5 Onboarding Checklist Templates for the Perfect Onboarding Experience (2023)

5 Onboarding Checklist Templates for the Perfect Onboarding Experience (1)

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Most onboarding processes are either completely overlooked or tend to be thrown together at the last minute. Unfortunately, a bad onboarding experience can have an adverse effect on morale, engagement, and even morale. Our new onboarding checklist templates can help you build a perfect onboarding process.

What is the onboarding experience? While many of us know (or think we know) a little about onboarding, chances are that we don’t always consider the entire onboarding process, especially from the new employee’s perspective.

Onboarding is actually the entire process related to bringing a newly hired employee into your organization, completing all of the required paperwork, but most importantly, creating a positive experience that will leave them highly engaged, motivated, and ready to hit the ground running on their very first day.

Onboarding is also commonly thought of as something “HR does in an hour or two” and that the entire experience starts and stops in HR’s office on the new hire’s first day. It’s important to point out that onboarding includes far more than a few forms. Ideally it should consist of full team introductions, early training on tools and systems, office tours, and handing off personal technology, badges, and anything else the employee will need.

The best onboarding experiences go well beyond such logistical issues though. The best examples make sure employees don’t have any questions, know exactly where to go if they do, and have an extremely clear understanding of exactly what they need to be successful.

In fact, when done well, onboarding can be a competitive advantage in terms of employee engagement, productivity, retention, and even operating costs. Consider the following research points:

Okay, so we all agree that onboarding is something we need to do and do well. To help, we created these three checklists for you. Use them as a template to develop your own, but even better, these templates can help you make sure you won’t miss any important steps. Every task will be completed on time and in a way to create meaningful experiences for new hires.

Kaylee Collins
HR Analyst of Osmose Utilities Services, Inc

(Video) How to Design The Perfect Onboarding Process

“Our hiring managers now have a reliable system that is easy to navigate. Our HR team can actively monitor the process, and assist if needed, but Onboard has helped them save so much valuable time and effort while increasing data accuracy. All of this has helped us improve compliance and gives us a powerful tool to achieve even more results in the future.”

Before they start

On new hire’s first day

  • Welcome him/her to the team

  • Tour the office

  • Assign training material (if required)

  • Provide badge, technology, or any other physical items they need

  • Outline your expectations

  • Explain the company culture

  • Assign a mentor

  • Take them out to lunch!

First 7-30 days

  • Assign first project

  • Approve first project

  • Provide constructive feedback and other coaching

  • Outline expectations for the first 30 days

  • Review and finalize paperwork and answer any questions they may have

    (Video) How To Onboard Employees Orientation Checklist

  • Plan follow-up check-in meetings

  • Co-develop long-term goals

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Before start date

  • Record information

  • Collect vital forms

  • Schedule employee meeting

  • Notify relevant teams and managers

  • Arrange meeting with team

  • Add employee to appropriate email distribution lists

  • Send welcome video (if one exist) or other training materials

  • Prepare for orientation session

Start date

  • Tour facilities

  • Explain technology and systems

  • Introduce team members and employees

  • Describe job expectations and performance requirements

  • Train on more advanced equipment (if appropriate)

  • Continued Q&A and ongoing communication

Longer term

  • Schedule or promote one-on-one meetings

  • Schedule a 30-day check in for early feedback and constructive coaching

  • Encourage questions, provide feedback, and create longer-term goals

    5 Onboarding Checklist Templates for the Perfect Onboarding Experience (4)

Before the First Day

  • Record new hire’s details

  • Prepare welcome letter

    (Video) Employee Onboarding: 5 Crucial Tips

  • Highlight other staff and total work duties

  • Assign a mentor

  • Inform other staff

First week/month

  • Evaluate performance closely

  • Schedule follow-up meetings for feedback (if necessary)

  • Give opportunity for questions or to provide more information

    5 Onboarding Checklist Templates for the Perfect Onboarding Experience (5)

Before Day 1

  • Confirm start date, location, contact details, and other information

  • Send the employee a welcome email with a welcome packet or a link to an onboarding portal

  • Provide access to documentation so they can complete it ahead of time

  • Send a confirmation three to five days before the start date

  • Confirm details such as meeting field-base managers or other personnel

  • Provide field-based equipment or technology, such as laptop, mobile device, or specialized equipment

Week one and beyond

  • Give the opportunity for regular check ins to make sure employees are getting up to speed

  • Check in the the employee about technology, machinery, or use of field-based equipment

  • Answer any early questions the employee may have

  • Communicate performance goals and objectives

  • Check in with supervisors or team leads

  • Schedule relevant training sessions

  • Review certifications (if needed) and schedule learning events to keep them up to speed

