Build the Perfect New Hire Process With The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

Last Updated on March 17, 2021 by Owen McGab Enaohwo

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The onboarding process isn’t just the best way to welcome new hires. It’s also vital to keep them at your company for the long term—and that’s where the new hire process takes over.

(Hiring new employees, however, is a time-consuming process. There are countless resumes to go through, candidates to interview, onboard training to prepare… the list goes on and on.)

(The worst part is that it doesn’t even end there. You also have to keep the new employees engaged and ensure they have all the necessary tools for growth. Otherwise, they’ll just end up leaving within a couple of months, and you’ll have to start back from scratch.)

Companies need a strategy to retain employees through effective onboarding. In this blog post, we’ll dive into:

  • The different types of onboarding
  • The goals of employee onboarding and why it matters
  • How to hire the perfect candidates for the job
  • Different steps to follow for an engaging onboarding process
  • Tools you can use during the hiring process that make your life easier

Let’s get started.

New Employee Onboarding Guide – Content Index

Chapter 1: What is New Employee Onboarding?

Chapter 2: Why Effective Employee Onboarding Matters

Chapter 3: How to Find the Best Candidate Before the Hiring Process

Chapter 4: The Onboarding Process – 19 Best Practices

Chapter 5: Take Advantage of Technology For Employee Onboarding

Chapter 1: What is New Employee Onboarding?

What is New Employee Onboarding?

New employee onboarding is the process your company takes to welcome new hires into the organization. It’s a process that’s vital for not only introducing them to how you do things in the office but also to retain them in the long term.

After all, first impressions do matter. If the onboarding process goes sour, the candidate may not return to your company, losing you time and money on hiring costs. 

In other words, it’s what could make or break the relationship between an employer and the new employee. So, you can’t afford to offer a sub-par experience to the latest member of your team.

How companies go through the new employee onboarding process differs from organization to organization. Some have specific group activities they like to organize, while others focus on making the new hire go through detailed training.

The 3 Main Goals of New Employee Onboarding

The 3 Main Goals of New Employee Onboarding

Before we get into tricks and tactics to make the hiring process a breeze, it’s vital to understand the goals behind onboarding. The main objectives of new employee onboarding include:

Goal #1: Preparing the Hire for the New Role

First and foremost, the new hire process’s goal is to make sure the employee is on board with the different tasks and expectations of the job.

It’s going to require a lot from you. You may have to give them training, provide them with a mentor throughout the day, and help them connect with other workplace employees. 

During this time, the hire can also ask any question about the job. Companies must also equip the new hire with all the tools and resources they need for the job, such as a desk, computers, uniforms, etc. 

By preparing the hire accordingly for the role, they’ll be able to start their tasks within a couple of months and take your company to new heights.

Goal #2: Drive Employee Engagement and Make the Hire Feel Comfortable

As mentioned earlier, the new hire process is what determines whether a new hire will stick around or not. It’s something that your company can’t overlook if its goal is to build a stronger team.

The new hire must feel as comfortable as possible in the workplace. After all, stepping into a new environment can be intimidating for many candidates. If not, they’ll end up looking for work elsewhere or going to the competition. 

If you provide the employee with an engaging experience and show you’re willing to invest in their growth, they’ll feel more engaged. It’s going to make it easier for them to adapt and get used to the hang of things in your office.

Goal #3: Keep the Employee in the Long Term

Not only does replacing an employee take up significant time from your schedule, but it can also come at a high cost. Turnovers for companies can cost around $15,000 per worker

To make it worse, over 33% of new hires leave the company within 90 days. That’s a harrowing statistic to hear for many companies out there.

Turnovers are always a big headache to deal with for employers. After all, there are probably other areas of your company you’d prefer to focus on, such as managing your office or growing your organization. 

Your organization needs an employee retention strategy if it wants to grow. It all starts by providing the new hire with an excellent onboarding experience: by setting up the new hire for success, they’ll be more likely to stick in the long term.

It’s going to be a win-win for everyone. Not only will you create a more engaged team of employees, but your wallet will thank you: you’ll save thousands of dollars that you can reinvest into your company. 

Chapter 2: Why Effective Employee Onboarding Matters

Why Effective Employee Onboarding Matters

Onboarding new employees effectively is a crucial first to welcome new employees to the team. From creating a more robust company culture to improving your employee’s performance, it can make your organization stand out from the rest.

The list of benefits is endless. Here’s how having a solid onboarding process can make such a big difference for your company.

Retain More Employees in Your Company

Optimizing the onboarding process isn’t just good for the new hire’s experience. It also boosts your company by helping it grow and save money.

As mentioned earlier, hiring costs can take a hit to your bottom line. By onboarding employees successfully, you’ll be able to keep more members on your team and avoid spending money on attracting new candidates.

A quality onboard process ensures that not only will the hire show up on the first day, but they stick around with your company for years to come. You’ll be minimizing turnover while maximizing your employee lifetime value. 

Attract the Best Talent Out There

Winning the best talent is the goal of many HR professionals. Fifty-nine percent of HR workers believe that finding the top-performing candidates will be a challenge in the next couple of years. 

Not only does an engaging onboarding process retain existing employees, but it’s also an effective way to attract more. Let us explain.

If the new hire has a good experience with your company, they’ll be more likely to spread the word to others around them or in the industry. It’s going to make it easier for your organization to attract other members to the team. 

