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Employee Onboarding Template

Employee onboarding checklists, also known as onboarding templates, are incredibly useful human resources tools. Most simply, they act as roadmaps for the employee onboarding process.
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What is an employee onboarding checklist?

Welcoming new employees might seem like a relatively straightforward process, but we can assure you that your human resources department wouldn’t agree.

Fortunately, onboarding templates and onboarding tools help organize and streamline the entire onboarding process as they contain lists of the most important actions, information, and documentation required for new hires. A new employee onboarding checklist is essential for systematically organizing the various stages involved in guiding new hires as they begin their journey with the company. A positive onboarding experience can set the tone for a new hire’s journey. Onboarding programs can be formal or informal depending on the work environment and can last anywhere from a couple weeks to several months.

Onboarding checklists vary between companies and industries and largely depend on individual company policies, but usually include the following:

  • A welcome letter or welcome email introducing the company, providing a sneak peek into the company culture, and letting new hires know what to expect on day one of their new jobs.

Pro Tip: Onboarding checklists can also include onboarding-related reminders for the human resources department. This might include ordering supplies, first week or first month follow-ups and check-ins, reminders to organize meetings with managers and/or supervisors, and notes to set up training and/or professional development.- Mandatory paperwork. This can include background checks, payroll & employee benefits information, relevant certifications and/or qualifications, and other new hire paperwork.

  • General company policies & basic information. This can include introductions to team members, building and/or office tours, dress code details, time logging information, and working hours. Note: This step is sometimes accomplished by providing a link to the company’s employee handbook.
  • Initial training & work environment set-up. This is especially important if you use company-wide systems or tools. Also, make sure not to leave your new hires hanging without an internet connection or printing code.

What can a new hire onboarding checklist do for me?

You might be wondering whether putting together an employee onboarding checklist will really make your life that much easier. We can assure you that it will, because it’ll…

  • Increase employee satisfaction and retention from the get-go. Arriving for your first day of a new job can be intimidating and overwhelming. Having a consistent onboarding process helps new employees overcome those sensations and feel welcome and oriented instead. The onboarding journey facilitated by checklists has been proven to increase employee satisfaction and retention in the short and long term. Collecting onboarding feedback at various stages can further enhance the process by pinpointing areas for improvement.
  • Give your company a great first impression. If your company’s onboarding practices are well-organized and thorough, that first impression will be reflected back onto your company in general. A well-organized onboarding strategy also demonstrates the company's commitment to its employees' success.

Pro Tip: Some companies have fun with their employee onboarding process and offer new hires small gifts or include them in fun welcome activities.

  • Encourage transparency, open communication & mentorship. Onboarding checklists help start the employer-employee relationship off on the right foot. You can transmit a company culture of openness and communication by encouraging mentorship, guidance, and questions as part of your onboarding practices.
  • Save you time! No two onboarding processes are exactly alike, but most of them are pretty similar. Putting together an accurate new hire checklist will save you time welcoming new employees and help you avoid forgetting key steps.

Slite's free employee onboarding checklist

Ready to start putting together an onboarding process template? We thought so!

One of the biggest barriers to using onboarding checklists is the daunting task of developing them. Don’t worry… Slite’s got your back! Our employee onboarding templates look great, are 100% customizable, can be worked on collaboratively with the whole human resources team… and did we mention that they’re free? Slite also provides comprehensive onboarding resources to help streamline the process. Using employee onboarding software can streamline the onboarding process and enhance collaboration.

How can I get started with the onboarding process?

Starting working on your onboarding process template by ensuring the efficiency and consistency of the entire onboarding process:

Collecting Key Paperwork

Onboarding processes always require a lot of paperwork. Don’t forget any and make a list of all the key forms, information, and documents that new hires need to fill out and include them on your checklist. It’s not glamorous, but it’s necessary!

A hire onboarding checklist is crucial for organizing the onboarding process, ensuring important legal documents are filed, and breaking down the process into manageable phases.


This should be done with all the human resources team members that are usually part of the hiring and/or onboarding process. Organize a collaborative brainstorming session to make the most out of your onboarding checklist and cover all your bases.

An hr onboarding checklist can be used to create itemized lists of activities, mark status, assign contact persons, and add notes for each stage of the onboarding process.

Introducing Key Company Information

Ask yourself questions like: “What company values do we want to transmit to new hires on day one?” and “What aspects of our company culture do we want to highlight in our onboarding process?” This will give new employees the right impression of their new workplace and help inform the rest of your onboarding checklist. If you have Slite, they can just ask their questions and immediately get answers like this:

Slite's Ask in Action!

Outlining A Typical Week

Sketching out a week in the life of one of your employees will help you determine all the basic information you need to provide new hires with. It will also be a valuable tool for new hires to refer back to throughout their first months and when their performance review comes up!

New hire onboarding is essential for introducing new hires to company culture and ensuring a smooth integration into the organization.

