Using an onboarding checklist may seem too simple to be considered a professional tool. But pilots, surgeons, and military commanders use checklists. Because they work.
A checklist keeps your team on track and ensures nothing slips through the cracks. It also gives you a single resource for iterating and improving your onboarding process. Your onboarding checklist simplifies your process and reduces mental strain for everyone on your HR team.
The complete onboarding checklist we offer here is all-purpose and very comprehensive.
Keep in mind as you build your own onboarding checklist that you may not need all of these steps or you might need a unique checklist for each position in your organization. Additionally, you might have multiple tasks to check off for each one of these onboarding stages.
Use this onboarding checklist as a framework for building your own.
Before the first day of work
For the HR team, much of the onboarding process happens before a new employee shows up for their first day of work. It’s important to make sure all the pre-onboarding steps are done, because they set up the rest of the process for success.
1. Submit new hire requisition forms
It’s important to get this one done as soon as possible, once the hiring decision is made.
Timelines vary from business to business. But acquiring equipment, setting up workspaces, and doing the accounting for new team members takes time. And it all needs to be done before the new employee’s first day of work, if possible.
That means it’s critical to submit the paperwork to the relevant departments and get the new hire requisition processes started right away.
2. Send a company-wide announcement about the new hire
Let everyone in the company know there’s a new team member on the way. That way there are no awkward, “Who are you?” moments when the new employee starts.
A short video is an effective way to introduce new employees. Videos are more engaging and exciting than a standard intro email. And it’s easy to give videos a bright, fun tone that makes the introduction more personal.
Additionally, it takes just a few minutes to make employee introduction videos if you work from a template.
3. Create internal accounts for the new employee
New employees need access to the company systems. So they’ll need accounts in the company email, HR, and other management systems. New hires will also need login credentials for the various tools they use for work.
The HR team may not be able to create all of these accounts themselves. But it’s important to keep a checklist for tracking the relevant accounts, so you can follow up with the responsible teams and make sure everything gets done.
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4. Gather new hire info packages
Every new hire needs to know the company policies and procedures. Some employees need to be made aware of department-specific policies and procedures as well.
Additionally, some company information requires signed acknowledgment from new employees. Make sure you have all your information packages organized, so nothing gets left out.
5. Schedule a new hire orientation
The new hire orientation typically happens on the employee’s first day of work. But it’s not just the new employee who needs to be there for the orientation. Supervisors, team managers, and even upper management may be part of the process.
All these people need to put the new hire orientation (or conference call) on their calendar. And the HR team may need to coordinate a start date with the new employee and the orientation team to make sure everyone can be there.
6. Send a welcome email to the new employee
The new hire welcome email might seem like it should be first on this list. However, your new hire welcome email is an opportunity to deliver some key information like start date, who to report to on day one, and so on.
Gather the information you need while completing the first few items on your checklist, then send it all in a single email. This way, you won’t blow up the new team member’s inbox and risk important details getting lost in the fray.
Consider supplementing your message with a short video. This will help turn a cold email into an extra-friendly welcome message and avoid being all business, especially if you have to deliver a lot of information in your welcome email.
Alternatively, or additionally, a video about what the new employee can expect on their first day can also help grease the wheels before they start work.
7. Send information about pre-employment requirements
It’s best to send information about things such as background checks and drug tests in a separate email after your welcome email. It can be a bit off-putting if the first thing you get from a new employer is a demand for a drug test or background che ck. Additionally, many pre-employment processes must be completed by third parties. It’s convenient for new employees to have access to all those third-party resources and forms in a single email, separate from your organization’s resources. It’s a bit less confusing that way.
8. Close job postings
It’s important to have this step on your checklist because it’s easy to forget. There are plenty of HR stories about job postings being left open and companies receiving job applications for a job that’s already been filled.
It’s also a good idea to create a checklist of all the places you posted the job, so you don’t miss any of them.
First day of work
The first day of work is a first impression of sorts. It sets the tone for an employee’s tenure with your organization. It’s important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row, so everything goes smoothly.
9. New hire orientation
The HR team may not need to run the entire new hire orientation. But it should be on your checklist and calendar so that someone from your team can be there to handle specific responsibilities like getting signatures, issuing ID cards, and so on, before the rest of the orientation team takes over.
10. Deliver new hire info packages
Deliver any company documents that you weren’t able to send in the new hire email. For remote employees, this might be as simple as following up on the delivery of a package you sent in the mail.
11. Check access credentials
It’s important to double-check and make sure new employees can access all of their accounts. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of trying to log into a new account and getting that invalid username or password message.
