New Hire Onboarding

Your Step-By-Step Guide to New Hire Onboarding [+ Free Template]


As we move towards a more dynamic market environment, organizations across all the industries need to work on re-defining and re-imagining their new hire onboarding process to survive in this competitive market. 

Why is an onboarding checklist important? It is the first peek a new hire gets inside the organization’s culture. Our approach toward the new employee onboarding process helps set expectations for the new hires on the first day itself. So, its very import that you build a checklist for new employees template to not only increase efficiency but also to not miss out on important stuff

Creating a smooth onboarding process will help the new hires understand the company environment and help the organisation achieve employee satisfaction.

What is New Hire Onboarding?

In simple words, the process of efficiently introducing new hires to the company is known as Onboarding. It can be very organization-specific as different companies might have different needs and business functions. But even after being a little different in the larger picture, some basic steps of the onboarding plan for new hires that build up the process remain the same.

In this article, we will talk about how we can use these basic steps to build up an efficient employee onboarding process flow and give us the effective results that we desire.

First, let’s talk about the Importance of the employee onboarding process: 

How is employee onboarding beneficial?

Research by the Brandon Hall Group shows that a good onboarding process can improve employee retention by around 82%. Along with this, here are a few more benefits of an efficient onboarding process:

An enhanced employee experience

Your onboarding process is a new hire’s first impression of the company. You have to ensure that it effectively highlights the organisation’s values, systems, and culture. When your candidates undertake an efficient and well-planned onboarding process, it acts as a productive step towards a good employee experience. Moreover, you should take into account their predictive index results types to tailor the onboarding experience to their needs and make them feel welcome.

Attracting new and better talent

A good onboarding process and an enhanced employee engagement definitely call for better feedback towards the organization. If the process does not go as seamlessly as planned, a new hire can provide negative feedback, and their dissatisfaction can be portrayed in front of other potential hires as well.

A suitable onboarding procedure not only saves you from this threat but also improves the chances of employees referring new people to your organization.

A more engaged workplace

An onboarding process is an amalgamation of buddy meets, team and manager meetings, etc. These meetings will help break the ice and make the new hires comfortable in the new surroundings.

A stronger company culture

As studies mention, 70 percent of those with exceptional onboarding experiences say they have “the best possible job.”

As mentioned earlier, your onboarding process gives insights into your organizational culture. When you work on improving the onboarding experience by all means- be it ice-breaking with the team, understanding the company functioning, or completing the necessary formalities- you showcase your attempts to provide them with an employee-centric environment. 

How to onboard a new employee

Timeline of the events of new employee’s onboarding process

  1. The first week after offer acceptance – The new hire onboarding process begins as soon as the candidate accepts the offer. The first step is to create a  WhatsApp group with all the POCs from the company and the candidate. 
  2. The second week – This is where all the packages that need to be sent out to the new hire’s location are to be sent and tracked. This includes company swag kits and laptops. 
  3. A week before joining day – Sending out communication emails, setting up official email ids, and asking for documentation needs to be completed a week before the joining date.
  4. Buddy – Apart from this, an introduction to the new hire buddy and the manager also needs to be completed this week.

Let’s discuss all the above steps in the onboarding process:

Setting up open communication channels with the new hire after offer acceptance

Let’s go back to the day before our first joining day in a new organization, we all have faced the fact of being super anxious about what the first day is going to be like and also what is going to be expected of us. This step helps in cancelling out the nerves.

