Your new hire onboarding checklist needs these 6 things - Rootworks (2023)

Consider this statistic for a moment: 17% of employees leave their new job between the first week and the third month after starting.

Maybe that doesn’t sound too terrible, but if you’re a team of 10, it can greatly impact your productivity, your staff…and your bottom line. The average cost of training an employee is $1,433 for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. And without a stellar onboarding plan, the cost to your firm will continue to rise.

But consider this statistic (yes, there’s a bright side): Organizations with strong onboarding processes increase new hire retention by 82% and improve productivity by 70%.

So, what does that mean for your firm?

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It means that you need to create an excellent new hire onboarding checklist. And we’re going to help you get started. Here are the six must-haves to include in your employee onboarding process.

1. Create the pre-onboarding process

Before you can start onboarding a new employee, you need to think about what needs to happen to have a successful employee onboarding program. And that means adding a pre-onboarding process to your new hire onboarding checklist.

Consider the following when creating your pre-onboarding process:

  • What equipment does the new hire need? (Note: Requirements may vary based on in-office, hybrid and remote positions.)
  • Who orders and ensures technology is delivered before the employee’s first day?
  • Is there firm swag or any learning materials that can be sent beforehand? If so, determine who will handle the collection and sending of materials.
  • Who needs to meet with the new employee within the first week? Make sure they’re included in any firm-wide meetings, along with any needed individual discussions.

Preparing for new hires before they come on board helps them feel like they’re part of a team that appreciates them. You don’t want a new employee’s first day to leave a bad taste in their mouth because you were unprepared to welcome them. (Rootworks members can access a member-provided employee pre-onboarding checklist here.)

2. Send a welcome letter

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You’ve extended the job offer, and your potential new employee has accepted! Now what?

The next thing to include on your new hire onboarding checklist is a welcome letter to your new staff member. While you can send this via snail mail, your best option—especially since you’re a modern firm—is to send a welcome email. (Rootworks members: Access welcome email templates here.) You want your new hire to feel appreciated…and like they’re part of the team from the start.

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The welcome letter (email) should include the following:

  • The start date and time.
  • The office location (for hybrid or in-office roles).
  • Their manager’s name and contact information.
  • Whether they need to bring documents, like social security information or banking details.
  • When they can expect the equipment they need if their role is remote. (Hint: It’s best to make sure everything they need arrives before their first day.)

In addition to sending a welcome letter to your new hire, also notify your team. Let them know there will be a new staff member joining the team and include information about the new hire’s background, experience and skill set. Encourage your team to spend time introducing themselves so that the new employee feels…well, welcome to your firm.

3. Schedule an orientation

Whether your new staff member is working in the office or remotely, it’s important that their first day leaves a great impression and makes them feel confident that they’ve made the right decision. That’s why you must include an orientation on your new hire onboarding checklist.

Orientation will look different based on your firm’s work environment (i.e., in-office, remote or hybrid), but here are some ideas to include for all situations:

  • Schedule meetings with managers and executives to learn about the firm’s vision, mission, company culture and values.
  • Have new hires meet with the human resources team to fill out applicable forms, go over the employee handbook, and review firm policies and procedures.
  • Provide any training materials needed and access to applications they’ll be using.
  • Discuss expectations of the new hire and how you’ll measure their performance.

If your new staff member is working in the office, plan to show them around, talk through the tools they’ll work with, meet with the coworkers they’ll share space with or offer to treat them to lunch or coffee. If they are working remotely, ensure they’re set up with email and communication tools so they can collaborate with the team on day one.

As an extra gesture, send them a gift card to help them purchase lunch or coffee. A well-thought-out orientation on day one will ensure a fantastic employee experience right from the start.

4: Engage the onboarding team

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To ensure employee engagement—and retention—on the first day, you’ll want to make sure you have a staff onboarding team. New hires are nervous enough on their first day; you want to ensure their transition to a new job is seamless. The goal is to get them onboarded successfully, so assemble a team to help your firm accomplish this.

