Your Ultimate Checklist for Developing Onboarding and New Hire Practices

By Laura Davis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Developing an onboarding process for your company is a critical first step to ensure a new employee will thrive.  If you are busy growing your business, and you’d like an HR Pro to take the reins on this project, Ignite HR would love to do this for you, but if you’re in the mood to DIY, these are the essential elements of a thorough, efficient, process to set the stage for success for your new hires.


  1. Develop Policies and Practices: Establish clear hiring policies and procedures, including confidentiality agreements, nondisclosure policies, and a structured new hire orientation process.
  2. Record-Keeping: Implement a process to record the receipt of necessary new hire paperwork by both the employee and employer.
  3. Dissemination of Paperwork: Ensure that new hire paperwork is promptly disseminated to essential departments to facilitate a smooth onboarding process.
  4. Welcome Practices: Develop welcoming practices to make new employees feel valued and part of the team from day one.
  5. HR Procedures: Establish HR procedures to ensure timely completion of payroll and benefit enrollment for new hires.


  1. First-Day Practices: Plan a comprehensive first-day agenda, including meetings with managers, coworkers, facility tours, and lunch arrangements.
  2. Training Presentations: Develop training presentations covering various aspects such as company culture, management practices, sexual harassment prevention, performance management, policies, and procedures.
  3. Mentoring Program: Establish a mentoring or buddy program and provide training to mentors/buddies to support new hires in their transition.
  4. Specialized Training: Identify and provide specialized training necessary for new employees to excel in their roles.
  5. Communication of Goals: Communicate company annual and long-term goals and objectives and establish initial job goals and objectives for new hires.


  1. Check-in Meetings: Develop a schedule for periodic check-in and training meetings for managers to conduct with new hires.
  2. Department Orientation: Create orientation meeting presentations by each department to familiarize new employees with departmental functions and their relevance to the new employee’s role.
  3. Key Player Meetings: Schedule meetings with internal and external stakeholders involved in the success of the new employee’s role.


  1. Orientation Survey: Develop an orientation survey to gather feedback from new hires and report results to senior management quarterly.

 Investing time and resources in developing robust onboarding practices not only benefits new employees but also contributes to the overall success and growth of your organization. Here’s to a successful onboarding journey for your new hires!

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