Sometimes there are hiccups in the account creation process. The HR team may not be able to fix the problem. But it smooths out the onboarding process if you follow up with the new hire or a supervisor to spot access problems early and help coordinate a fix.
12. Issue equipment and show the new employee their workstation
Put a bullet on your checklist to either deliver equipment or follow up with the orientation team to verify that the new team member received everything they need.
Obviously, this will be different for remote and hybrid employees. But even if the employee is totally remote, it’s good practice to offer help setting up a workspace.
Additionally, you can provide a few resources to help new employees set up their hardware and software in a series of short videos that walk them through the steps of the setup process. This reduces help requests to IT and other administrative departments.
13. Schedule follow up check-ins
It’s a smart idea to schedule times to follow up with new team members at regular intervals during their first months of employment to make sure they’re settling in. 30, 60, and 90 day check-ins are common.
Your organization may need fewer new-hire check-ins. And these follow-ups can be as simple as a quick email to give new employees an opportunity to ask questions or bring up any challenges they had during their first months of work.
14. Organize a team meeting
New employees will often meet their team during orientation. But it’s important to coordinate an opportunity for new employees to meet people from other teams that they may need to work with.
It might not be possible to get the entire organization together. But putting a quick lunch or team-building event on the calendar is a great way to give people a chance to put faces to names and get familiar with the whole company.
15. End-of-day check-in
New employees and HR teams have a lot to do during that first workday. Checking in with the new employee at the end of their first day helps make sure everything got done and that they feel ready to start.
First week of work
In most cases, the HR team can take a more hands-off approach during the new hire’s first week, coordinating with a supervisor or manager to make sure things are going smoothly.
16. Set a new hire training plan
If there’s any initial HR training that needs to be completed, make sure you have a plan for new employees to complete that training. It’s easy to lose track once the new team member starts doing job-specific training and handling work responsibilities.
New employees will likely want to get right to work. A series of short training videos makes it easy to quickly absorb the information they need, without interrupting their first days of work.
17. Establish short-term goals
Most initial milestones will be directly related to the new team member’s work role. And a manager can do much of the leg work on this.
But an HR team member may need to coach supervisors through setting initial goals to help the new employee get on track.
18. Double check work equipment and access credentials
This should be a simple check, since you already checked the access credentials during the first day of work. But if there are any lingering issues, make sure they get resolved before there’s too much impact on productivity.
19. Add the new hire to internal announcement systems
This process might be automated as part of employee account creation. If it’s not, make sure new employees get added to internal information distribution systems so they get company-wide announcements.
20. Add the new employee’s info to your HR calendar
Add employees to your calendar so you can send happy birthday wishes, employment milestones, and congratulations on any other personal and professional events.
21. End-of-week check-in
Just like the end-of-day check-in, ping the new employee to give them a chance to ask questions and bring up any issues that may have cropped up during their first week.
First month of work
As an HR professional, you’ll be able to lean on supervisors and managers to make sure everything is going smoothly during the first month of a new hire’s tenure. But keep these few items in mind as you move through your onboarding checklist.
22. Check in with the new employee’s supervisor or department head
Now that most of the onboarding process is complete, you should be able to send a quick email to the new hire’s supervisor or manager to make sure there’s nothing left outstanding.
Also, depending how your company does employee evaluations, you may want to work with the manager to schedule performance reviews at this point.
23. Send onboarding survey
This one is definitely optional. But your new employees are a great source of information for improving your onboarding process.
Consider sending a short survey during the first month — after the onboarding process is complete — to get actionable feedback on your onboarding process. This survey can also double as a 30-day check-in.
By now, the new employee is off and running in their position. This last phase is largely just a matter of making sure there are no loose ends left from the onboarding process.
24. Follow up on new hire training
Check in to make sure any HR training the new hire needs to do is finished.
For most employees, HR is not part of their job responsibilities. It’s easy to let HR training fall by the wayside. A nudge from your team helps make sure you don’t end up with a rogue training that’s a year overdue.
25. 60 and 90-day check-ins
Reach out for any long-term check-ins that you scheduled. Make sure everything is going well, and that the new team member doesn’t have any challenges that the HR team needs to help with.
Get everyone on board with Biteable Teams
There’s a lot to do when a company onboards a new employee, especially for HR professionals. An onboarding checklist keeps everything organized for you and the rest of the team. That way you’re never left scrambling because something got missed.
And Biteable Teams makes it even easier to check off every item on your onboarding checklist. With Biteable’s HR video templates and easy-to-use video maker, it’s quick and easy to create onboarding videos for everything from the welcome email to long-term check-ins.
A collaborative platform, clickable call-to-action buttons, and trackable video analytics will have your onboarding content queued up and ready before you can say, “You’re hired!”