Your onboarding team should possess the following characteristics and skills:

  • Attention to detail and highly organized
  • Easygoing and helpful
  • Communicative and responsive
  • Skilled at training and delivering instruction

Your onboarding team will ensure that the new hire has everything they need to perform their job and help your firm succeed. They’ll be in charge of checking in with the new staff member, scheduling any training on processes or technologies, introducing them to other staff, and organizing activities to help them bond with the team.

Bottom line: Make sure you’ve included an onboarding team on your new hire onboarding checklist.

5: Define their 30-60-90-day plan

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For new hires to be successful, they need to know exactly what’s expected of them within the first 90 days. This can be accomplished by including a 30-60-90-day plan on your new hire onboarding checklist.

Each position within your firm should have its own onboarding plan that focuses on the new team member’s success in learning, performing, and contributing to the firm’s overall work and goals. Each 30-day set should include the following:

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  • Focus
  • Priorities
  • Learning goals
  • Performance goals
  • Personal goals

Setting clear goals and objectives every 30 days will help ensure that the new hire is on track and acclimating well to the firm. It’s important to check in with new staff members every 30 days to evaluate and adjust goals as needed. This is also an excellent time to receive feedback on their onboarding experience. (Rootworks members can access our 30-60-90-day templates here.)

6. Communicate and check in often

The last thing you want to do with a new hire is bring them on board and abandon them. It’s essential to keep the lines of communication open and check in with them every week for the first 90 days. After that, you can move to every other week or once a month. But to ensure a stellar onboarding experience, you must prioritize consistent communication.

This helps you gauge how well your new hires are doing or where they may need help prioritizing work and goals. Be sure to offer constructive feedback and allow them to do the same. Listening to their feedback gives you the opportunity to improve your new hire onboarding checklist and make changes for your next onboarding. Consistent communication is key to keeping a pulse on how your new hires are doing.

Implement your new hire onboarding checklist

Your employee onboarding process sets the tone of your firm for new hires. That’s why it’s important to take the time to create a standardized onboarding for every new member that joins your team. Make sure they’re welcomed with proverbial open arms by a team who is excited to help them grow in their career and managers who are open to receiving candid feedback.

These small things lead to great rewards—like happy and satisfied employees. You know, the ones that stick around.

Is your firm ready to create a top-notch onboarding program? Let the Rootworks coaches help you by becoming a Rootworks member today!

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What is the new hire onboarding checklist? ›

The onboarding checklist should include the recruitment process, new employee orientation, introduction of all aspects of the role to the employee, job training, goal-setting, introduction to company culture, meeting other employees and a serve as a guide to help the new hire get adjusted quickly and become a ...

What should be on a new employee checklist? ›

Include a list of day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Explain the roles of different members of the team and how the new hire will work with them. Provide job-specific tools that the new hire will use. If necessary, offer training so that they use these tools efficiently.

What are the 5 C's of new hire onboarding? ›

These have since evolved into the 5 “C's” of Onboarding: Compliance, Clarification, Confidence, Connection, and Culture.

How do I create a new hire training checklist? ›

Onboarding Made Simple: The Ultimate New Employee Training Checklist
  1. Open communication before their first day.
  2. Get paperwork out of the way.
  3. Make formal introductions with colleagues.
  4. Identify their individual training needs.
  5. Invest in all of the necessary resources.
  6. Provide adequate software training.
May 2, 2023

What are the 6 C's onboarding? ›

The 6 C's are: Compliance, Clarification, Confidence, Connection, Culture, and Checkback. This framework will help you create an onboarding process that sets your new hires up for success and helps your organization retain top talent.

What are the 6 stages of employee onboarding? ›

The employee life cycle model is used to identify and express the various and most important stages that an employee goes through as they engage with their company. There are six distinct stages at play: attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and separation.

