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Onboarding HR Resources

Your Complete Guide to New Employee Onboarding Processes

August 2, 2019
8 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


While finding top talent is vital to an organization’s growth, HR managers must provide an effective new employee onboarding process. Without a quality employee onboarding process, companies can expect lower employee retention rates, lower employee engagement, weak company culture, lower company performance, increased costs, a decrease in revenue, and more employee-related problems for HR. Developing a high-quality onboarding process will set the tone for new hires and help determine how effective they are when they start. 

Keeping track of multiple new hires starting at different times can be tedious to manage. Paperwork may differ for employees depending on the employee’s position and work status. By separating duties on a timeline, you will be able to visually review all tasks and due dates.

Before Day 1

The number of forms that need to be collected prior to and on a new employee’s first day can be overwhelming. To ease this process, make sure to have a list of the documents needed according to the employee’s work status (work visa, contract workers, temporary/seasonal workers) and your state. If you can send them the boring paperwork prior to their first day, it’s a good idea to do so. This way, they don’t have any missing documents they need and their first day is much more engaging.

Common Onboarding Documents

  • W4
  • I-9
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
  • Direct Deposit forms
  • Insurance forms
  • Employee Handbook

You’ll also want to prepare their workspace with everything they’ll need for their first day, including hardware, software, and welcome materials. Common examples include:

  • Laptop, hardware, and other accessories
  • Software installed on any equipment used (LastPass, PS, MAMP, Outlook, etc.)
  • Email address, company profile
  • First-day documents (policies, procedures, etc.)
  • Company swag and welcome materials 

You’ll want to prepare a streamlined onboarding process before their first day and ensure their team has a mentor(s) selected. Inform managers and supervisors that will be training the employee about their previous experience and background. Check that they have a training process in place. Finally, be sure to provide the details for their first day, including dress code, parking instructions, arrival time, what to bring, etc.

If you don’t have a good employee onboarding software and have started your search, keep in mind that the best solutions should allow you to automatically onboard new hires into a branded experience that will not only maintain compliance and give them the right forms but also introduce them to the teams and culture they will be working with. Engaging new hires from day 1 is essential to reduce early turnover.   

Looking for an effective employee #onboarding process? @ClearCompany has everything you need for #NewHires and how to prepare for them.

Day 1

Whether you are hiring one or multiple employees, make sure you have a welcome procedure in place to cover everything the employee might need to know. Here’s a typical list for welcoming new hires:

  • Tour of the building/space
  • Location of desk/workspace
  • Hardware/account setup for laptops and company profile
  • Software setup for accounts and access
  • Manager and team introductions/lunch
  • One-on-one meeting to set expectations (planning, goals, etc.)

Once the employee is settled, collect any photocopies of documents you need or paperwork not yet collected (IDs, direct deposit forms, etc.). 

On day one, it’s important to give new hires an engaging, exciting, and fulfilling experience. Be sure to focus on the individual, not just the process and paperwork, and that managers feel enabled to put their best foot forward with their new team members.

See how onboarding is crucial to employee engagement.

Week 1

During the first week, new hires should begin to integrate with their teams, train and take on small tasks or projects if possible. This is also the last call to make sure you’ve collected all the required documents. Despite everyone’s best efforts, form I-9s, state new hire reports, direct deposit forms, etc. can take more than a day to complete, so be sure to double-check that you have everything you need by the end of the first week.

The end of week one or early in week two is also an ideal time for managers to check in with employees. Encourage managers to ask open-ended questions about the employee’s first week and overall impressions. This is also the perfect opportunity to answer lingering questions, address any concerns and start gauging the Quality of Hire. This is also the time to connect on employee goals for their first 90 days if they haven’t been previously communicated (ideally, your software can onboard someone into their goals before day one!). As they begin to provide more input, they’re oriented towards fulfilling their goals which should support the team’s strategy and get the new hire to their next level of performance. The first 90 days can be broken up into learning, analysis & strategy, and execution. 

