Onboarding Checklist: A Step By Step Guide To Welcoming Your New Hires

Does your HR team have an onboarding checklist to ensure that they hit all the high notes with new hires?

Onboarding Checklist: A Step By Step Guide To Welcoming Your New Hires

Does your business have an onboarding checklist? In the process of building and perfecting your workforce onboarding procedures, there are a lot of things to keep track of. This is why employee onboarding software solutions are so popular with companies that wish to attract top talent and keep them around.

However, HR still needs to keep track to ensure that your team hits all the high notes with new hires. Statistics show that up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days and that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.

Additionally, 54% of companies with onboarding programs also reported higher levels of employee engagement which resulted in a boosted employer brand and made recruitment a whole lot easier.

In short, placing a strong focus on the initial welcome that your new recruits receive when they join your company yields a wide variety of benefits.

Here is a practical onboarding checklist that can be used to match and check if your team is completing the necessary steps to successfully onboard employees at the right stages of their journey.

Practical Employee Onboarding Checklist For HR Teams

Actions To Take Prior to Arrival

Any seasoned HR professional will tell you that the onboarding process needs to start before a new employee walks through the door. Here are a few vital pre-boarding steps that should be on your checklist:

1. Email your new employee with all the information they need

Email New Recruits

Start with a warm welcome and then stipulate the date, time, and location where they need to report for duty on their first day, along with a schedule for the day. Remind them of any documents they need to bring along and share any general pointers for the workplace.

Copy in their dedicated contact person if it's someone other than yourself, and take care to e-introduce all parties involved. Link to or attach any company resources they need to peruse before arrival, e.g. an employee guide book, a brief company info sheet, or a code of conduct, etc.

2. Email existing employees with info on your new recruit

Inform your existing employees of the imminent arrival of their new team member. Share their job title and in which department or team they will be working, as well as the date and time they will be arriving, and where their workspace will be located.

Add a brief bio that states where they worked before, what their experience and education background are, and which skills they will be bringing to the team. Be sure to add the date and time of the informal welcome session, and ask everyone to attend.

3. Get their workspace and equipment ready

Order any IT equipment your new recruit will need, set up their company email address, and add them to any relevant calendars and mailing lists. If applicable, order business cards and personalised stationery. Prepare all the HR documents and forms they will need to fill out on their first day, and get a key or ID card made for access to the building or office.

Finally, prepare a little welcome package (a plant for their desk, a coffee cup, etc. are nice touches) and organise a welcome get together where they can meet the rest of their team.

Set Up New Desk

Actions To Take On An Employee’s First Day

4. Welcome and orientation

Be sure that someone is there to meet and greet your employee at the front desk, and arrange a quick morning coffee gathering so everyone can say hello before settling in for the day. Introduce your new recruit formally, and hand over the welcome package.

Once they've been introduced and welcomed, take them on an informal office tour to show them where they will be working, where the conference room, cafeteria, restrooms, etc. are.

5. Get them set up in their workspace

Show your new employee to their workspace and get them all the office supplies they need, unless it's already been set up and provided. Hand over their access control cards and fobs, and help them to set up their IT platforms (or get IT support to do so).

6. Get the HR paperwork done

Take some time to run through all the relevant workplace policies and procedures, including safety and security protocols, your code of conduct etc. Then fill in all the necessary forms, sign the contracts (if this hasn’t been done already), and make copies of any documents that need to be on file.

7. Meetings with the direct manager

Workplace Orientation

On their first day, an employee should meet with their direct manager who should give them a brief history of the company, and share the business' mission, vision and values, as well as a concise industry overview as context. They should also elucidate company goals and identify where the new employee fits in.

When the new hire meets with their direct manager, they should go over their job description, explain the company organogram and set goals for the first month. Both parties should share their expectations, and also discuss the employee's plan for their career going forward.

Actions To Happen Within the First Week

8. Check in daily

Within the first week of employment, HR should check in with a new recruit every day, ideally scheduling regular meetings and facilitating introductions with different teams throughout the company.

If necessary, software training should be scheduled and conducted, along with any other training that's required.

Actions To Happen Monthly Up Until 6 Months

9. Schedule regular measure of progress

Going forward, a new employee should benefit from regular progress reviews and HR check ins to ensure that they have all the tools and training they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability and that they are settling in well. Also, be sure to invite them to social activities and gatherings to bring them into the fold.


An onboarding checklist is a vital tool in any company’s HR arsenal. By ticking all the important boxes during the pre-boarding, on the first day, within the first week, and within the first six months of employment, you lay the groundwork for excellent employee engagement.

Start as you mean to go on and create a welcoming, supportive environment from the moment a new hire joins your team.