People Management
9 min.

The Ultimate New Hire Onboarding Checklist for 2024

Sarah Busque
Last updated on 11 Jan. 2024
Published on 19 Oct. 2022
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Your onboarding program is a key component of your hiring process and the best employee retention tool in your arsenal. Fully onboarding a new hire can take up to several months, with multiple phases and steps for HR to complete.

Table of contents

Fully onboarding a new hire can take up to several months, with multiple phases and steps for HR to complete. In this article, we briefly look at the four stages of onboarding new hires. We also provide a comprehensive new hire checklist template to help you improve your practices for onboarding new employees.

Four phases of the onboarding process

1. Preboarding new employees

The employee preboarding stage begins the moment a candidate accepts a job offer and lasts until they arrive for their first official day on the job. How you welcome new employees and pre-board them can make or break the early employee experience.

Better onboarding, improved retention.

Employee onboarding and integration is at the heart of retention. Simplify these processes with Agendrix.

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A good preboarding experience will make a great first impression with new hires and help keep their interest in the job and company alive. A poor preboarding experience, on the other hand, may entice them to consider other job offers on the table.

During this phase, new employees:

  • Begin to form relationships with the company and work peers
  • Will probably have many questions about their new role
  • May need to give notice to their current employer
  • May even need to relocate

It’s during this stage that the new employee’s onboarding schedule is planned. A number of HR documents may also need to be signed.

2. Welcoming your new hire

This second stage of new hire onboarding begins with the employee’s first official day at work. This stage is typically associated with formal employee onboarding.

Welcoming new employees with an effective and enjoyable onboarding process shows them that you respect and value them as a new team member.

During this phase, new hires:

The HR team will also need to complete several onboarding workflows during this phase, such as payroll, benefits enrollment, issuing equipment, IT setup, etc.

Depending on the new hire’s role or the company’s onboarding process, this phase can last just a few days or a few weeks.

3. Role-specific training

By this point, new hires are ready to learn more about their specific team and role. Providing early training specific to the new hire’s role is essential for ensuring the employee’s job satisfaction, performance and retention. This is especially important for new hires who are working multiple job sites.

Providing adequate training will help new hires feel part of the team. It will also put them more at ease as they get a glimpse of the challenges that await them in their new role.

During this phase, new hires:

  • Become familiar with their role-specific work tools
  • Are introduced to the team’s role and goals
  • Begin socializing with their team members
  • Begin learning the dynamics of their team

This phase usually takes new hires to about their 30-day mark at the company;  sometimes beyond.

4. Transition to a new role and goal setting

By the time most new hires arrive at this final stage of employee onboarding, they are ready to become full-fledged employees. They should have a clear sense of their responsibilities, the team’s dynamics and the company culture and its processes.

The goal of this stage is to help new employees improve their performance so that they can meet expectations. At this point, it can be a good idea to give new employees smart goals to help them visualize what quality, productivity and success look like.

During this phase, new hires:

  • Are familiar with their team and its dynamics, goals and projects
  • Are ready to take on more responsibilities and contribute more to team efforts
  • May have a mentor as they transition fully into their role
  • Should have regular one-on-one meetings with their manager or a senior team member
  • Are ready for their initial performance reviews
  • Should be given clear, short-term goals for the months to follow

This onboarding stage generally starts around the 30-day mark and should continue until the new hire is confident and comfortable in their role. Depending on the employee and the role, this process can last several months.

Agendrix employee onboarding software can help improve onboarding processes.

Better onboarding, improved retention.

Employee onboarding and integration is at the heart of retention. Simplify these processes with Agendrix.

Discover Agendrix

New hire checklist

Preboarding checklist

Step 1: Send a message to the new employee

Include in the email:

  • A warm welcome
  • The date, time and location of their first day at work
  • A structured schedule for their first day
  • A reminder of any documents they need to bring
  • Information about the company’s dress code
  • The name and contact information of their onboarding buddy
  • An invitation to ask questions or provide feedback
  • A link to the employee handbook
  • A link to the company’s website and social media

Step 2: Send a communication to existing employees

Include in the email:

  • The name, job title and department/team of the new employee
  • The date, time and location of the employee’s first day at work
  • A bit of background information about the new employee (work experience, education, skills, personal interests)
  • Invitation to attend a welcome coffee or lunch for the new employee, with the date, time and location

Step 3: Prepare the workspace and equipment for the new employee

  • Order new tools or materials (uniform, name tag, ID card, office key, business cards, IT equipment, parking pass, etc.)
  • Add the new employee to the company calendar and mailing lists
  • Prepare the necessary HR documents and forms
  • Prepare a welcome package
  • Organize the welcome coffee or lunch
  • Create a company email account for the employee (if required)

First day onboarding checklist

Step 1: Hold the welcome coffee and office tour

  • Meet and greet the new employee upon their arrival
  • Organize a morning coffee to introduce the new employee to the team
  • Give the employee the company welcome package
  • Take the employee on a tour of the office or facilities
  • Review the company employee handbook or info sheet with the employee

Step 2: Set up the new employee’s workstation and equipment

  • Provide the new employee with the necessary materials (office supplies, office key, parking or elevator card, etc.)
  • Help the employee set up any work or IT equipment
  • Provide instructions for using IT, office or other equipment

Step 3: Finalize HR paperwork

  • Discuss compensation and benefits with the employee
  • Explain work policies and procedures
  • Explain safety and security policies
  • Review the code of conduct
  • Complete any remaining new hire paperwork (forms, contracts, etc.)

