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Six-Step Process for a Successful New Employee Onboarding

Posted on March 29, 2021 // All, Human Resources (HR)

Your new employee onboarding process is very important. 

Companies should be doing their best to welcome new hires into the organization in a seamless and efficient way. 

In this post, we’re going to take you through the process of a successful employee onboarding. 

More specifically, we’re going to discuss the following:

  • How to set-up an efficient onboarding process
  • How to get everything ready before your new employee arrives
  • Elements you need to take care of on your employee’s first day at work

Plus, some more steps in the process. 

We’re also including an Employee Onboarding Checklist you can download and use to streamline your onboarding. 

We’ve got lots to cover, so let’s dive right into it. 


Six-Step Process for a Successful New Employee Onboarding

What is an Employee Onboarding Process?

Step #1: Set Up an Efficient Hiring Process

Step #2: Improve the Offer Stage

Step #3: Get Everything Ready Before Your New Hire’s Arrival

Step #4: Make Your New Hire Part of the Team Before They Even Arrive!

Step #5: Take Care of Your New Hire’s First Day at Work

Step #6: Ongoing Employee Orientation and Engagement

Employee Onboarding Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 



What is an Employee Onboarding Process?

Before we get deeper into why an efficient onboarding is important, let’s try to define what the process refers to. 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the new employee onboarding process is:

“The process of integrating a new employee with a company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team.” 

This definition gives us a very clear picture of the different steps and elements involved in the process. 

It notes the employee’s integration with the company and its culture, while also covering the important tools and information needed to be provided to the new hire. 

Put another way, the onboarding or recruitment process is basically an activity that starts with the hiring process and goes through a number of steps up until a new employee is fully engaged with the company and their new role. 

We therefore understand that such a process isn’t just the short period of time from the hiring process until the first day at work, as many professionals out there might tend to think. 

On the contrary, it’s a long time period that finishes when a new member of staff is fully onboard in their role. 

The reason why there’s so much talk about employee onboarding is because a thoughtful and well-structured onboarding process can increase employee retention and also boost employee engagement and morale. 

What’s better than that, right?

In fact, effective onboarding can have all sorts of benefits, including those highlighted in the graphic below:

Image Source: BambooHR

As we can see, efficiency in onboarding brings 18 times higher commitment to the organization and 30% higher culture integration. 

Additionally, it looks like effective onboarding brings yet another fantastic result, which is a 62% higher connectedness at work. 

Pretty neat, right?

Let’s get into the first step of the process.  


Step #1: Set Up an Efficient Hiring Process

The first step in the employee onboarding process is to set up an efficient hiring process

The whole onboarding process starts with the recruitment of potential employees. 

To be more precise, the whole thing starts with a clear job description

A vacancy that needs to be filled is your opportunity to start crafting a seamless onboarding experience. 

You might think that the job description and hiring process are far from the actual onboarding of your new hires but, in fact, those very first impressions are the ones that will give your potential employee an idea of what your company is about and possibly make them want to work at your company. 

Additionally, it’s vital that you do your best to get to know the candidates by conducting interviews with them. 

On that note, although video interviews might sound like a good idea, they eventually might not be as effective. 

An important thing to remember is to be transparent about your hiring process

You can do this by sending out detailed information to candidates about how long each step in the process lasts, what your hiring criteria is, and so on and so forth.  

During the hiring process, it’s also important to leave space for questions and other clarifications the candidates might need.

Overall, having a structured onboarding program can save you both time and money while helping you make sure that you follow a streamlined hiring process every time there’s a need for a new team member. 

Let’s get to the next step. 


Step #2: Improve the Offer Stage

After having worked on your hiring process, you need to have a closer look at the job offer stage

This stage is when you’ve actually found a candidate that’s perfect for the job and you think they will be a great asset to your company. 

During this stage, you need to communicate your decision to them and let them know that they’ve got the job!

Although they’ll probably be thrilled to know your decision anyway, that shouldn’t mean that you should underestimate the details of this step. 

On the contrary, there are a few things you could do to hit the mark. 

These are some of the things you should consider including at this stage:

  • Schedule a phone call with your new hire to officially share your offer
  • Write a killer offer letter to seal the deal
  • Complete salary negotiations wisely

Taking care of the details involved in this part of the process can lead to either making a deal or losing the candidate. 

Keep reading to find what the next step is. 


Step #3: Get Everything Ready Before Your New Hire’s Arrival

You’ve now got your new employee and have officially hired them. 