Tips in the recruiting phase

  • Make sure any recruiting messages clearly communicate the role and responsibilities

  • Communicate your company’s culture, values, mission, and other details

  • Carefully create interview questions to clearly and transparently communicate what such a remote role will be like at your company

    (Video) ONBOARDING CHECKLIST | Tips to optimize your employee onboarding experience

Onboarding remote or virtual employees

  • Carefully create an offer letter than includes all details

  • Include details related schedules, time-off policies, on-site requirements (if any), equipment you may/may not provide, and more

  • Communicate important details related to reporting, working with managers, and collaborating with team members

Day one:

  • Prepare paperwork, such as tax forms, legal forms, the job offer, job description, and more

  • Have employees complete paperwork, ideally ahead of time

  • Walk employees through company-specific elements such as the company org chart, company directory, handbooks, videos, policy documentation, and more

  • Have employees sign documents using E-Signature-enabled HR software or onboarding technology


  • Engage employees!

  • Make them feel part of the team

  • Keep them excited, motivated, and informed

  • Encourage team members to welcome new hires

  • Make them part of the team with informal recognition, kudos, or other forms of encouragement

  • Recognize and reward early efforts and successes

  • Answer any questions they may have

  • Train employees on existing systems, such as intranet software, CMS tools, or other ways to find information they need to do their jobs

  • Schedule regular meetings to answer questions and provide feedback

Related resource: If you’re looking for additional information related to communicating, collaborating, and engaging remote teams and virtual employees, download our eBook, “A Better Way to Communicate and Engage Remote Workers,” today.

5 Onboarding Checklist Templates for the Perfect Onboarding Experience (6)

We hope these checklists help give you a starting point to create the ideal onboarding experience for your company. Even better, our Onboarding solution lets you create custom onboarding tasks, workflows, or processes, so no matter what experience you’re trying to create, we’re ready to help.

About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly softwareincreases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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What are the 5 C's of onboarding? ›

These components provide the best onboarding practices you can follow while hiring the latest staff into your workforce. The 5c's stand for compliance, clarification, culture, connections, and check back.

What should be included in onboarding checklist? ›

What to include in an onboarding checklist?
  • Recruitment process.
  • Role of the employee.
  • Goal setting.
  • Job training.
  • Introduction to company culture.
  • Dates for check-ins.
  • Meeting with other employees or superiors.
  • Documentation.

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

5 Steps to a Successful Onboarding Process
  • Lay the groundwork for onboarding. Onboarding planning begins before the new employee has even signed their contract. ...
  • Maintain communication with the candidate between recruitment and arrival. ...
  • Welcome the new employee to the team. ...
  • Assign a mentor or resource person. ...
  • Plan follow-ups.
Apr 26, 2022

What are the 5cs in HR? ›

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

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 is a basic checklist? ›

What is a simple checklist template? A simple checklist template is any kind of process or list of tasks arranged in the form of a checklist; in other words, it's a to-do list where the order of tasks is usually important.

Why is an onboarding checklist important? ›

An onboarding checklist is vital in ensuring you don't miss anything. It will help you prepare for the new hire's arrival and support them as they settle into a new environment. Part of this new hire checklist can be sent to the new hire in advance serving as an outline for their first day activities.

What is new employee checklist? ›

New hiring onboarding checklist

Confirm the arrival of the new employee with HR. Send and complete new hire paperwork. Send an informative welcome email. Give a copy of the employee handbook. Inform them of company policies.

How do you design the perfect onboarding process? ›

A 4-step guide for designing your employee onboarding process
  1. STEP 1: Set your goals before designing your employee onboarding process. ...
  2. STEP 2: Conduct interviews using guided questions. ...
  3. STEP 3: Use our top 10 insights to build a list of questions relevant to your organization for both onboarding and exit interviews.

What is an onboarding template? ›

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.

What are the keys to 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 are the 5 Cs of people management? ›

These five elements; Create, Comprehend, Communicate, Collaborate and Confront, form the basis of an effective people management approach. Whilst each element is important in its own right they all interrelate with and support the others.

What are the 5 C's of a company? ›

The Five Cs of Customers, Collaborators, Capabilities, Competitors and Conditions is one of the most valuable frameworks to guide a new leader's onboarding preparation.

What are the five 5 categories in the Ulrich model of HR delivery? ›

In The HR Value Proposition (2005), Ulrich subsequently revised his thinking from four key roles to five: Employee Advocate; Human Capital Developer; Functional Expert; Strategic Partner; HR Leader (Ulrich and Brockbank, 2005).

What are the 5 stages of the employee life cycle? ›

The employee lifecycle is an organizational method used to visualize how an employee engages with the company they are part of. The employee lifecycle breaks down the entirety of an employee's time with a company into seven stages: attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, separation, and advocacy.

