If you've ever joined a new company and been unsure how you fit in, you'll know the benefits of employee onboarding. For managers, however, the gains are more quantifiable. They include:

  1. Better job performance
  2. Greater commitment to the organization
  3. Reduced stress
  4. Higher job satisfaction
  5. Better retention (and associated cost savings)

The cost of hiring a new employee averages around $65,000 and it takes are 5 months of full time employment to bring new hires up to full productivity. Failure to properly onboard a new hire will cost significant amounts of time and money.

A quality process, like the one outlined in this employee onboarding checklist, costs a fraction of the resources and aims to ramp an employee up to full productivity in under 90 days, depending on the complexity of the role.

So, let's get underway with the process and run through this employee onboarding checklist with your new hire.

Before first day:

Prepare paperwork

To kick off the employee onboarding checklist, you need to prepare the relevant paperwork and information prior to the employee's first day. Start by recording the employee's basic information in the form fields below.

This part of the process is called transactional onboarding and focuses on completing all the necessary forms and documents so your new employee can legally start working.

Some of the forms you need to prepare are:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
    Insurance forms
  • 4
    Direct deposit forms
  • 5
    The non-disclosure agreement

However, there are more forms you might need, specific to your company. Good software to use is Applicant PRO which operates like CRM for onboarding including all the necessary forms and documents and stores them in an online database.


Using the Members form field below, assign the individual who will approve the employee's paperwork.

Approval: Employee paperwork

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Prepare paperwork
    Will be submitted

Discuss role, goals and projects with supervisor

During the training period, your new employee should work closely with a supervisor or mentor. A supervisor ensures the new employee is oriented in the organization, policies, facilities and more. 

To ensure this process goes well, you should discuss the new employee's role with their supervisor. Discuss the goals you have set for the new hire and think of appropriate projects that would be beneficial for the training period. Note all of these in the appropriate form fields below.


Prepare employee's workstation

When preparing the workstation ensure it follows the comfort and health guidelines. Prepare the employee's workstation before they arrive to avoid any delays on their first day. Include items like:

  • Furniture (desk, chair)
  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Desk supplies (business card, stapler, letterhead, paper, pens etc.)

If you really want to impress your new employee, add items like branded pens, backpack, t-shirt or mug on your employee's desk.

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Give access to any tools they will need

Before your employee arrives, it is important to prepare the necessary tools and ensure your new hire will be able to access them. Fill in (or add to) the form fields below as necessary.

Also consider details like (but not limited to):

  • Keys to rooms they will need access to
  • Company mobile phone

To make sure you provide your employee with all the necessary items, you can note down the steps you take each day and what tools you use. You can also make a checklist here on Process Street that you can also use in future when distributing tools to new employees ensuring you remember everything.

Create accounts

No self-respecting employee onboarding checklist would be complete without making sure that you create all the accounts required by the new employee. Fill in (or add to) the form fields below as necessary.

As shown above, create accounts on all social platforms your company uses. Your employee should have their own email and phone line. If your company uses apps like Slack or Trello you should create an account there as well.

Assign required reading

Each job comes with its own tricks and strategies. Often a company will want to have certain books or articles read by the employees to keep everyone on the same page.

These books should be relevant to the job position

For example, when hiring someone to create checklists you can offer them to read The Checklist Manifesto or The Checklist Manifesto Quotes

Prepare benefits package

It is important for every employee to know which benefits packages come with the job. Here is some commonly required information your employee will want to know:

  • Explain how the position is funded. You might have already discussed it in the interview, but your employee will appreciate a confirmation.
  • Let your employee know what benefits package they will receive based on their level of experience and current job market. Let them know some details about the budget so they are aware of the potential promotions and salary range
  • Inform your employee on vacation time and health benefits they will receive.

Provide a summary of this information in writing; upload a copy of this summary to the form field below.

To help them understand the benefits package better, go over it at their own pace, perhaps share it with their partner and help them plan their financial situation.

Ensuring a financial stability and informing your employee on the exact monetary situation is a good way to make them feel comfortable and worry-free, therefore making sure they focus on their work and feel appreciated as workers.


Provide a job description with responsibilities

You have discussed the job in more detail during the interview, but now it's time to give specific instructions on what you expect your employee to do. Upload a copy of this specific job description to the form field below.

If you would like a guideline for this document, see above for a detailed job description template.

Note the necessary qualifications, you can use this place to mention the required reading. You should also list your new employee's key responsibilities and a short description.

