at organiza-
tions that standardize their onboarding.

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The New Hire Checklist
Starts Before Their First Day

A good new hire onboarding checklist isn’t about ticking off steps—it’s
about designing your employee’s journey so all the roadblocks to suc-
cess have been swept out of the way. The new hire onboarding process
checklist that follows will help ensure the route is welcoming and em-
powering – and that process begins before their first day.

Welcome them to the team


Once the offer is accepted, send new hires a welcome email outlining the
most important things they will need to know when they show up for
that first day: address, floor number, who to ask for, key cards, parking
directions and whatever else will help them to arrive with confidence.

The welcome email should also point new hires to resources like your
online employee handbook, mission/vision statements, and company
social media so they can familiarize themselves with expectations and
culture.

Finally, provide an outline of next steps in the new hire onboarding


process so they can be on the lookout.

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For bonus points, send a welcome package to their home address with a
physical copy of the employee handbook and some fun company swag.
We love this example from Slack—who wouldn’t be excited to get those
socks? This example from Canva also shows what an amazing welcome
package should look like.

That might not be your company’s style, but the underlying point applies
to everyone. Make sure your new hire onboarding checklist accounts for
how you will make new hires feel welcome in advance.

Completing paperwork
Paperwork is a necessary part of new hire onboarding, but it doesn’t
need to overwhelm your new hire on their first day. Many onboarding
documents can be collected and accounts set up before they arrive at
the office. With an online training portal, you can securely gather infor-
mation and provide preliminary training to help your new team member
hit the ground running.

Sitting in an empty conference room filling out paperwork can feel


isolating. Having employees complete forms online in advance frees up
time on their first day for answering questions and helping them feel
welcome.

Set up internal communications and training


In a separate email, guide new hires through setting up internal commu-
nication channels like company email, Slack accounts, Zenefits, Sales-
force, Jira, Trello, Asana or whatever other software they will be using.

Getting these logins set up before the first day — and giving your new
hire time to familiarize themselves with the programs — is a huge time-
saver.

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Include instructions for accessing your company’s online training portal.
That’s a great way to train them on policies, processes, software, and
anything else that’s unique to your company.

Prep their workspace


Make sure you have everything ready at the office: computer, workstation,
chair, office supplies, business cards, parking passes and anything else
new hires will need to do the job.

You may want to add a personalized touch to their desk, like a mug with
a company logo or some snacks.

Add their information to payroll and other important databases, and if


the new hire will be working remotely, speak with the IT department
to make sure that everything is prepared on your end—especially the
wifi password.

Prep the team


Make sure that everyone involved with this position and who will be
working with the new hire is informed of their start date. This includes
their team, of course, both internal and external, as well as other related
departments.

BambooHR has a fun way to speed this process along: during the on-
boarding process, they ask new hires to fill out a welcome questionnaire,
answering questions such as their favorite food, their hometown, and
the craziest thing they’ve done. They then send these responses in a
company-wide email, informing everyone of the new hire and starting
the process of breaking the ice.

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Plan for the
First Week

Work with the supervisor to create a schedule for the new hire’s first week.
This should include one-on-ones with key team members and meetings
with other relevant departments to get oriented.

Make sure the supervisor is prepared for their new hire onboarding re-
sponsibilities on that first day — having the supervisor involved, rather
than handling it all from within HR, helps to build that working rela-
tionship.

Create a customized checklist for new hires to track on their own. They
may be feeling flooded with new information and wondering when they
“actually get to work.” This will help them progress through any addi-
tional forms or training modules they need to complete.

Settle the new hire in


Start with a brief tour, and show them to their workstation. Give new
hires a moment to get settled in, familiarizing themselves with equip-
ment and software. This is also a good time for them to check out their
schedule for the week, read over policies, and come up with questions.

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In CareerBuilder.com’s 10 Commandments of Employee Onboarding, one
commandment states: “Thou shalt give thy employee thy undivided at-
tention.” In other words, on the first day while you are interacting with
new hires, remember not to let emails, phone calls or other employees
sidetrack you. Allowing yourself to be distracted sends the message,
“I’m not that into you” and it kills morale. Review the job and answer
their questions

It’s crucial to take time for a careful review of the job description and
responsibilities during the first day. According to a study by BambooHR,
“different work than expected” was one of the top reasons that new
hires leave a job quickly. Additionally, A study from the UK found that
companies lose $37 billion dollars each year as a result of employees not
understanding their jobs. Take this time to become clear about job re-
sponsibilities and expectations.