There are probably a few weeks left before your new hire starts working with you and your team. 

This means that there are some things to be done before the official start date. 

This third step usually includes all sorts of new hire paperwork

Some of the most useful company policies and forms you should consider sharing with your new hires are:

  • The employee handbook
  • The Work from Home (WFH) policy
  • The company social media policy 
  • An LGBTQ+ equality policy
  • A non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

To mention a few. 

Some company policies, like the WFH one, might be different depending on the circumstances and time when you’re crafting your policy. 

For example, given the rise of remote working because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can only assume that if you already have a WFH company policy, you should probably update it to fit the needs of the current situation. 

Author’s Note: Regarding the social media policy, we need to mention that this usually includes information on how restrictive a company is in terms of the use of social media (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) within the workplace.

In addition to taking care of paperwork, you should also make sure to set up anything your new employee might need, from their corporate phone number and email address to their equipment. 

The tech items you need to provide your employees with are:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop stand
  • Keyboard
  • Wireless mouse
  • Mouse pad
  • Power bank
  • Flash drive
  • Adapter
  • Headphones
  • Camera blocker

Plus, anything else you can think of that’s useful in a new job. 

Moving on. 


Step #4: Make Your New Hire Part of the Team Even Before They Arrive!

This is one of the most exciting steps in the process. 

You’re only a few days away from having a new person working with you and your team. 

Whether you’re working remotely or you’ve already gone back to the office, you need to make your new hire feel part of the team. 

This period of time is ideal to check-in with your HR team and get them to prepare any sort of HR documents that will be necessary for the new team member. 

Most importantly, this is your chance to enhance the onboarding experience by offering some thoughtful company branded items.  

We’re showing you a few inspiring welcome kits to give you an idea of what kind of swag items you could use at this step of your onboarding process. 

Here’s Nike’s welcome kit:

Image Source: Medium

As you can see, the company includes a few popular promotional items, including a coffee mug and a set of headphones. 

Here’s one more example of a company welcome kit:

Image Source: Facebook

This one also includes a coffee mug, while it has a wide range of branded items like desk organizers, magnets, stickers, and more. 

The list of items you could send to your employees prior to their first day at work is endless. 

No matter what you send them, as long as it’s thoughtful, it will increase the chances of creating a good employee onboarding experience that ultimately helps increase employee satisfaction. 

Let’s now move forward to the next step we have for you. 


Step #5: Take Care of Your New Hire’s First Day at Work

Drumroll, please… 

The first day of your new hire at work has arrived!

This is your big opportunity to welcome them, communicate  your company culture to them, and make them aware of your workflow, as well as anything else that could be useful to them so they can hit the ground running. 

This is the day to introduce the new team member to the rest of the team and show them your appreciation for being with you.  

Photo by Leon on Unsplash

If you’re using an employee onboarding software, then you probably won’t have to do as much, given that such a technology usually includes automations that facilitate transition for the new hires. 

Especially for enterprises where many stakeholders are involved in different projects across all departments, this first day at work can be a great opportunity for a new hire to have a meeting with their new manager and co-workers. 

Let’s get to the final step that closes up the onboarding process. 


Step #6: Ongoing Employee Orientation and Engagement

The final step is slightly more abstract than the ones we’ve already discussed. 

This is because it doesn’t have a specific timeframe. 

A new employee onboarding can usually be considered complete and successful after months, in some cases after a year. 

That’s why the final, long step in the onboarding process is to provide your new hires with ongoing employee orientation and to boost engagement

Although the first week is usually the best time for new hires to get to know everyone, from their co-workers and managers to other people working at the company, there might still be a transition time where they still have to get to know people and settle into their new role. 

Organizing monthly meetings to check in with everyone, setting up team sessions to make sure all teams within the company are working happily and efficiently together, and making sure everyone is getting any kind of support – including mental health support – they might need are some key areas you should be focusing on. 

Remember, the best employees are the happy ones and that employee performance is often in relation to the atmosphere HR professionals are creating for their employees. 

Mentoring and coaching is an ongoing process that doesn’t end within the first weeks of someone’s arrival at the workplace. 

On the contrary, from startups to enterprises, all companies need to show that they care for their employees and how they feel from day one to as long as they remain in the company. 

We understand that the process can be a bit challenging, so we’ve created an employee onboarding checklist template that can help you keep track of your onboarding tasks and avoid missing anything important. 

Let’s dive into it. 