This form can later be used as a guideline for employee evaluation. You can see if the goals you set have been made, responsibilities executed and your employee's skills are sufficient for the task.

First day:

Welcome to the team

Often a new employee will arrive during a busy working week. In this case welcoming the new hire is overlooked and they are not caught up to speed with the team or new role. To avoid this, you should clear your schedule and make the new employee the number one priority for the day.

You should introduce them to the team - talk about their role, tell them why you selected them - this will help the rest of the team remember them better. Notify your team in advance that the new employee is arriving so they can schedule some time to get to know them.


Tour of the office

Take your employee on a tour around the office. Let them know where all the important and common areas are. Make sure they know where to find:

  • Kitchen
  • Reception
  • Bathroom
  • Their workspace
  • Support desk
  • HR area
  • Their mentor's office

There might be more areas such as the IT department, sales department and others more specific to your company. If you practice an open door system you can show the new employee where your office is and encourage them to visit you if they have any questions.

Assign training material

Send your introductory training material, or add the employee to your LMS and assign the relevant courses.

Explain your expectations

If you want your employees to perform well you need to let them know what you expect. Outline the general areas of knowledge and skills required to ensure your employee is successful in his/her job. Think about:

  • What goods and services should the job produce?
  • What impact should the work have on the organization?
  • How do you expect the employee to act with clients, colleagues, and supervisors?
  • What are the organizational values the employee must demonstrate?
  • What are the processes, methods, or means the employee is expected to use?


Induct into company culture

Usually, this step is covered by the HR team. Have them contact your new employee to explain details such as:

  • When s/he must arrive at the office
  • Where s/he must park
  • How s/he will access the building
  • What your company’s dress code is


Assign a mentor

To ensure your new employee has the opportunity to seek help and work productively, you should assign a mentor.

They will ensure the employee quickly learns about the job and has assistance throughout the process. 

It is important to find a good candidate for mentoring, you can check out these 15 characteristics of a successful mentor to ensure you find the right fit.


Take out to lunch

You should take your new employee out for lunch. If you have already introduced them to their mentor it might be a good idea to have lunch with both of them.

Avoid discussing work during this time, it should be purely about getting to know one another.

First week:

Assign first project

Once your new employee has settled in, got to know the team and feels comfortable in the workplace you should assign their first project.

This will ensure they learn the job hands on and feel valuable to the company, rather than doing menial tasks.

Using the Members form field below, assign the individual who will approve the first project assignment.

Approval: First project

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Assign first project
    Will be submitted

Explain expectations for the following month

You have already explained the overall expectations, but now it's time to let your employee know the specifics

Refer to the job description and make a plan for your employee to follow; let them know exactly what they will be expected to do. If possible, notify them of any upcoming projects and predicted workflow.

Meet to check over paperwork

Schedule a meeting with the employee and a member from the HR team to ensure all the forms are filled and correct. Record the date of the meeting in the form field below.

Use this time to let your employee know if there is any other paperwork for them to fill in including tax forms.

Ask a member from the HR team to explain everything to your employee and tell them about the specifics. Let the new employee know he/she is encouraged to ask any questions and can use this time to discuss any and all work related paperwork issues.

First month:

Plan check-in meetings

You should schedule meetings with the employee for the first month. Use this time to address any issues and concerns your employee might have. You should also spend the meetings offering some constructive criticism and advice on different tasks. 

A good way to schedule these meetings is by using Google Calendar. Add your employee to the event and make sure you are both ready for the meeting.

Explain long-term goals

There are some long term goals your company is moving towards. You should let your employee know where s/he fits in the picture

Letting your employee know that he/she is involved in some long term goals will make them feel more secure and understand the mission they are working to achieve.

Provide reading material for personal growth

Now that you have decided where exactly your new employee fits in you should encourage them to further their knowledge in the field. Ask them to read books, articles and magazines about the appropriate themes.

Encourage them to socially interact with the team

Have your new employee interact with the team. If the team members interact with each other they will work together much better. Perhaps you can organize some out of work activities for the team to make sure they build good relationships and enjoy operating as a team.

Review onboarding process over the next 60 days

Once the employee is settled in and feels more comfortable in the workplace it's time for you to review your onboarding process. Evaluate the steps that do and don't work for you.

Ask your employee for their opinion, perhaps create a survey and hear their thoughts to improve your onboarding process in the future.

Once you've got your results, create a new employee onboarding checklist here in Process Street to work through in the future.


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