Onboarding Remote Employees: A Special Consideration

Remote work has become the norm for many companies, bringing with it unique challenges for remote onboarding. Here’s what you need to consider when welcoming new hires who won’t be stepping foot in your office:

  • Virtual Welcome: Make their first day special, even from afar. Consider sending a welcome package with company swag, a handwritten note, or even a gift card for a local coffee shop. Schedule a virtual meet-and-greet with their team and key stakeholders to foster connection.
  • Tech Setup & Support: Ensure new hires have all the necessary equipment (laptop, headphones, etc.) and access to software and systems. Offer IT support to troubleshoot any tech issues they encounter.
  • Clear Communication Channels: Establish clear guidelines for communication and collaboration. Which tools (e.g., Slack, Teams) will they use for different purposes? When can they expect responses? Clear expectations prevent confusion and frustration.
  • Virtual Training & Mentorship: Provide virtual training sessions, webinars, or recorded tutorials. Pair new hires with a mentor or buddy who can offer guidance and answer questions.
  • Building a Sense of Community: Remote work can feel isolating. Encourage virtual team-building activities, social events, and opportunities for informal interactions to help new hires feel connected to their colleagues.

Pro Tip: Consider creating a separate remote onboarding checklist to address these specific needs.

Measuring Onboarding Success: Are Your New Hires Thriving?

You’ve invested time and resources into creating a stellar onboarding program, but how do you know if it’s actually working? Measuring the success of your onboarding efforts is crucial to ensure you’re setting new hires up for success and continuously improving the process. Tracking onboarding metrics is essential to ensure the process is effective. Here are a few key metrics to track:

  • Time to Productivity: How long does it take new hires to become fully productive in their roles? Track this metric to identify bottlenecks in your onboarding process and optimize it for faster ramp-up time.
  • New Hire Engagement & Satisfaction: Conduct surveys or pulse checks to gauge how new hires feel about their onboarding experience. Are they feeling welcomed, supported, and engaged? Their feedback is invaluable for identifying areas for improvement.
  • Retention Rates: How many new hires stay with your company after 6 months or a year? High turnover rates in the early stages of employment could signal issues with your onboarding program.
  • Performance Reviews: How are new hires performing in their roles after onboarding? Are they meeting or exceeding expectations? This metric can help you assess the effectiveness of your training and development efforts.
  • Referral Rates: Are your new hires so happy that they’re referring their friends to your company? High referral rates are a strong indicator of a positive onboarding experience.

Remember, measuring onboarding success isn’t just about collecting data. It’s about using that data to continuously refine and improve your program. Regularly review your metrics, gather feedback from new hires, and make adjustments as needed.

Onboarding Beyond the Checklist

While a checklist helps with the initial steps, a successful onboarding program doesn’t end on day one. It’s an ongoing process that sets the foundation for long-term employee engagement and growth.

Here’s how to keep the momentum going:

  • Regular Check-Ins: Schedule frequent check-ins with new hires during their first few weeks and months. These conversations provide a space for them to ask questions, share feedback, and raise concerns. They also allow you to assess their progress and offer additional support.
  • Mentorship Programs: Pair new hires with experienced colleagues who can serve as mentors. Mentors can offer guidance, share knowledge, and help new employees navigate the company culture.
  • Continuous Learning Opportunities: Encourage new hires to participate in ongoing training, workshops, and development programs. This demonstrates your commitment to their growth and helps them build the skills they need to succeed.
  • Feedback Loops: Regularly solicit feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience. This valuable input can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure your onboarding process is effective.

Common Onboarding Mistakes

Even with the best intentions, onboarding can sometimes go awry. Being aware of onboarding pitfalls is crucial to create a smoother experience. Here are a few common mistakes to steer clear of:

  • Information Overload: Bombarding new hires with too much information too quickly can overwhelm them. Pace the delivery of information and prioritize the most essential details.
  • Lack of Communication: Clear and consistent communication is crucial. Ensure new hires know who to contact for different types of questions and concerns. Regular check-ins help prevent them from feeling lost or isolated.
  • Rushed Process: Don’t rush through onboarding just to check off boxes. Take the time to ensure new hires feel welcomed, understand their roles and responsibilities, and have the resources they need to succeed.
  • Neglecting Culture Fit: Onboarding isn’t just about technical skills. It’s also about integrating new hires into your company culture. Make an effort to introduce them to your values, norms, and traditions.
  • Ignoring Feedback: Don’t dismiss feedback from new hires. Their insights can be invaluable for improving your onboarding process and overall employee experience.

By being mindful of these common pitfalls, you can create a smoother, more effective onboarding experience that sets your new hires up for success from day one.

There you have it!

By investing in a well-thought-out onboarding process, you’re not just checking boxes – you’re investing in your company’s future. Happy, engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and loyal, and it all starts with a positive onboarding experience. Investing in a well-thought-out process leads to onboarding success and benefits the company in the long run.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab our free employee onboarding template, gather your team, and start building an onboarding program that makes your new hires feel right at home.

And if you’re looking...

For a powerful tool to streamline onboarding and empower your team with knowledge, don’t forget to check out Slite!

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