How to Build a Successful HR Onboarding Process

Although the definition of employee onboarding differs by organization, it is generally known as the process of introducing your employees to the expectations, knowledge, skills, and specific culture of your company.

Why is employee onboarding so important? It not only helps you attract top talent, but it helps you retain them as well. According to data from, one in four new hires will leave an organization within the first 180 days. With a proper HR onboarding process, the chances of your new hire seeking employment elsewhere significantly decreases.

Follow this step-by-step guide for the HR onboarding process and make your efforts more successful:

Step #1: Start HR onboarding from the beginning

Every company should strive to attract prospective employees that mesh well with the organization’s mission and values. How can you do this? Start the HR onboarding process from the very beginning.

In the job description that you’ll be posting on recruitment websites, be sure to let prospective new hires know what the company culture is like. Specifically, outline what type of person you are looking for. This will help ensure that you’re attracting talent that both understand and fit with your specific business from the get-go.

Step #2: Understand the HR needs of new employees

It’s impossible to offer a thoughtful and immersive HR onboarding process if you don’t understand the needs of your new employees. Your new hires need to be briefed and understand four main areas: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

Compliance is the basic aspect of a new hire’s job. For example, include things like how employees track time during their shifts, required dress code, and any policies and procedures they need to follow.

Clarification includes a detailed outline of job requirements. This lets employees know what is expected of them in their new role. Use this opportunity to arm your new employee with everything they need to know about their job, including who they report to.

For culture, give your new employees a comprehensive feel for their new workplace. This is a great time to introduce the company’s mission and values.

Lastly, for connection, help your employees foster important connections by introducing them to staff members both on and off their team.

Step #3: Put a detailed onboarding plan together

Now that you understand the needs of your new employees, you can get to work on putting a detailed plan into place. Things to include in this plan are all aspects of a new hire’s first day. For example, you want to coordinate the new hire’s arrival with everyone involved. This includes the new hire’s supervisor, the receptionist, and their specific team members.

Next, make sure to order and have in place all of the supplies they will need for their first day. A computer, a dedicated login, a telephone, an email address, and even a nameplate are all essential items that need to be included.

Make sure to have their day organized by specific events they need to attend including orientations, meetings, introductions, and even a chunk of time to fill out all the necessary paperwork. Many businesses use HR software to ensure the onboarding process is as accurate as possible. You can never be too prepared, so the more details you include here the better.

Step #4: Introduce your new hire to their new role

Now that all of the essential components of your new hire’s first day are taken care of, spend some time introducing them to their new role. Here is where you (or their new manager) can introduce them to the projects they will be contributing to in their new role and how they fit into the equation.

This introduction will help new employees feel a sense of identity and belonging on their first day. What can be better than that?

Step #5: Plan for their first week of work

The HR onboarding process doesn’t just stop on the employee’s first day. A good onboarding procedure also takes into account an employee’s first week. This will help ensure that your new employee doesn’t feel like they are being thrown to the wolves and expected to start making meaningful contributions right away.

Giving them a week to learn about company culture and make important connections is so important. Schedule meetings for them to learn not just about their specific projects, but also different projects that the department as a whole, or other team members, are working on. This will help new employees feel like they are being valued, as opposed to just completing as many tasks as possible.

Step #6: Give new employees more information

Lastly, before you conclude your employee onboarding, make sure to give your new employees a place to go should they need more information. For example, you can give them the information of the HR associate in charge of their department. This will help new employees feel like they are not alone and have somewhere to turn should they need help.

Now that you have the necessary steps involved in putting together a great onboarding experience, you should be well on your way to attracting and retaining top talent.

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