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Onboarding Process Template - Free Download

Use our employee onboarding template in Excel format to create your own onboarding spreadsheet for new hires.

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Employee Onboarding Process:

1. Upon Hiring.

  • Create a new hire schedule to outline the timeline from recruitment, to interviews, to the onboarding process.
  • Identify the HR point of contact and designate a peer/mentor who will be responsible for helping the new employee when they start working.
  • Order passkeys and IDs if applicable and submit any technology requests that the new employee will require.
  • Create a personnel file for the new employee and prepare any forms or documents for them to complete.

2. Before Start Date.

  • Call the employee to confirm the start date, time, location, dress code, etc., and remind them to bring any important documents to fill out on their first day.
  • Prepare an onboarding/orientation pack with company information, employee handbook, benefits information, job description, KPAs and KPIs, etc.
  • Assign required reading, including business policies and practices, so that the employee can get up to speed on what’s happening in their role and the company.
  • Pre-schedule meetings in the employee's calendar, prepare training and development programs, and brief the work peer/mentor on assisting the new employee during their first days.
  • Organize the work area, including the desk, chair, computer, phone, network, and any additional technology, as well as key/access cards and business cards that the new employee will need.
    • For remote working positions, ensure that the new employee is briefed on the hardware and software requirements for the job.

3. First Day(s).

  • Welcome the new employee upon arrival and introduce them to the team members and manager/supervisor. Take them on a tour of the building, show them to their desk or workstation, and deliver their orientation pack.
    • For remote working positions, guide the new employee through the project management systems and applicable remote working software and tools.
  • Discuss job expectations, department goals, meal/break policies, and schedules. Provide a company contact list and any necessary forms or documentation.
  • Ensure that the new employee has a fully functioning computer, telephone, and network access, as well as any software or hardware setup, orientation, or training.
    • If it is a remote working position, ensure that the new employee is suitably set up at their remote location with the relevant hardware and software.
  • Introduce the new employee to their peer, offer to take them to lunch, and answer any questions that they might have.
    • For remote working positions, offer to share a virtual lunch break or join a social meeting.

4. First Week(s).

  • Perform regular check-ins and ask the new employee how the first weeks went. Answer any questions and address any issues or learning needs that may have arisen.
  • Review the training schedule and technology functionality. Discuss current projects and tasks and review the company mission statement and business policies.
  • Discuss the new employee's performance and orientation with the manager/supervisor, as well as the peer/mentor to identify any problem areas that need to be addressed.
  • Run through tasks to be performed and ensure the employee has a clear understanding of their job expectations over the next three months.

5. End of the First Three Months.

  • Conduct a performance review to assess the new employee's performance, KPI and KPA goals, and general acclimatization. Address any concerns or questions that they might have.
  • Ensure that the new employee has attended the required training and identify any additional training that may be required. Make responsibility adjustments and introduce increasingly complex tasks or projects.
  • Conduct a performance review with the manager/supervisor as well as the peer/mentor to assess the new employee's performance and to identify any problem areas.

6. End of the First Six Months.

  • Review the new employee’s progress, KPAs and KPIs, and milestones reached in order to determine if further training is required.
  • Request feedback to understand the employee’s perception of the job and whether it aligns with their expectations.
  • Meet with the manager/supervisor and their peer/mentor at the end of the employee onboarding process to discuss how well everything went and if anything could be done better.
  • Offer continued support to enable the new employee to reach their full potential.

Employee Onboarding Process Checklist

Download this free employee onboarding process checklist in PDF format.

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The onboarding process forms just part of a greater strategy. Read our article on full life cycle recruiting to see where the onboarding process fits in the journey from attracting potential employees to eventually bringing them into the company.


What is the onboarding process for new employees?

  1. Set up the new employee's work area.
  2. Make sure they have access to the company network.
  3. On their first day, introduce them to the team.
  4. Ensure that they fill out all important documents.
  5. Ensure that your employee starts on a training plan.
  6. Check in after 30, 60, and 90 days.
  7. Ask for feedback about the onboarding experience.

What are the 4 phases of onboarding?

  1. Recruiting/Interview.
  2. Pre-offer.
  3. Orientation.
  4. Annual review.

What are the 5 C's of onboarding?

  1. Compliance.
  2. Clarification.
  3. Culture.
  4. Connection.
  5. Check back.

What is a standard onboarding process?

The standard onboarding process includes the processes upon hiring and the preparation before hiring. Then, the new employee is briefed, orientated, and prepared for their role and offered continued support and assessments to ensure that they are aligned with the company and the business goals and expectations.

What are the most common mistakes during the onboarding process?

  • Poor organization.
  • Bad first impressions.
  • Poor communication.
  • Unclear schedule and expectations.
  • Lack of support.

How long is the onboarding process?

The onboarding process typically ends after 90 days, after which the new employee should be properly integrated into the work environment.

What's the difference between employee onboarding and orientation?

The employee onboarding process is a long-term structured plan that enables employees to learn about their responsibilities, performance goals, and acclimatize to their new work environment. Orientation is a part of onboarding and is usually a one-day event.

Why is employee onboarding so important?

New hire onboarding is essential to assist new employees in becoming productive members of the company in the shortest time possible, ensuring a higher rate of employee performance, engagement, and retention.

How can I make the onboarding process better for new employees?

  • Make it interactive.
  • Develop a schedule that is personalized.
  • Give the new employee something special to remember their first day by.
  • Communicate what will make them successful.
  • Ask for feedback.

How long should new hire onboarding last?

The process of onboarding new employees is different for each company and depends on an organization's size, culture, and industry. There are different time frames for employee onboarding processes that can last anywhere from one day to a year.

To determine the best HR onboarding practice for your organization, be sure to collaborate with management whilst ensuring that you comply with labor laws for a successful staff onboarding process.

Is onboarding the same as training?

No, onboarding is the process of integrating the new employee with the rest of the employees, management, and the organizational culture, while training is the process of educating the new employee on the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of the job.

Onboarding and training are separate yet must coexist and complement each other to successfully integrate the new employee into the organization.

Does the new hire need a "buddy" or mentor?

It is helpful, but not completely essential to assign an office buddy. This depends on the industry you're in and team structure. In larger organizations, a buddy is often assigned to help new employees build rapport with their colleagues, learn the ins and outs of the business, and set them up for success.

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