Adding new people to your team can be very exciting, but it can also be stressful if you haven’t ironed out a clear onboarding process. Not only will having a solid onboarding plan make things easier for you, but it’ll also help your new hires as well.

If you’ve ever had trouble integrating new hires, then this ultimate onboarding checklist is what you need. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about what you need to get a new hire set up for success.

An Overview of Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of bringing new hires into your business. This step ensures that new hires are set up in their respective roles so that they can work efficiently. It entails making new hires comfortable in their roles and giving them the tools and support they need to be productive.

Full onboarding consists of four major steps: business overview, role and expectations, introduction and welcoming, endorsement and tools. We’ll detail them below along with the items that fall under each step.

Step 1: Give New Hires a Complete Overview of the Business

Candidates should always be given a brief overview of your business during the interview. It focuses on the goals of the role they are applying for and how this impacts the business overall. This time, give new hires a more in-depth overview of the business, including other roles that they will be interacting with and impacting.

Review Your Business Mission, Vision and Values

A woman holding up a sign that says, "Business Management vision, mission, strategy, action plan".
geralt / Pixabay

Take more time to ensure that new hires fully understand the core values of your business. New hires should also understand and appreciate the part that they play in upholding these principles and pushing them forward.

This confirms that they are a good fit for the business with the potential for deep dedication and loyalty. It also encourages them to work harder in line with your business principles and goals (assuming that you have hired according to your company culture and not just for hard skills).

Explain the Structure of Your Business

Most employees and some freelancers are not aware that there are seven main sections to most organizations– executive, administrative, marketing, finance, production and delivery, quality control, and business development. Always give a new hire an overview of each one and discuss in more detail the area in which they will be working.

You need to cover these main parts to make sure that a new hire knows the basic functions of each of them. This is because it is key to their understanding of where they belong in your business.

New hires need to know where they fit in so that they can understand their overall purpose and function within the greater organization. In turn, this is vital because it gives them that sense of belonging that they need to be committed to their roles and the business as a whole.

Step 2: Discuss the Role and Your Expectations for It

A woman talking to a group of people with laptops around a table.
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Employees should always be given a clear description of the role and an overview of your expectations. Go over the exact outcomes that you envision for the work within a new hire’s role. Make sure that they fully understand what they need to produce and when, or how often. This discussion should include confirming the schedule for work times and meetings. This is especially important when you’re hiring remote freelancers.

A new hire needs to have specific, measurable goals to succeed. Freelancers, as business owners themselves, will likely be able to set up these goals for themselves. They still need guidance from you, however, in terms of your goals as an organization. It’s vital to get on the same page from day one, and maintain that alignment through your regular scheduled meetings.

During onboarding, you have more time to review the specifics in greater detail. After the above steps, the new hire will also likely have additional insights and questions.

Note that a new hire will likely need to spend some time in the role to discover additional areas where they need support. Make sure that you check back with them on this at your next regular meeting.

Step 3: Introduce and Welcome New Hires

You need to formally introduce every new hire to the business as a whole and to the department they’ll be working in. This includes an official welcoming into the business and into their role.

Get them added to whatever communications platform you usually work on and inform them of when they will be introduced so that they will be present.

During the introduction, remember to include their role and how excited you are to have them working on certain tasks to help in certain areas. Be specific with the tasks and the help that the new hire will be providing. This boosts morale and gives everyone else some fuel for a genuine welcome message.

The best venue for introductions is during the first all-hands meeting after you make the hire. You can do this somewhere in the middle of the above steps if the interval between these meetings is a month or more.

Every new hire needs to be welcomed into the business by everyone working in it. This is a gesture of solidarity that is very simple yet essential to their proper integration. A hire needs to know that they are recognized as a part of the business from day one. Otherwise, their onboarding will take a lot longer, which means that they will need more time to settle in and be a productive member of the team.

Note: If you have been hiring in accordance with your company culture, every hire already working in the business will have a team mentality. This means that welcoming new hires will be a natural behavior – you simply have to introduce them and they will be accepted.

A laptop showing a software tools process.
PCB-Tech / Pixabay

The department head or team lead is typically responsible for providing a new hire access to all the tools that they need to perform their tasks. These tools may include software like a design tool or a CRM, documentation on standard operating procedures, or a website platform.

This step brings the new hire into the final stages of integration – being a team member in a specific department. It brings them close into that smaller structure to function within that team without having to venture outside it for most purposes. It keeps teams neat and avoids miscommunication with lots of people going here and there for different needs.

Final Thoughts

By following the steps we’ve laid out, you can help ensure that your new team member has a smooth transition into their new role. If you’re interested in learning more about the onboarding process, check out this helpful resource from my company’s blog.