Employee Onboarding Checklist

You now have a clear understanding of what some of the most important elements of a successful employee onboarding are. 

Our checklist can be your guide for keeping track of the process, as well as of the main tasks involved in it. 

Let’s get started with our first step. 

As we’ve seen already, the first step is to set up an efficient hiring process and there are four main actions involved in it. 

Author’s Note: Every company has its own needs and processes. That’s why the template we’re showing you here is fully editable and you can adjust it based on your needs. 

In case you’re onboarding more than one person at the same time, it’d be useful to rename each tab you’re using, thus facilitating the recording of the process. 

Have a look:

After having renamed the tab we’re currently working on, we can move forward to changing the status of each of our tasks. 

Here’s how:

By using the status checklist, you can give each task one of the following tags:

  • In Progress
  • Completed
  • Not Started

Our first task, to write a clear job description, is now completed and we’re getting to the next one. 

Have a look at how we’re easily keeping track of our progress:

As soon as we’ve completed the first step, we’re moving on. 

Given that we’re still working on the actions of this second step, we’ve given them the In Progress and Not Started tags. 

The same process applies to all steps shown in the checklist we’ve created for you. 

After you’ve completed all of the steps, you can focus on the final one that lasts for a longer period of time. 

As soon as these are all completed, you can mark your new hire’s onboarding process as fully completed. 

Last but not least, you could also use the template to write down comments about specific actions or steps. 

Overall, using such a checklist can save you valuable time and effort. 

This way, you can be sure not to miss any important step of the process and make your new hire’s onboarding experience as seamless as possible. 

You can access our template here:

Employee Onboarding Checklist 

Keep reading for our final thoughts as well as to get answers to some frequently asked questions.


Ready to Start Onboarding New Employees?

We’ve created this post to take you through an efficient and hassle-free employee onboarding process.

To be more precise, we talked about a number of steps, starting from writing a clear job description, to providing your employees with ongoing orientation and mentoring. 

Within this process, there are a few steps we can specifically help you with, particularly in terms of creating stronger personal and professional relationships through using thoughtful branded items to connect with your new hires and make them feel part of the team. 

With over three decades of experience in the swag industry, we know for sure that love-made onboarding kits can make a huge difference in how a new hire feels in their first days and weeks working with a company. 

Good luck creating your thoughtful swag packs for your new hires! 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

The employee onboarding process might be confusing or time-consuming to some of you. 

That’s why we’ve tried to give some simple answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. 

Here’s the first one. 

Q1. Why is employee onboarding so important?

Employee onboarding is important because it’s firmly linked to employee engagement and employee retention. 

In other words, a successful onboarding can help companies have happier employees, thus increasing employee retention. 

Q2. Is employee onboarding part of HR?

The employee onboarding includes the involvement of the human resources (HR) department of a company. 

Usually, a hiring supervisor, also called a hiring manager, is responsible for it. 

The involvement of the HR team is vital to ensure the success of the onboarding and facilitate the process with the goal of making the process as easy and stress-free as possible. 

Q3. How long is the onboarding process?

Generally speaking, the onboarding process starts with the hiring process and lasts until a new hire is ready to perform and undertake their new role as expected. 

Q4. What should be included in employee onboarding?

The duration of employee onboarding varies depending on a number of factors. 

An efficient employee onboarding needs to include a number of things, including the following:

  • A seamless hiring process
  • New hire paperwork
  • A new hire welcome kit with thoughtful, branded company items
  • Technical equipment set-up
  • Ongoing training and orientation

To mention a few. 

Q5. Is onboarding the same as training?

Onboarding and training are not the same thing, yet they are connected.

Training is an ongoing process that’s often included in the onboarding process and refers to the activities that teach a new hire the technicalities of their role.

Q6. What are onboarding forms?

Onboarding forms are documents in relation to a new hire’s onboarding to a company. 

They are usually sent to the new member of the team prior to their first day at work and include important information the company needs to collect about their employee. 

Q7. Is there a difference between employee onboarding and employee orientation?

Employee onboarding refers to a number of onboarding activities and actions a company needs to take in order to fully onboard a new hire. 

Employee orientation usually takes place in the first weeks or months of the employee onboarding process. 

Q8. Should an employee welcome kit be included in the onboarding process?

An employee welcome kit should definitely be included in the onboarding process. 

Such a kit can help a new hire feel a valued member of the team as well as helping companies connect with their employees. 



Featured image by Hunters Race on Unsplash.



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