Employment Hero

Onboarding Checklist: Get Your New Employees Off To A Great Start

Welcome to your very own onboarding checklist. Here at Employment Hero, we think it’s really important to make sure your new employees get off to a great first start.

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is so much more than paperwork. It’s the process of helping new hires adjust to their new jobs quickly and smoothly by managing the early stages of their employment. Remember, the first days and weeks on the job need to be special for new employees.

Usually, hiring new staff comes with a mountain of onboarding paperwork. However, that doesn’t mean your new starter’s first day should be all about filling in forms.

Far from it. There are much better ways to get your new hire off to a great start. And it’s far more likely that they’ll stick around for the long haul if they have a great experience from the get-go (plus just quietly, with Employment Hero all onboarding can be done electronically and before an employee’s first day – check it out).

Before we run through the onboarding checklist there a few things you need to consider about how to make sure the onboarding process is the best experience possible for new employees.

Workplace culture within onboarding

Employees are more likely to invest themselves personally in a company’s success if they feel aligned with the business. And this starts by understanding the culture. It’s essential to get your new employees involved in your company’s culture on day one. The best way to do this is for new starters to spend time with employees from different areas of the business with various levels of seniority.

Likewise, implementing a buddy system ensures your new starter has someone to talk to, which is so important in the first nerve-wracking weeks of a new job.

Mission, vision and goals

If you want your new starter to embody the company’s mission, vision and values, then you need to share this as part of your onboarding process and show them where the business is headed. It’s equally important for everyone to understand their own goals and how they relate to the big picture. Communicating the goals of their role during the onboarding process will help new hires focus their efforts towards achieving them.

Onboarding New People

Getting to know all the new faces and personalities in a business can seem daunting at first. Your role is to help new employees settle into their new team and get to know the clients, colleagues, managers, etc. they will work with so that they become recognised and integrate naturally.

Employee Onboarding is a process

If you’re going to ace first impressions, you need to start your onboarding process well before day one. Beyond the onboarding pack, it’s important to think about how you’re going to immerse your new starters into your company culture and instill in them the knowledge and behaviours that will lead to their long-term success.

So, rather than thinking of onboarding as a one-day orientation, think of it as a continuum: a process that lasts anywhere from 3 to 12 months. Here’s some practical ideas to help you to create an onboarding process that helps your new employees get off to a flying start.


Now here’s the good stuff –

Your onboarding checklist

Before an employee’s first shift:

Work Space

  • Prepare your new employee’s work area and office space and equip it with supplies
  • Order appropriate access keys/security cards and make sure they work.
  • Order business cards, if applicable.
  • Arrange for parking, if required.

Technology Access

  • Order technology equipment (computer, iPad, phone) and software.
  • Set up their system in advance and assign them to a printer.
  • Arrange for access to common drives.
  • Add their name to relevant email lists.

General Communications

  • Share the news about the new starter with everyone in the business so everyone’s ready for their introduction. It’s a good idea to share something personal about your new hire such as their love of coffee or their favourite footy team. In this way, other employees have something they can use to break the ice with them when they meet.
  • Assign a buddy or mentor the new hire can rely on to show them the ropes and answer their questions, even show them the best place to grab lunch.

First Day:

  • Have a small gift waiting for them such as your company t-shirt, mug or keychain.
  • Give them a tour of the office or workplace and introduce them to key team members.
  • If you haven’t already given them an onboarding pack before they started, make sure you present it on their first day, and give them time to complete the paperwork over the week ahead.
  • Meet with them and their manager to explain the expectations of their role. The new starter needs to know what they’re supposed to be doing, and how that contributes to the company bottom-line.
  • Have their manager assign any straightforward tasks.
  • Take them out for lunch with their manager and buddy or mentor.

First Week:

  • Introduce them to employees from different areas of the business and have them shadow them so they can experience the business from many different aspects.
  • Meet to check they’ve signed the paperwork and have accessed, read, and acknowledged your company policies.
  • Check-in with them and their manager regarding any first tasks.
  • Have their manager assign them their first project.

First Month:

  • Hold regular check-in meetings and evaluate their progress after a month in the company.
  • See how they’re getting along with the rest of the team and whether they’re enjoying their work.
  • Assess and action training needs.
  • When onboarding is done well, it sets the foundation for long-term success. This process prepares your new starter for success in your business. The right amount of socialisation and support can make a considerable difference in early performance, social integration, and long-term retention.

There you have it! An onboarding checklist to keep in your back pocket for when you have new employees starting in your business. Remember, first impressions count.

Paperless onboarding?

To ensure your onboarding process helps set up your new starter for success, get all the paperwork out of the way quickly and efficiently with a paperless onboarding solution like Employment Hero. Completing all the paperwork days or even weeks before the new employee starts, ensures day one is memorable for all the right reasons.

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Want to know more about us?

Employment Hero is Australia’s first all-in-one cloud HRIS offering a comprehensive HR software, payroll system, and employee benefits platform in one easy solution.

Trusted by Australian businesses, Employment Hero is about making rostering, onboarding, performance management, time tracking, payroll, and award interpretation a snap. Employment Hero’s HRIS also integrates with Xero, MYOB, KeyPay, and Accountright Live. Stop wasting time with spreadsheets, and request a demo today.

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