Provide a chance to meet the team


A fascinating 20-year study done at Tel Aviv University found that the
factor most closely linked to an employee’s overall health — good or
bad — was the support of coworkers. After all, they’re the people we
spend the most time with every day.

That’s why meeting the team is such an important section of the new
hire onboarding process checklist. Take time throughout the first day to
introduce the new hire around — both to direct teammates and to key
people in other departments. Formal meetings are fine in many cases,
but scheduling an informal event like a team lunch or a coffee social is a
great way to break the ice and start to form good co-worker bonds. You
can also assign a “buddy” in the department to check in on new hires,
or set up job shadowing opportunities and site visits.

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In Extreme Onboarding: How to Wow Your New Hires Rather than Numb
Them, Dr. John Sullivan describes some creative new hire onboarding
activities companies utilize. Rackspace uses games, skits, music and
even limbo. Bazaarvoice sends new hires on a weeklong scavenger hunt
designed to introduce the employee to company culture and jargon.

Get them started on a project


Don’t forget that the first week should be about more than just orienta-
tion. Identify and prepare the first project that your new hire can jump
into. This is one of the best ways to get them up to speed and productive.

Start with something that will give them a quick win and will provide the
strong foundation and confidence to keep going. Continue to provide
support, documentation and embedded training throughout the first
week, and establish a timeline to check in on their goals.

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Onboarding checklists don’t stop
at day one — or even week one

Integrating your new hire into the team doesn’t stop after the first day.
The first few months of employment are especially critical since employ-
ees are still evaluating their fit within the company and deciding how
they feel about the job. According to a BambooHR survey referenced
previously, 31% of people have quit a job within the first six months.

Work with your new hire’s supervisor to create a roadmap of milestones,


goals, and check-ins — and don’t forget about ongoing training. Bam-
booHR found that receiving organized, relevant and well-timed content
was the number one way respondents thought their employers could
improve the new hire onboarding process.

It takes coordination and careful planning to get a new hire up to speed.


But making the effort to prepare for new employees shows that your
organization is both competent and caring.

Use this checklist to keep track of each step of your new


hire onboarding process:

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New Hire
Checklist

Before they are hired


Welcome them to the team
Complete electronic paperwork
Set up their internal communication
HRIS account
Email account
Collaboration account (Slack, Asana, etc.)
Set up their training
Prep their workspace
Workstation (including IT connections)
Computer
Chair
Office supplies
Business cards
Parking passes
Prep the team
Intro email

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New Hire
Checklist

First Week
Settle in the new hire
Give them a chance to meet the team
Introductions
Informal event—team lunch, coffee social
Assign a mentor
Get them started on a project
Set a clear, well-explained goal
Provide all documentation and tools required
Make it clear where to turn if help is needed
Establish a timeline, and schedule a check-in

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BambooHR is the No. 1 online HR software for small and medium-sized
businesses that have outgrown using spreadsheets to manage their em-
ployee information. BambooHR’s intuitive interface, streamlined imple-
mentation process and responsive support team ensure a fail-safe tran-
sition from spreadsheets to our flexible Human Resource Information
System (HRIS) that adapts to your changing needs. Clients make time
for meaningful work by using BambooHR’s Applicant Tracking System
(ATS) and HRIS to manage the employee lifecycle. A winner of the 2013
Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and
Flexibility, BambooHR serves hundreds of thousands of employees in
70 countries worldwide.

To learn more, visit us.

Northpass is modern learning software that makes it easy for small and
mid-sized businesses to create and deliver a world-class training pro-
gram. Get new employees up to speed faster with content about your
policies and practices. Ensure compliance with courses from our catalog
of e-learning titles. Provide ongoing learning opportunities to keep your
people engaged and growing. All from a single, intuitive platform.
To learn more, visit us.

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