| 25 September, 2023 | 7 Min Read

[2023 Updated] The Ultimate New Hire Onboarding Checklist

According to Brandon Hall Group, an effective onboarding process can boost employee retention by 82%. Want to keep talents at your organization? Let’s follow our new hire onboarding checklist now!

The onboarding is how you make the first impression with new hires. And it has been proven that this very first impression will affect employee engagement, as we mentioned above.

However, many hiring managers get onboarding wrong, as Gallup finds that only 12% of employees have a good employee onboarding experience. Some common onboarding mistakes include neglecting the pre-boarding phase, overwhelming new hires with information, or lack of follow-up and feedback.

So, to help you avoid being on the wrong side, we have compiled the best onboarding checklist to serve as your guide.

This onboarding template will guide you from pre-onboarding through the first-week onboarding and beyond to ensure a smooth transition for new hires. 

Did you think the onboarding stage ends after one week? Let's explore what you should continue to do until their first-year work anniversary!

What is a new hire onboarding checklist?

What is a new hire onboarding checklist?

An onboarding checklist is used by managers and HR professionals to prepare for a new employee's arrival. It outlines the necessary steps and tasks while guiding new members to join the new team.

According to HRCI's research in 2022, effective onboarding results in 58% of new hires staying at a company for at least three years. Additionally, SHRM’s study highlights that a robust onboarding process can boost new employees' productivity by over 70%.

It shows that the onboarding checklist plays a crucial role in setting the stage for a successful and enduring employee-employer relationship.

Understand the importance of the onboarding experience; some companies even use free HR systems to automate the onboarding process.

But whether you do it manually or automatically with tools, remember that the new hire onboarding template must cover everything from orientation to helping the new employee adapt to their new role.

To help streamline things, we will provide a free onboarding template for each stage of the new employee onboarding process.

Pre-onboarding checklist

Even before the new employee starts their job, you need to begin some preparations to ensure a proper welcome.

Send welcome email to new employee

The first step in preparing your new hires for their journey within the company is to send a warm and inviting welcome email.

This email should convey the company's enthusiasm about their arrival and provide essential details, such as their start date, reporting time, dress code, and other relevant information. 

It's also an excellent opportunity to introduce the new employee to their future colleagues by including a brief bio and a photo.

Prepare new hire paperwork

Efficiently handling paperwork is crucial to streamline the onboarding process. 

Before the new employee's first day, ensure that all necessary forms and documents are ready for review and signature. These documents may include employment contracts, tax forms, company policies, and other legal or compliance-related paperwork.

Having these documents organized and readily available not only saves time but also demonstrates your company's commitment to a smooth transition into the organization.

Set up workspace and accounts for new hires

To ensure your new hires hit the ground running, you should have their workspace and digital accounts set up and ready. This includes:

  • Physical Workspace: Ensure that the new hire's desk, chair, computer, phone, and any other necessary equipment are in place and functional. A welcoming and organized workspace will help employees feel at home from day one.
  • Digital Accounts: Create and configure all the necessary digital accounts, including email, access to company software and systems, and any other tools specific to their role. Ensure login credentials are provided and clearly communicated to the new employee.

First-day onboarding checklists


A well-organized first day can significantly impact the new hire's impression of the company and set the tone for their entire onboarding experience.

Send a new employee announcement

Start the new employee's first day on the right foot by sending out a company-wide or team-wide announcement introducing them.

This new employee announcement email can include a brief bio, the new hire's role, and a warm welcome from the team or department they'll be working with. 

This not only helps establish a sense of belonging but also fosters a positive and inclusive company culture.

Perform an orientation

Orientation is the most important part of the onboarding process. This is the key to making the new hire feel welcomed, included, and supported on their first day.

In this part, we will show you the new hire orientation best practices for on-site and remote employees.

On-Site orientation checklist:

  • Perform an office tour to show the new hire their workspace and other important areas (break room, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.)
  • Introduce the new employee to their colleagues and department
  • Provide access to the building and explain any security protocols
  • Give the new hire a welcome packet (company swag such as a mug, stationery, or uniform)
  • Ask the new employee to complete HR documents

Virtual orientation checklist:

  • Share access to all communication platforms (email, video calls, instant messaging, etc.)
  • Mail the welcome packet to the new hire
  • Communicate your security expectations for devices
  • Consider providing a work-from-home stipend for them to purchase needed-for-work supplies and equipment

Schedule intro meetings

Set up introductory meetings with key personnel or departments that the new hire will interact with regularly. These meetings can include:

  • Manager Meeting: Schedule a one-on-one meeting between the new employee and their manager. This is an opportunity to discuss the job description, performance expectations, and goals.
  • HR Meeting: In this meeting, you can help them fill out all necessary paperwork, explain the company culture and policies, and answer any questions the new hire may have.
  • Departmental Meetings: Depending on the new hire's role, schedule meetings with relevant departments like marketing, IT, or sales to ensure they understand how their work fits into the broader organizational structure.

In this process, with too many people involved, it may easily get confused. That’s when Grove HR can help. This free HR tool provides the PIC Tasks Assigning feature, allowing you to easily assign tasks to other team members and ensure each onboarding touchpoint is flawless.

Assign an onboarding buddy

Assigning an onboarding buddy or mentor can be immensely beneficial for the new employee's integration process. Microsoft’s case study shows that employees with onboarding buddies are 23% more satisfied after the first week on the job and experience a 36% increase in satisfaction at the 90-day mark.

The onboarding buddy will be available for questions, help the new hire to make friends with other colleagues, and can even act as a mentor to train them on certain aspects of the role.

It will prevent the new employee from feeling alone in an unfamiliar environment.

First-week onboarding checklist

This is the new hire onboarding checklist during their first week of work:

  • Check in daily to see how they adjust to a new work environment
  • Schedule training and answer any questions
  • Organize social events and team-building activities
  • Ask for feedback about the onboarding process
  • Complete benefits enrollment 
  • Review employee performance evaluations and set goals

First-month onboarding checklist 

In the first 30 days of onboarding, you should do the following:

  • Conduct a first-month onboarding survey
  • Hold weekly meetings with the new employee
  • Start assigning them to ongoing projects
  • Provide feedback and progress review
  • Give relevant training based on the results of the review
  • Set performance goals that can be monitored and evaluated
  • Check that employee payroll is running smoothly
  • Review the probationary period
  • Discuss the end-of-probationary period

First-year review

Don’t forget to celebrate your employee’s first-year anniversary. Make them feel special on their work anniversary to keep them happy at work.

Aside from that, there are a few more things to do:

  • Ask for feedback on the first year of work
  • Conduct the yearly performance/salary review
  • Discuss goals, projects, and plans for the upcoming year


A well-organized new hire onboarding checklist can streamline the onboarding process and make your new employees feel happy and confident with the new job.

In this article, we have provided you with a standard and free onboarding checklist template. However, we understand that one size doesn’t fit all, so please feel free to customize it to fit your organization.

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Reduce manual effort with automated HR processes

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