Step 4: Have the employee meet the site manager

  • Briefly present the history of the company
  • Share the company’s mission, vision and values
  • Provide a short overview of the industry
  • Explain the company’s goals
  • Detail how the new employee fits in

Step 5: Have the employee meet their new manager

  • Have a friendly chat to break the ice
  • Explain the company’s organizational chart
  • Discuss the new employee’s job description
  • Explain your expectations for the new employee
  • Ask the new employee about their expectations
  • Set goals for the new employee for the first few months
  • Discuss the employee’s career goals
  • Start building their career development plan
  • Invite the new employee to ask questions or provide feedback

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First week checklist

  • Check in daily with the new employee
  • Schedule regular 1:1 meetings with the new employee
  • Schedule times to introduce the new employee to the different teams
  • Schedule training on work tools (equipment, IT software, etc.)
  • Recommend useful resources or reading
  • Organize social activities to help the new employee get to know other team members
  • Invite the new employee to ask questions or provide feedback

First, third and sixth month checklist

  • Have the new employee fill out the onboarding survey
  • Conduct an employee progress review
  • Providing any additional relevant training material or sessions
  • Organize social activities to solidify the new employee within the team
  • Invite the new employee to ask questions or provide feedback

Template for onboarding process for new hires

The Word template below covers the entire onboarding process for new hires, with a list of all onboarding tasks to be completed during the different phases of the onboarding process. It also lets you specify who is responsible for each task and by which date.

The 5 C’s of employee onboarding

A good employee onboarding program should adhere to five best practices for integrating new hires:

  1. Compliance: the onboarding program should comply with regional legal rules and obligations.
  2. Clarification: the onboarding program should ensure new employees have a clear idea of their roles and what is expected of them in terms of performance, behavior, presence, etc.
  3. Confidence: the onboarding program should make new hires feel capable of handling the challenges of their new job.
  4. Connection: the onboarding program should reinforce the employee’s belief that they made the right choice in accepting the job.
  5. Culture: the onboarding program should ensure that new hires understand and embrace the company’s mission, vision and values.

How to make your onboarding process productive

Be welcoming!

Leaving a new hire all on their own during their first day–unsure of what to do or who to turn to for help–is extremely demoralizing. So is making them watch mind-numbing training videos all day.

A new hire’s first day should be informative, but also fun and personal. Treating new employees to a warm and inviting welcome is an easy and incredibly effective way to secure employee retention.

Stick to a well-structured checklist

Your employee onboarding program is essentially your game-plan for fully integrating new hires. Having a well-structured employee onboarding checklist based on best practices will ensure a successful onboarding process, with no skipped or overlooked steps.

Sticking to a well-structured new employee onboarding checklist shows new hires that you have put careful thought and effort into ensuring they enter their new role with an enjoyable employee experience. It also shows that you value attention to detail and fairness to all employees.

Dedicate time to questions and feedback

All new employees will have plenty of questions in their first days and weeks on the job. As you work your way through the employee onboarding checklist, leave time for inviting the employee to ask questions or even provide feedback on the onboarding process.

Engaged and productive employees tend to hold onto their jobs longer. One way to promote employee engagement and productivity is through open, two-way communication. Getting employee feedback on the onboarding process can also help the HR team fine-tune certain steps to achieve a more successful onboarding program.

Use an employee onboarding software to ease onboarding

Having an efficient employee onboarding process is the first step to improving employee performance and retention—and in turn, business results.

Agendrix employee onboarding software lets you make the onboarding feel more personal and adapted to your new hire. Successfully onboard new employees with ease, all while seamlessly collecting the information you need for HR purposes.

Better onboarding, improved retention.

Employee onboarding and integration is at the heart of retention. Simplify these processes with Agendrix.

Discover Agendrix
  1. Manage employee onboarding as well as scheduling, time sheets, etc. all from a single software.
  2. Access flexible and affordable monthly plans that adapt to your business requirements.
  3. Benefit from user training and ongoing support.
Your questions answered.

What is included in an onboarding checklist?

An employee onboarding checklist includes all of the steps and individual onboarding tasks that need to be completed during a smooth onboarding process:

  • Preboarding
  • Welcoming
  • Training
  • Goal setting

Following a checklist for onboarding new hires will ensure that all employees benefit from the same, well-thought out onboarding process and that nothing slips between the cracks.

How do you make the ultimate onboarding checklist?

You can find lots of employee onboarding checklists online. Use them as inspiration to create your own checklist. Or you can use Agendrix’s free employee onboarding checklist template, which follows employee onboarding best practices.

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