What are the 6 steps of the employee engagement cycle? ›

There are six distinct stages at play: attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and separation. An employee passes each stage chronologically.

What does a good onboarding program look like? ›

Depending on your company's size and needs, a successful onboarding program will likely include orientation, job-specific training, introductions, culture acclimation and follow-ups. And it all starts the second a new hire commits to the job.

What is a take 5 checklist? ›

A take 5 safety checklist is a tool used to identify health and safety hazards before starting work on a site. Performing health and safety checks using the take 5 procedure (Stop, Look, Assess, Control, and Monitor) helps workers and contractors mitigate exposure to hazards and health risks.

What is checklist example? ›

A checklist is a type of job aid used in repetitive tasks to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. A basic example is the "to do list".

What is a good checklist? ›

Gawande says a good checklist is precise, efficient, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. It should provide reminders of only the most important steps, rather than trying to spell out everything—after all, a checklist can't do your job for you. And above all, a checklist should be practical.

What makes a strong onboarding process? ›

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 are the three 3 phases of employee onboarding? ›

When people teams talk about onboarding they use it to mean just about everything that happens after a new hire signs an offer letter to get them started in their role. Typically, all those different things fall into three overlapping phases: admin, orientation, and enablement.

What is the most important part of onboarding? ›

91% of Employees Who Receive Company Culture Training Feel Connected to Their Workplace. Company culture is essential for both attracting and retaining new hires—so it should be a crucial part of your onboarding program.

What are the 7 C's that you should consider in finding the best new employees? ›

The 7 C's of Hiring Great Employees
  • Competent. This is one of the first things you need to consider while you're in the process of hiring employees. ...
  • Compatible. This is another important thing your employees must have. ...
  • Capable. ...
  • Character. ...
  • Commitment. ...
  • Compensation. ...
  • Culture.
Aug 23, 2015

What are the six steps of the basic checklist? ›

6 Steps to Creating a Checklist
  • Step 1: Identify “Stupid Mistakes” That Cause Failure. ...
  • Step 2: Seek Additional Input From Others. ...
  • Step 3: Create Simple “Do” Steps. ...
  • Step 4: Create Simple “Talk” Steps. ...
  • Step 5: Test The Checklist. ...
  • Step 6: Refine the Checklist.
Mar 13, 2017

What are five 5 factors that need to be considered before employing new staff? ›

Here are 5 critical factors to consider when hiring an employee.
  • Loyalty. It costs a lot of money to hire and train people. ...
  • Personality. An employee's personality can really affect the mood in the office. ...
  • Experience. No matter how nice a person is, you need to know that they can do the job. ...
  • Hard Working. ...
  • Common Sense.

What is the main goal of onboarding? ›

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is a process used to help new hires acclimate to the work environment. The goals of onboarding are to help the new hire feel comfortable in the workplace, earn their commitment to the organization and help them start producing and contributing to the cause.

What are the 5 C's in consulting? ›

The Five Cs of Customers, Collaborators, Capabilities, Competitors and Conditions is one of the most valuable frameworks to guide a new leader's onboarding preparation.

What makes a good onboarding flow? ›

Your new user onboarding flow should accomplish the following: Introduce and familiarize new users with your application's interface with a product tour. Showcase the core benefits of your product with in-app messaging. Teach new users how to use your app.

What is offboarding checklist? ›

An offboarding checklist is an element of your overall HR strategy for managing the process of employees parting ways with your organization. It also safeguards against organizational risk by ensuring that former employees cannot access company data, systems, and networks once they leave.

What new hires really want from onboarding? ›

What do new hires want from their onboarding experience? During the onboarding process, employees want to understand how to access the tools they need to succeed in the position. New hires will have questions about protocol and processes, no matter what level they're at. Your company has its own culture.

What are onboarding skills? ›

It's the process of helping new hires understand their new roles and responsibilities, providing them with an understanding of the company's culture and goals, and helping them develop the skills they'll need to have to become productive as fast as possible.

How do you write a 5 Cs analysis? ›

How to conduct a 5 C's analysis
  1. Analyze your company. ...
  2. Analyze your customers. ...
  3. Consider your competitors. ...
  4. Review your collaborators. ...
  5. Analyze your climate.
Apr 20, 2021

What are the 5 main components in situational analysis? ›

5C situation analysis example.

A situational analysis should include the internal and external factors that affect a business, and a 5C approach may be the simplest. The 5Cs are company, customers, competitors, collaborators, and climate.

What is 5C strategy? ›

The 5 C's stand for Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Climate. These five categories help perform situational analysis in almost any situation, while also remaining straightforward, simple, and to the point.


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