Congratulations! After conducting interviews, reviewing documents, and running the most needed background checks, you’ve finally decided to hire the best talents for your open positions. The next step would be to onboard them into the organization.
The focus should be to integrate the new hire into the company in such a way that builds trust and rapport. From the get-go, it’s crucial to make them feel welcomed and supported. Onboarding may take months, but the first few days are the most crucial since this is when companies often run the necessary background checks.
Without an effective system in place, the onboarding process may involve hours upon hours of paperwork. This may further overwhelm your Human Resource Department and negatively impact employee onboarding. An effective background screening and onboarding checklist can help maintain the focus on critical tasks.
What is the Employee Onboarding Process?
Before we discuss the development of an onboarding checklist, let’s first understand what employee onboarding is.
Essentially, the onboarding process includes steps that help new hires understand how things work in the organization they are now a part of. At a glance, it’s easy to confine onboarding to setting up the payroll accounts and making sure they know the rules and regulations of the company. Ultimately, the whole process should contribute to:
- A stronger decision to hire the candidate, since the process also involves running the necessary background checks.
- The employee's smooth transition into your company. This includes orientations on the policies and processes, signing of documents, etc.
- Making sure that the new hires receive the training and resources they need to fulfill their role effectively
- Employee engagement, which includes making them feel valued and supported
Done right, effective employee onboarding can be the first step in building loyalty and improving retention.
The New Hire Onboarding Checklist
As indicated in the previous sections, the onboarding process is composed of several steps covering key areas, such as compliance and training. Because these steps may need to be undertaken simultaneously, having a solid company onboarding checklist will be helpful.
This checklist helps hiring managers or the other personnel involved organize the steps within the onboarding process. In other words, it shows that all the things needed to be accomplished per key area are completed.
Still, please note that crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is doesn’t mean your onboarding process is successful. Hence, constant communication with the new hire is a must.
Who is Responsible for Onboarding?
In most cases, Human Resources and hiring managers lead the onboarding process. However, it still depends on factors, such as how big your organization is and the position of the new hire. For instance, you may decide to partner with a reliable third-party like Veremark to take care of your post-hire employee checks. This may be beneficial for mass hiring or for small organizations who only have a few people in charge of recruitment, hiring, and onboarding.
Why Onboarding Matters
Below are some of the reasons why an effective onboarding process is important:
It minimizes risks
During the early stage of onboarding, companies often run the necessary background checks, including those required by law. In the UK, employers are legally required to conduct Right to Work checks to prevent illegal employment. Not doing so can result in fine and criminal liabilities.
To protect your client and customers, it may be necessary for you to run a criminal records check. It helps prevent the hiring of someone who may be a danger to the properties and people around them. In many countries, this check is mandatory, particularly in roles involving children and/or vulnerable adults.
It helps ensures you’re hiring top talent
Background checks also contribute to the employment of great talent.
To do this, you can get insights on their experience and attitude at work. Running a reference check or employment verification can be key to get a handle on the skillset and culture fit of your candidate.
It helps with employee retention
As hinted earlier, a successful onboarding is critical to employee loyalty. In fact, reports say new hires who received structured onboarding are more likely to stay in the company for more than three years. Another report said 81% of new hires who experienced pre-boarding are more likely to still be in the company after a year.
Pre-boarding is essentially the onboarding process you can start or accomplish before the new hire's first day of work.
On top of helping with employee retention, did you know that an effective onboarding process also contributes to productivity? According to data, companies with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity. In another report, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire productivity by up to 70%.
How is an Onboarding Checklist Helpful to Your Organization?
Having an employee onboarding checklist helps ensure that you have covered the five key areas in your company, which means you are more likely to achieve your onboarding goals. The five key areas are as follows:
Compliance involves signing the contract to make employment official, taking care of taxes, and providing orientation for policies. It also includes steps required by the law, such as health training, and signing of documents, like a non-disclosure agreement.
Completing the law-mandated checks, such as Right to Work, are also under compliance. Another example: if you’re hiring someone who’s going to handle company or client finances, see if the law requires you to conduct a credit check on the candidate. If they didn’t pass it based on your policies, it’s in the best interest of everyone to withdraw the job offer.
In your new hire onboarding checklist, logistics refers to the employee’s access to places, things, and resources they need to take on their role. This includes giving them a tour of the office, showing them their space, giving them access to the system, setting up their payroll, and providing them with devices.
Employees must also receive onboarding from their managers. This doesn’t only help them do their work right, but also efficiently. As part of their onboarding, employees must know how to book a meeting with their line manager, their goals within the next few months, and when and how they can use their time off.
An onboarding checklist usually outlines the training an employee needs - from the general ones that all people in the company must know to those specific only to their roles. A crucial part of training is supervision and mentoring. This way, the new hires will know their strengths and what they need to work on more.
Did you know that an employee may leave the company if they realize that the culture doesn’t fit them? For this reason, it’s essential to show them what your company stands for clearly.
Set up appointments for them to meet their direct managers or the people they will work with closely daily. Don’t forget to explain your culture and why you’ve taken that path. And finally, if possible, organize events to foster engagement, such as work lunches or first-Friday drinks.
