Onboard New Hires Like a Pro: The Ultimate Checklist for Employers

A new employee’s first day is as important for the team that handles their onboarding experience. For an employee, their first day is special as it signifies the start of their career advancement and growth.

For the employer, however, the onboarding process is an important crossroads. A strong and effective onboarding experience can significantly increase productivity and retention, and yet, according to a Gallup poll, only 12% of employees “strongly agree” that their companies have a great onboarding process.

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Organising an effective onboarding process involves collaboration. This includes the employee’s team, HR, finance, management, and IT. To simplify this, we’ve prepared an onboarding checklist. It’s designed to ensure a successful and memorable first day.

PHASE 1: Pre-onboarding

Your onboarding process will happen, almost always, the whole day. This means you have to prepare things in advance because you won’t have the chance to once your new member comes in.

As part of the Employee Onboarding Process, Make Sure Your New Employee Feels Prepared

An organised onboarding process will show your employee that their arrival is important and deliberate. Nothing puts off a new employee more than throwing them into the fray uninformed, unequipped, and as if their integration into the team seems like a second thought. 

You can already set expectations and make an impression during the pre-onboarding process by sending an email beforehand. The email should contain all the necessary information such as the time and date of the onboarding, your office address, and things they need to bring. This can help ramp up the excitement and will help your new member easily participate in the entire process.

The pre-onboarding step also requires a lot of collaboration. Your team should be able to coordinate with HR and IT for your new employee’s badge, login credentials, and other necessary equipment. 

Another important collaboration is with the new employee’s team. Make sure they are well informed of the process and your schedules, especially if the team has their own way of welcoming new members.

As part of the Employee Onboarding Process, make sure they have all the tools they need to perform their job

Of course, onboarding processes won’t be complete without great welcome kits to start them off. Red Tomato can help you conceptualise, create, and design your welcome kits so you can focus on other important things. 

For additional inspiration and innovative ideas, you can check out our blog post on ‘15 Welcome Kit Ideas‘!

PHASE 2: Onboarding Event

Now, the day has come! Remember to start your employee’s experience with a warm welcome. Start the event by running them through the basics like the office layout and the teams and leaders that comprise the company. By letting them know the who’s and the where’s, your new team member will feel more empowered to collaborate and engage with people beyond their team.

Introduce the new employee with a welcome email

An effective onboarding process will equip your employees with the right information, support, and expectations. These can help your employees contribute to the company sooner. Make sure to discuss your company’s rules, benefits, and culture. Prepare icebreakers and activities that can help them shine and be more confident to participate. 

An employee joined because they think your company is better than what they had before, so make sure you highlight what your company can do for them if they stay committed and what sets you apart from others. 

Do your Q&A over coffee and some snacks, and let those with free time join in as well. Your new employee can discover more about the company’s culture because you’re letting the right people answer the questions. 

Don’t forget to present your employees with the amazing welcome kits you’ve prepared before you endorse them to their teams. Besides the wonderful swag items and useful tools, you can include your company’s “culture bible” and its keys and ID’s. 

Want to know more about creating an effective welcome kit? Discover the must-have items for your 2023 onboarding kit in our detailed guide, ‘What to Include in a Welcome Kit for New Employees in 2023‘.

What to Include in a Welcome Kit for new employees in 2023 for Employee Onboarding Process

Lastly, you can let your employee have lunch with their team so they can get acquainted organically. This will let your employee connect to their team outside the context of work, which can make them feel more invested. 

Make Sure The New Employee Has Lunch Plans On Their First Day

PHASE 3: Post-Onboarding 

The onboarding process is now over. So what’s next? 

Depending on your onboarding process, your employee may have had an experience working with their team and trying out the apps your company uses. Before their first shift ends, make sure to touch base with them and check on how they’re doing.

One of the important things to discuss during this session is their expectations. Ask them if what they expected with the job offer is consistent with what they’ve seen and experienced on their first day. 

After their first week or two, ask the new employee for any feedback for Employee Onboarding Process


It’s also a great opportunity to ask for their feedback about the whole onboarding process. Remember that you can only work on what you know, and the perspectives of someone who personally experienced the process will provide valuable insights and comments. 

You can also do weekly check-ups with your new employee for their first month just to see how they’re adjusting to their new role. 

Finally, assure your employee that lines are still and will remain open for their entire stay with the company. This communicates the message that support will always be there whenever they need it, not just during their first day.

Ready to start planning your employee onboarding program?

Download here your own Employee Onboarding Checklist:

Download our Employee Onboarding Checklist

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