A Comprehensive Guide to Employee Onboarding (Checklist + Software)

author Ranee profile imageRanee Zhang
May 29, 20224 mins
What is Employee Onboarding?

Imagine that it is your first day on the job, and no one gave you any information on getting started. You sit at your desk, wondering whom to approach and thinking whether you should even be there. 

‍Unfortunately, many new hires end up with a lousy employee onboarding experience as organizations do not invest in a well-structured onboarding program. 

‍More businesses realize the need to provide the starting point for employees to settle into the new role easily.

‍Did you know that a solid onboarding program can improve the employee retention rate by 82%? Although it is often overlooked, employee onboarding affects every aspect of your business.

‍So, effective onboarding is the key to ensuring the long-term success of your organization. It boosts the performance of new employees and improves their readiness for the job. 

What is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is how an organization integrates new employees into its culture and provides them with the necessary tools to become productive team members.

‍It includes different tasks such as setting up workstations, getting accustomed to company processes, and learning about company culture and other employees.

‍Conventional new hire programs often take place on the first couple of days when an employee joins the organization. This program usually comprises information that an employee needs to survive in the company. It is a virtual dump of policies and procedures of the organization.

‍However, it does not address the more significant challenges, such as struggles with the culture and integration with the teams. On the other hand, effective employee onboarding follows a phased approach that is focused on converting a new talent into an integrated and efficient employee.

The Importance of Employee Onboarding 

The modern onboarding approach is more creative and systematic. An effective onboarding program lays the foundation for employee engagement beyond the initial months. 

Many organizations are putting their best foot forward to make the new hires aware of their culture and values as it helps keep them motivated.

‍Here are a few benefits of having a solid employee onboarding program.

  • It helps the new talent build relationships with other employees and their coaches and mentors.

  • This approach is more beneficial as it prevents information overload and gives time to the employees to learn more about the company values and best practices

“Our objective...is to take our onboarding practices to the next level and to give each and every employee, from the moment they arrive, the keys to succeed in full alignment with company values such as multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion.” - Laurent Reich (Director of Internal Learning Practice at L’Oreal)

  • Employees who undergo well-structured onboarding programs feel more valued and supported. This generally leads to low attrition rates and considerable cost savings in the recruitment process. 

    America's favorite baked goods chain Dunkin Donuts came out with a creative and fun presentation for its new employees. It reveals how the new hires can provide a great customer experience and how to be efficient.

  • Solid onboarding programs provide a competitive advantage for employees as more people aspire to work in organizations with a great culture and ample opportunities for career advancement. 

  • The employee onboarding process allows organizations to show that they are committed to employee development. It results in better-qualified hires and a more competitive workforce.

How to Do Employee Onboarding

Your organization can make an emotional connection with the new hires through the employee onboarding process. This process should make new talent feel welcomed and prepare them to become productive team members.

Step 1: Create an Employee Onboarding Checklist

Employee onboarding is a huge task, and you should have an onboarding checklist that breaks the process into easy-to-implement steps. So, an employee onboarding checklist is a tool for organizing actions that make new hires familiar with the organization’s culture and processes and guides them to be successful at work.

A comprehensive onboarding checklist is instrumental in making the onboarding process timely and organized. Moreover, it helps you stay focused on the essential tasks at hand so that the new talent finds it easy to acclimate to their role and get integrated into their teams. 

‍Generally, the employee onboarding checklist contains the following:

  • Details of the recruitment process that comprise all the stages of recruitment. It includes different steps such as carrying out screenings and interviews, sending offer letters, and conducting background checks.

    Airgram helps you record and transcribe employee interviews on Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. So, you don’t have to take manual notes during the interview and can just focus on the critical details.

  • A welcome schedule for the new talent on their first day at the office. It involves activities that make the employee feel valued and excited about working in the company.

  • The new employee orientation program makes new hires aware of their new roles and responsibilities. It also introduces them to the culture of the organization and future possibilities. Scheduling meets and greets with leaders, establishing the lists of tasks and goals, and communicating opportunities for employee growth are the key activities at this stage. 

  • Checking plans for the first month, second month, and quarter. It is essential to touch base with the new employees regularly to share their feedback. Moreover, they can communicate any questions or concerns about the training process and their challenges as they get used to the new environment. 

‍Based on the feedback provided by new hires, you can regularly update the employee onboarding checklist. This checklist will help you schedule all the essential tasks required to make new employees feel comfortable in the organization. 

Step 2: Use an Efficient Employee Onboarding Software 

‍Employee onboarding software is another crucial tool that helps you provide a great experience to your new hires. It lets you manage employee onboarding and complete the paperwork quickly, customize onboarding requirements, and make it easy to set up new employees.

‍Let us look at some of the most efficient employee onboarding software that helps you streamline the onboarding process. 


Airgram helps you manage your remote recruitment process as more organizations opt for flexible working options. You can schedule remote interviews with candidates, share the interview plan, and provide other helpful information beforehand. 