  • Setting up a WhatsApp group with the company’s HR team along with the CEO, the manager and the buddy of the new hire bridges the gap in communication between the two parties and gives a platform for effective query resolution. 
  • Any new hire will and should have multiple questions; the last thing you want them to feel is confused about where to direct them.
  • This WhatsApp group can be ideally set up right when the individual accepts the offer.
  • This will create a smooth channel for communication from the start without waiting for the joining date.
setting up open communication channel

Building a connection with the company before the first day of the job

  • This connection can be built by having a conversation in the Whatsapp group about the company policies and letting them know about the products and services. 
  • This can be achieved by sending them the Employee Handbook and Culture Manifesto via email prior to the date of joining. 
  • This will give the new employee a brief idea about the company and the values it works on. 
  • Apart from this, a small snippet of any upcoming event that the company might be looking forward to, maybe an offsite activity, can be shared with the employee to create excitement.
  • Another way of doing this would be sending company SWAG kits to the new employees’ homes before their start date.
company swag

Setting up all the Tech accesses before the first day

  • From creating their official company email ID to giving them access to the platform that is used for the company’s internal communication before the DOJ, not only helps in better communication but also helps the new hire to get adjusted to the platforms before they start. 
  • Keeping this step for the first day would cause a waste of time as the new employee might spend the entire day getting accustomed to the platforms and would not be able to focus on the training aspect.

Introducing the new hire to their Buddy & Manager before the first day

  • Establishing strong relationships across the organization and the team that the new hire is going to be a part of is also a very important step in an efficient onboarding process.
  • Now, who is a new hire buddy? A buddy is someone who is the new hire’s teammate and is the designated first point of contact for the new hire in the team. 
  • A new hire buddy program helps in building a strong communication channel between the new hire and the team as all the project or team-related queries can be effectively handled by the team-mate itself.
  • We, at Springworks, have incentivised the Buddy Program, called the Buddy of the Quarter, which awards the best buddy rated by new hires in the past 3 months. This is judged by running a pulse survey and asking the employees to rate their buddies on a scale of 1-5, on various aspects of their support. 
  • Setting up calls with the buddy and manager in the week prior to the joining helps in building up team relationships from the base and promotes the facilitation of 1:1 dialogues based on the job role of the new employee and the expectations.
buddy system

First-day Orientation

  • The most important day of any new hire’s onboarding journey with a new organization is the day of joining. 
  • A new-hire orientation is an event that introduces a new employee to the structure, vision, mission, and values of the organization and, highlights major policies; completes required employee paperwork.
  •  This is a crucial day in an organisation’s employee’s life cycle. If anything goes wrong here, it might set up later steps of failure. 

Introduction to the company

new hire introduction
  • Letting the team know about a new hire’s arrival is a crucial part of the onboarding process, but letting the entire organization know about their arrival is also very important. 
  • Creatively announcing the joining of a new employee using introductory one-liners like ‘what is their favorite cuisine’ or ‘what do they prefer between a cup of coffee or tea’ helps in breaking the ice effectively within the internal team and cross-functional teams as well.
  • Another creative way that we tend to introduce our new joiners at Springworks is via Intro Quizzes, which we launch on a companywide channel. Trivia can help you create customized employee onboarding quizzes
  • People playing these custom quizzes automatically get to know the new hire better and can break the ice easily in future meetings!

New hire Check Ins ( 30-60-90 )

  • Check-ins with the new hires on a regular basis are very important to understand the gaps in the new hire onboarding process and also to create a sense of care for the new hires.
  • These check-ins can be executed at time intervals of 30 days, 60 days and 90 days from their first day of joining. 
  • They can be taken up by the HR team and kept as simple as asking the new hire ‘How is it going?’ at the 30-day mark. 
  • The check-in around 60 days would revolve around how we can support the employee in settling better at his job and if there is anything that is bothering them.
  • The 90-day check-in is the last and most important step in this process, as this is where the actual questions of productivity and efficiency are raised. ‘How can you do better’ is the basis of this step of the check-in. 

A new employee needs to have a clear understanding of what success looks like in the first 3 months and later of joining the company. They should understand how their job role contributes to the holistic growth of the organization. 

This is crucial because understanding this will help them in performing better, thus making it easier to achieve targets and strategic organizational objectives. 

A defined set of tasks and goals may be crucial in aiding a new employee in prioritizing and structuring work, as well as achieving some fast wins that provide the groundwork and momentum for the individual’s future success.