What are the 4 phases of onboarding? ›

4 Phases of Employee Onboarding
  • Phase 1: Preboarding. Once you've accepted your offer letter and you're starting off day one at a new job, there's a lot to learn. ...
  • Phase 2: Onboarding and welcoming new employees. ...
  • Phase 3: Training. ...
  • Phase 4: Transition to the new role.

What are the five key steps in order of the onboarding process? ›

5 Steps to a Successful Employee Onboarding Process for New Hires
  • #1: Sending an offer letter.
  • #2: Early onboarding for the new employee.
  • #3: Welcoming New Hires on the first day.
  • #4: Orienting and Onboarding New Staff in the First Week.
  • #5: Employee Engagement and Team Building.
Mar 10, 2022

What are the 4 C's of employee onboarding? ›

The four Cs are Compliance, Clarification, Connection, and Culture.

What should be on a training checklist? ›

Training and Development Needs Analysis Checklist
  • Know what the organization is trying to accomplish.
  • Know the history of training within the organization.
  • What "needs" will be addressed by the training?
  • Any recent process or procedure changes?
  • What resources are available for training?
  • Who needs to be trained?

What are the 5 steps in a good employee training program? ›

Stages of the Training Process. Effective training begins well before a trainer delivers an individual training session and continues after that training session is complete. Training can be viewed as a process comprised of five related stages or activities: assessment, motivation, design, delivery, and evaluation.

How do you structure new hire onboarding? ›

General onboarding templates to get started

Introduce new hires to key coworkers and stakeholders. Familiarize new hires with your company's culture, tools, and processes. Provide necessary training for the new hire to do their job. Include regular feedback and check-ins between the new hire and onboarder.

Why is a hiring checklist important? ›

Having a new hire checklist (or several versions of a new hire checklist for different people or teams) is the foundation of a structured onboarding process. This is important because it: Creates structure and consistency in the new hire experience so all new hires start with the same information and resources.

What is a working checklist? ›

A standard work checklist is a document or tool that outlines the steps or tasks necessary to complete a specific process or activity. It is often used in manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries where consistent and reliable performance is essential.

What is a checklist at work? ›

A checklist is a job aid that lists tasks or activities that must be completed within a particular duration. Advanced checklists also include various requirements – like tools, dependencies, and behaviors, that require you to complete your tasks.

What are the 6 C's in workplace? ›

Sometimes called the six key elements of building trust, the 6 C's are the essential skills and attributes that will help you enhance the confidence in your relationships: character, caring, competence, consistency, credibility, and communication.

What are the 3 most important elements of successful onboarding? ›

There are three keys to a successful strategic onboarding program: people, culture, and milestones and tasks. A consistent, and repeatable onboarding process requires few adjustments and benefits all stakeholders involved. Plus, you're more prepared to set your new hire up for long-term success.

What is perfect onboarding? ›

Employee onboarding process checklist

Make the hire official and submit a job requisition form to your HR team. Complete a background check (if that's a step your business takes). Establish the schedule and job duties the new starter will follow. Prepare and complete the relevant new hire forms.

What is a standard onboarding process? ›

"Onboarding" refers to the processes in which new hires are integrated into the organization. It includes activities that allow new employees to complete an initial new-hire orientation process, as well as learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, mission and values.

What is the first stage of onboarding? ›

Onboarding is a process with several stages. It begins with preboarding right after the new recruit signs the papers, and can last anywhere between 3 months to a year. Orientation is a part of the onboarding process. It begins on the employee's first day and lasts up to a week.

What are the 5 C's of employee engagement? ›

Engaging Employees Using 5C's: Care, Connect, Coach, Contribute & Congratulate.

What is the 4 step onboarding process? ›

Phase 1: Pre-Onboarding. Phase 2: Welcoming New Hires. Phase 3: Job-Specific Training. Phase 4: Ease of Transition to the New Hire's New Role.


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