What Should be Included in Your Onboarding Checklist?
Generally, your company onboarding checklist would include:
- The recruitment process they underwent and a formal, enthusiastic congratulatory message for being hired.
- Running the necessary background checks to ascertain whether or not you’ll push through with the offer. For a role that requires specific skills, it would help to conduct a Professional Qualifications check.
- Understanding the company’s products or services
- Meeting with the superiors and other employees
- Introduction to company culture
- Their role as an employee
- Job training
- Goal setting
- Dates for check-ins
Ways to Design Your Company's Onboarding Checklist
There are various ways to design your company onboarding checklist. Some of the models you can consider are as follows:
According to ROLES
Make it easier for the onboarding team to organize their tasks by crafting an onboarding checklist for them.
Tasks for Managers
Managers are often tasked with the following:
- Congratulating the new hire and setting up the first meetings
- Providing regular check-ins with the employee; this may include assigning a mentor to them
- Scheduling meetings with managers and colleagues
- Orientation about the company and how the role of the new hire fits in
- Giving the new employee a tour of the office
Tasks for Human Resources
The HR is often tasked with the following:
- Sending all the necessary onboarding documents the new hire must complete
- Running the necessary background checks specific to the role. For instance, a high-profile role may need a social media check to protect your company’s brand and reputation.
- Documenting the employee’s role and compensation to the stem
- Setting up their payroll
- Orientation on company policies, such as dress code, hours, parking, PTOs, etc.
- Setting up meetings for paperwork or review (in case the employee is still on probation)
- Complete post-hire background checks
IT Onboarding Checklist
The IT is often tasked with the following:
- Providing the new hire with the necessary gadgets and devices
- Giving them access to the system (username, password)
- Giving them a company email address
Mentor or Onboarding Buddy Checklist
The mentor is often tasked with the following:
- Inviting the new hire to join him or her in meetings or projects (shadowing)
- Scheduling regular check-ins, particularly in the first few weeks
- Responding to ad hoc inquiries
According to Sequence of Steps
You can also create a company onboarding checklist based on when tasks or steps should be accomplished. To be more organized, you may include which department should champion each task.
Onboarding Checklist for the Week Before
As early as a week before, the onboarding may start. Some of the tasks that may be included are:
- Sending the employment contracts for review (HR)
- Obtaining written consent for any additional background checks required
- Scheduling the new hire orientation (HR)
- Setting up email addresses and access to system (IT)
Onboarding Checklist for the First Day
On the first day, some of the onboarding steps you may want to complete are:
- Asking the employees to complete their details in the HR system
- Setting up employee access on how to book meetings, rooms, etc.
- Arranging schedules for one-on-one meetings with their line manager and team
- Conducting health and safety orientation
Onboarding Checklist for the First Week
In the first week, some of the onboarding steps you may want to complete are:
- Meeting about company policies
- Setting up peer-to-peer mentoring
- Setting up meetings with key people, like CEO, managers, etc.
- Conducting skills assessment for baseline data for their knowledge and skills
Examples of Onboarding Checklists
Below are some examples of onboarding checklists:
Example of an onboarding checklist according to roles (HR)
Example of an onboarding checklist according to sequence (First Week)
Note that some steps of the onboarding process can be accomplished virtually. Here’s an example of a virtual onboarding checklist.
Note that the tasks in these examples are not exhaustive. You may craft them according to your company policies, size, and manpower, as well as the role of the employee you’re onboarding.
To design an effective onboarding process, consider the following best practices.
The 5 Cs of onboarding
Make compliance a priority
Compliance should be your priority in running your business, including the onboarding of new hires. Making sure all your onboarding documents and necessary employment checks are in order, and that new hires understand the laws, is crucial not just in reducing risk, but also in making a good impression.
Make room for clarifications
Welcoming the new hires and inviting them to orientations help set expectations and provide clear instructions. Meetings also serve as avenues for them to clarify some things they may find confusing. Of course, check-ins with HR and line managers also help make room for clarifications.
Also, should a candidate have questions about the results of their background checks, allow them access to their information to correct inaccuracies or incomplete information.
Be clear about your company culture
Poor organizational fit can adversely affect retention. What’s the company’s take on safety, harassment, and bullying? How do they support an employee who wants to expand their skills and knowledge? Hence, it’s important to be clear about your company culture - both formal and informal.
When the new hires feel connected to their line managers and colleagues, they are more likely to stay in the organization. For this reason, try to arrange formal and informal events that foster connection.
Don’t forget to facilitate check-ins
And finally, employees must be heard. Arrange regular check-ins with them within the 30, 60, and 90-day period to see how they are doing and if they have concerns you can support them with.
An onboarding checklist helps the HR and managers organize what needs to be accomplished for a new hire’s transition into the organization they are now a part of. Effectively done, a structured onboarding process can improve not only employee retention but also new hire productivity.
One thing that can help with successful onboarding is to partner with a reliable platform like Veremark. We conduct background checks that can be easily integrated into your workflow, making your hiring process more efficient and significantly improving compliance with the relevant laws. Our services are also flexible and scalable - you can partner with us whether you want to run checks on a small or large-scale basis. With Veremark, we can help ensure an effective and successful onboarding process.
Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.