Month 1 - Learning

Throughout the month, check in with the person training the new hire. Ensure they have the resources and time available to coach the new employee. This is also an ideal time to ask about the new hire’s progress and determine if any changes need to be made. Company training is often inconsistent or (even worse) inefficient. Ensure trainers use an effective and consistent form of training— we recommend performance-based training—to facilitate higher employee engagement. Make sure the new employee’s manager or supervisor schedules a check-in at the end of the first month. Similar to the week one check-in, this conversation is ideal for discussing current goals, opportunities, and obstacles and should be different from a standard one-on-one. 

While they had the first week to get accustomed to their position, there is still a lot to learn about the company, the business model, the industry position and performance, etc. New hires bring a different viewpoint on where your team's inefficiencies stand, where any gaps are in your strategy, and where any new ideas can be used. Make sure you provide them with what they need to learn about the company.

Month 2 - Analysis & Strategy

The second month can be used for analyzing what they have seen during their time at the company. They can formulate a strategy or any tactics that will help propel the team forward. Offering their insight will help the team learn what they can do differently in order to reach their goals. Other team members can begin to re-identify their workflows, consider these new ideas, and begin to implement them into their plans. 

It’s also useful to separate long-term ideas from quick wins that the employee offers. Most likely, quick wins won’t need deep consideration and can be executed easily. While it may take more time, long-term solutions that the new hire identifies in your strategy will need to be thought out more thoroughly. 

Month 3 - Performance & Execution 

By the third month, the employee should be focused on performing and executing their strategy. They’ve had time to learn about the company, how the team works, and how everyone is performing. Now it’s the time for them to focus on completing work and fulfilling the duties of their position if they aren’t already. 

At the end of their third month, it will be time to check in on their entire three-month period, evaluate their performance towards their goals, check what is left, and plan for their future.

After the First 90 Days

You’ve hired superior talent and have onboarded them successfully. They’ve integrated with their team and are surpassing all their goals. Now, how do you retain them? 

There’s no shortage of research showing the ineffectiveness of traditional annual performance reviews. If you want to retain your talent, encourage managers to have regularly scheduled check-ins or one-on-one conversations with their employees. This is the perfect opportunity to provide recognition and feedback—both of which have been shown to increase engagement and decrease turnover

An excellent #onboarding experience will set the tone for your #NewHire’s experience at your company. Here’s what you need to know from before day one and on:

Software Makes It Easier

Managing new-hire documents and deadlines for multiple departments can be a nightmare — even for the most-organized HR pros. Digitizing your employee onboarding process and documents not only provides a better experience for your new hires but also allows HR to spend time on more meaningful tasks like performance management and employee engagement. 

Onboarding Software Features

The most effective onboarding toolkit is one you know how to use. For that reason, it’s critical to find an intuitive, user-friendly tool that helps you start retaining and engaging your A Players from before day one.

It’s important to have an onboarding program that makes life easier and sets the tone for the new hire’s experience. Whether you're looking to add or update your existing onboarding system, make sure you're prepared when you begin your search.

Below is a list of features to consider when choosing a paperless onboarding solution: 

  • Attractive User-Friendly Interface
  • HRIS/Payroll Synchronization
  • Intelligent & Customizable Forms
  • Electronic Packet Delivery
  • Automated Task Notifications
  • Compliant Forms by State & Province
  • Mobile-Friendly Packets & Forms
  • E-Signature Acceptances
  • Comprehensive Forms Library
  • Introductions to Teammates & Goals
  • Customizable Packet Templates
  • E-Verify, WOTC & Background Checks

It’s easier to house all of your tools in one place, which is why finding a single, unified talent management system is powerful. You won’t have to worry about integrations and transferring data. Ideally, the best new employee onboarding software is the one that solves your specific company needs. 

Quality Onboarding Solutions

Onboarding sets the tone for new employees. Identifying a clear plan for new hires will help with retention and improve performance. Find a solution that streamlines your processes, organizes your documents, improves retention, and makes life easier for all involved. 


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