Over time, a job may change, adapt, and grow more intricate, but having clarity at the onset will provide a foundation from which the person may adapt more easily.

Smooth onboarding & offboarding are crucial for employee success and satisfaction. A shaky start affects the confidence of a new hire and makes the hiring decision questionable for the company. The best employee onboarding process is the one that never ends. 

The onboarding program needs to be the blueprint for an individual development plan that tends to build a strong foundation of the employee’s cultural alignment and performance in their specific job role.

Don’t forget to check our employee onboarding guide here


What are the 4 phases of onboarding?

Induction & Orientation– Introduction to the company and its key personnel, examination of the manual, significant policies, relevant compliance documents, and exploration of the company’s values are all part of orientation.

Training– Inform a new hire of their regular responsibilities and any other information they require to position them for long-term success.

Transitional support – Provide existing organizational members with the training they need to assist newly hired employees in understanding their roles and achieving maximum productivity.

Growth & Development– Create strategies for ongoing professional and personal development so that both the individual and the company may achieve their objectives and be successful.

In this article, you can find new employee onboarding best practices.

What are the 5 C’s of onboarding?

Compliance– In simple terms, compliance is getting all the paperwork in line along with fulfilling the legal requirements and rules of hiring a new employee.
Clarification– How effectively new employees understand their jobs and performance standards is referred to as clarification. This is a practice that is an integral part of the process as this helps in setting up expectations at the beginning of the employee’s life cycle in the organization, thus giving an idea about the level of performance required to achieve the listed expectations.
Confidence– This is the basic feeling of how capable a new hire feels to perform the job role assigned to him. Even if a company cannot directly improve the self-esteem of new hires, it can nonetheless create an onboarding process that will uplift employees rather than undermine them. Employees are more likely to feel good about their surroundings, their decision to work for your company, and themselves when they feel more confident.
Connection– Establishing an effective network of connections is another important aspect of effectively onboarding new hires. This helps in developing their willingness to assimilate into the culture of the organization.
Culture– The term “Culture” describes how well new employees comprehend the goals, objectives, and core principles of their new company.

What are the top three keys to a successful onboarding program?

Connection– For new employees, interpersonal connections are essential. Connection is, therefore the first element of a good onboarding campaign. The connection extends beyond simply introducing a new employee to their teammates. Connection develops a friendly and encouraging environment and offers the tools and resources an employee needs to feel at home in a new company.
Culture– A strong employee connection requires guiding new hires through the culture and assisting them in finding their place within it. Every entity has its own particular culture build-up. Introducing the employee to the company’s culture and gradually expecting them to accept it is a very important practice. 
Communication– At every level of a company, poor communication can cause problems. Making new recruits feel at ease and secure in their new work requires having good communication with them as soon as possible. Each job’s expectations should be clear to employees. The onboarding experience for new employees is greatly influenced by training and support.

Why is New Hire onboarding important?

Onboarding new employees is important since it absorbs new employees into an organization. New recruits are given the information, training, and support they need to become effective members of the team.

Onboarding also aids in acclimating, engaging, and retaining staff. Acclimating personnel familiarizes them with the company’s requirements as well as its resources.

Once new recruits are familiar with the organization and their jobs, they might become involved. This is significant because engaged employees are more productive and are more likely to remain around since they care about performance objectives and want the firm to succeed.

What is the most important part of onboarding?

In order for onboarding to be successful, both you and the employer should be learning during the process. It should also be well-planned, lively, individual, sociable, and meaningful.

Keeping it a one-way street might cause an information overload on the new hire that might affect the speed at which they feel comfortable in the organization.

Bonus: Free Employee Onboarding Template

Check out our employee onboarding checklist template to ensure that you are ready to welcome new hires, and prepare yourself with an onboarding checklist. Download it here

Ashwini Bhatnagar

I am an HR executive at Sprigworks, I give words to people's experiences.

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