Onboarding Process Best Practices Checklist

February 20, 2020
Posted in Hiring
February 20, 2020 lauren

Onboarding Process Best Practices Checklist

(Originally published April 2015, updated February 2020.)

The onboarding process is the one area you want to perfect as your company hits high growth mode.

Having a repeatable employee onboarding best practices that incrementally improve is an incredible asset. This practice will pay returns in terms of employee performance and retention.

Knowing where to start when building or improving your practices can be a challenge.

To get a better understanding, we surveyed hiring managers and executives on their employee onboarding best practice strategies.

Below, we compiled those survey answers for you to consider—along with an easy to use infographic!—when creating the best onboarding process for your company.

Employee Onboarding Best Practice Strategies Checklist Infographic:

employee onboarding best practice

Best Onboarding Process Tips From Hiring Managers and Executives

Foster Friendship With New Hires

Research has shown that a leading indicator of an employee’s longevity is whether they have a friend at work.

Make it a point during the onboarding process to help new employees to feel integrated into the culture of a company by pairing them with a mentor.

By pairing a new employee with someone like-minded, you’ll help foster opportunities for higher engagement and improve d retention rates.

Communicate Company Culture

High growth companies are often in such a rush to get a new hire working right away that they miss the opportunity to reinforce and strengthen their company culture.

Onboarding is the most critical time to address culture. After all, you spent time in the interview process to gauge a candidate’s cultural fit for your company.

So, sharing that culture with them should be an essential step in your onboarding process.

Use your onboarding time to share stories that highlight the culture and purpose of the company. Doing so will only help you maintain the secret sauce that makes your organization unique.

Offer Introductions to Star Employees

Every organization has star employees that managers wish they could clone. Use the onboarding process to introduce new hires to the employees who are succeeding at your organization.

Ask star employees to talk about how they get things done effectively and efficiently.

By utilizing your critical internal assets, new hires will know what they need to do to be successful.

Set Expectations For New Hires

General expectations should be set during the onboarding process.

If the onboarding group is small enough, defining specific metrics about their job is a great way to kick things off.

The clearer the expectations, the better the results. Often, you can start your onboarding by sharing your expectations. This gives your new hire an idea of what

Enable Learning Opportunities in Onboarding

Don’t punish mistakes, but embrace them. Everything is new to a new hire.

So, chances are, your new hire doesn’t know certain company policies or procedures for various tasks.

Rather than be critical of mistakes, take the time to help them understand the process and help them become great at their job.

By providing genuine learning opportunities, your instill the desire to continue this learning in your new hires.

Establish the Onboarding Framework

If your organization has an established framework to get things done, present it to the onboarding group.

By providing new hires with a framework for what they should do when things go wrong (or right), new employees will be able to act immediately within the framework.

For example, if a customer service issue arises, new hires should be able to reference the framework to solve the problem.

Implement Measurability of New Hire Growth

If your organization isn’t careful, new employees can stay “newbies” for a bit too long.

In other words, a new hire won’t truly grow out of being new if they aren’t given ways to grow.

When we surveyed hiring managers and executives, they shared ways for you to allow new hire growth.

One example to consider is creating mutual challenges to help employees understand where they should be every month or quarter.

By implementing measurability, employees will be able to reference where they stand and work hard to reach their goals.

Introduce the Leadership Team to New Hires

Similar to introducing the “stars” of your company, inviting members of the leadership team to contribute to the onboarding process is a critical way for new employees to feel involved.

Open the floor for questions and let the leadership team show why they are leaders are your company.

Inviting the leadership team at the end of the orientation process is a powerful and motivating way to send employees into their new roles.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Onboarding

An often overlooked issue to address when creating the best onboarding process is company policies on personal devices.

Will employees use their own phones, tablets, and laptops for work?

Like we’ve said before, your new hire won’t know your policies unless these are shared with them. Make sure you review your security and privacy features with them.

Some example policies to include are things such as requiring a password on devices.

In the end, if you have any specific BYOD policies, you should make sure they’re shared with new hires!

Feedback Expectations During the Onboarding Process

Last but not least of our employee onboarding best practice is feedback. Let new hires know how, when, and from who they’ll get feedback. Don’t leave them guessing or out on their own. In the long run, providing your employees with proper feedback can even reduce employee turnover.

On the same note, collect feedback from new hires to see how you can improve the onboarding process. Right after the onboarding ends, ask what you could do better.

Specifically, ask what that employee wishes they knew about your organization.

If you have time, you’ll be able to address this feedback as a final step to the onboarding process and leave no questions unanswered.


TruPath helps established organizations find culturally aligned talent. As a trusted recruitment resource for more than a decade, TruPath has the knowledge and experience to help companies find the talent they need.

Contact us today to learn more about how TruPath can help you find culturally aligned talent.