‍It also enables you to conduct in-depth interviews without worrying about taking notes. You can easily access the interviews later as it records and even transcribes them. 

‍If you want to share insights about the recruitment process with all the stakeholders, you can do so through team collaboration software such as Slack and Notion. It also helps you export the notes to Microsoft Word and Google Docs. So, it is easier to maintain hiring transparency even while working remotely from the comfort of your home. 


‍Scribe helps you create onboarding documents such as checklists, key performance indicators, and other templates for new talent. It is a desktop app or a chrome extension that can capture a workflow and document it in a series of steps. So, you can easily create work instructions, SOPs, and other necessary documentation. 

Bamboo HR

‍This HR software makes it easier to manage employee onboarding by creating an applicant tracking system and customizable packages for the pre-boarding process. It also offers electronic signatures, checklists, and an easy setup for sending out welcome emails.


This interactive platform provides onboarding templates to make the onboarding process seamless from beginning to end. It helps you monitor new hire documentation, keeps you updated about the onboarding progress of every employee, and helps you share documents and feedback with the key stakeholders. You can also create weekly schedules for your new team members to help them better manage their time.


‍Sapling is a people’s operation platform for medium-sized companies. It gets you started with the onboarding process by syncing with your applicant tracking system. 

‍The software also helps new employees complete their documentation and onboarding tasks. 


ClearCompany provides an efficient applicant tracking system and an intuitive onboarding module. It enables the new hires to sign the onboarding documentation from any device. Also, their data can be easily transferred across systems with the help of payroll partnerships of the company with some leading organizations. 


‍Connecteam simplifies onboarding tasks by managing documentation and creating customized training for new talent that can be accessed 24/7. It also helps you create quizzes related to the company culture and other teaching material so that the new talent learns more about your organization in a fun way.


Asana helps you create a new hire project to speed up the onboarding process. You can add tasks to the project and assign them to the respective employees. For instance, you can add a job such as “Order a Desktop” and transfer it to someone in the concerned department. 

‍It also has the provision of inviting other teammates concerned with the onboarding process.

Pro Tips for a Successful Onboarding Process

‍A good onboarding process is not just about hiring employees. It involves providing them with useful company-wide information and working materials and giving them the time to internalize company culture and learn more about their teams. 

Hybrid/Onsite Teams

As the process varies for onsite and hybrid teams, here are a few pointers to make the onboarding process efficient for a hybrid or onsite team.

Share FAQs about Hybrid Work Environment

Before they start working with the organization, new employees would have questions regarding the hybrid work environment. So, it is good to share FAQs regarding the hybrid workplace.

Organize Fun Activities 

Share short videos about the company’s culture, processes, and other information that is reiterated during the onboarding process.

‍You can have a mobile-friendly trivia game about the company’s values and mission. The idea is to keep the new hires engaged as they learn more about your organization.

Assign an Onboarding Buddy

As the new talent is getting accustomed to the work culture and expectations, they can benefit from the guidance of an experienced employee. Companies such as Google have a peer buddy whom the new hires can ask questions and seek clarifications. 

Schedule Meetings with the Key Staff

Organize meetings with all the important members of the team. It helps the new hire get integrated into the workplace and know the expectations right from the start. 

Provide them with the Essential Tools and Resources

The new employees need all the necessary resources at their disposal to be successful. 

Moreover, this also showcases that the company is adequately prepared to welcome new hires. It is disappointing to wait for equipment and necessary information to get started.

Remote Teams               

In the wake of unexpected global changes, there is a sudden rise in remote working opportunities. So, it is essential to adopt an onboarding strategy that is relevant for your remote employees, and here are a few tips that will help you do so.

Create a Welcome Package

As the new employees start working remotely, sending a welcome email is necessary but not enough. So, you can plan additional activities to make them feel welcome in the organization, such as virtual games and icebreakers.

‍You can host a virtual lunch or send them a coffee or a muffin on their first day. Share videos of teammates wishing them a warm welcome as the new hires are ready to get started.

Provide an In-Office Experience 

Although they work remotely, every new hire would like to know more about the company and the team. It is good to replicate an in-office experience so that they get the best of both worlds. Organizing meets and greets with the team and having virtual introductions in team meetings are great ways to make them feel valued.

Give them a List of Important Contacts

Curate a list of the key stakeholders and ensure that the new talent knows who they are and their role in the company.

Set them up with a Mentor

The new employees can benefit immensely from having a regular mentor who checks with them. But the mentor must be ready to dedicate time via Google Meet and Zoom to create an in-office environment. 

‍The employees are brand ambassadors of your company, and a great onboarding experience will not only help promote your culture and values but also boost employee productivity and satisfaction levels. 

Ranee Zhang

Ranee has worked in the SaaS industry for nearly ten years. She loves working with, learning from, and helping develop effective leaders and is willing to share her thoughts through words. Outside of work, you can find her dancing, hiking in the mountains, or reading in a cafe.

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