Let’s say, for example, that you encourage each new hire to post a review on Glassdoor after the onboarding process.

Doing this will help attract more candidates through the power of social proof. If they post an excellent review that describes their experience at your company in a positive light, other people will see it and will want to join the team as well.

As a result, you’ll be able to grow your company with the best talent. It’s an upward spiral that never stops.

Make Employees More Productive

An effective onboarding process makes new employees excited to get started on the job. It consists of understanding each hire’s needs and what you can do to ensure they grow the most during the onboarding process.

By optimizing the onboarding process, you’re putting employees in an environment that encourages growth. It’s going to make them feel that you value their careers, which in return makes them more fulfilled and motivated to get to work.

New hires want to feel like their new Manager has got their back. By investing in your new employees and making them feel welcomed, you’ll boost their job. 

It’s going to help them feel more productive, which will result in better company performance. 

Improve Your Company Culture

Lastly, your employees are the backbone of your company. By making them feel valued and assimilated in our office, you’re going to create a better company culture for everyone. 

It all starts by finding the right candidate during the hiring process (which we’ll get into later). You don’t want to onboard just anybody—you want to make sure that the employee is the right fit for your company.

Informal vs. Formal Onboarding: What’s the Difference?

As you begin optimizing the new hire process, it’s essential to keep in mind that there are two forms of employee onboarding: informal and formal. Let’s dive into how each method differs and which is a better strategy for your company.

Informal Onboarding

Informal onboarding pretty much consists of putting the new hire into a “sink-or-swim” situation. It’s unplanned, doesn’t define clear set goals, and is self-directed. 

The idea is that by putting the new hire into immersion and throwing them to the wolves, they’ll have no choice but to figure out how the job works. They don’t receive much support or direction during the process.

As popular as this onboarding strategy might be among companies, it’s counterproductive. It doesn’t take into account the new hire’s needs to adapt to the job accordingly. 

As a result, an informal onboarding experience can leave new hires with a bad taste in their mouths. They may feel lost and frustrated, which in return might cause them to leave the company within the first weeks, which isn’t a good thing if your goal is to attract and retain the best talent for your company.

Formal Onboarding 

On the other hand, a formal onboarding process offers more structure to new hires in your company. There’s a set of rules and guidelines to follow, goals to reach throughout the onboarding process, and a list of expectations. 

Typically, employees are kept apart from others in the workplace to go through specific training and coaching. It includes in-class training, orientation, and socialization.

Other aspects of formal onboarding include organizing group activities and providing new hires with all the tools and software they need for the job.

There will be no guesswork on the new employee’s behalf. They’ll have a clear idea of what’s expected of them so they can become familiar with the position as soon as possible.

It’s going to relieve stress not only for the new hire but employers during the first six months of the job.

Chapter 3: How to Find the Best Candidate Before the Hiring Process

How to Find the Best Candidate Before the Hiring Process

Companies often believe that the hiring and onboarding process are two different things, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

The recruiting process is when candidates get the first glimpse of your company, so ensuring it goes smoothly is vital. 

As mentioned earlier, recruiting the right people in your organization is crucial for your company culture. If the candidate is not the right fit, it will create friction during the onboarding process.

A good hiring process makes onboarding new employees so much easier for companies. Here’s what you can do to find the best candidate before you recruit them to your team.

Write a Clear Job Description

Finding the perfect candidate all starts with your job description. 

The first thing you must focus on is to write a compelling job description that lets candidates know exactly what they can expect from your company. It’s going to ensure that both parties are on the same page before the job begins.

It’s the simple things that count. Make sure that your description uses a clear job title and describes the tasks in a concise way that lets candidates know exactly what they can expect from the job.

The language and tone that you use throughout the description are also vital to consider. Most candidates will skim through job descriptions and don’t read the whole text, so avoid using jargon or complicated sentences. 

Another great tip is to include a section on why they should work with your company. It’s a great opportunity here to showcase your company culture and explain your mission.

For example, you could create a list of things your company values and holds dear. Another option is to include testimonials from current employees about their great experience in your organization.

Leverage Your Current Employees

You don’t necessarily need to go through countless resumes to find the right candidate. One way to speed up the hiring process is to ask for recommendations from your current employees.

Referred employees have a higher retention rate. Referred employees have a 42% retention rate than workers from job boards (32%) and career pages (14%). So it’s something you want to keep in mind as you’re looking for new talent.

You can let people on your team know about upcoming offers in your company and if anyone in their network is qualified for the job. It could be someone they knew from college, a previous colleague, etc.

Another way to do this is to run an employee referral problem, which is an affordable way to find new candidates. It will be easier to filter the right candidates and find the best one for the job.

Contact Previous Employers

So, you’ve gone through countless resumes and found one candidate that sparks your interest. Great! The next thing you should focus on is reaching out to previous employers and figure if they’re the real deal. 

It’s possible that the candidate isn’t really who they say they are on their resume. It wouldn’t be the first time that candidates invent experiences that never happened.

You don’t want to welcome a candidate that’s not up for the job. Not only is it going to be a waste of your time, but the candidate will put themselves in a position that they’re not qualified for and won’t do their best.

Also, you want to look out for any behavior from the candidate that could negatively affect your company. If you reach out to a previous employer and they tell you the candidate has a history of not completing tasks, for example, it’s a major red flag.

Contacting previous employers of the candidate is going to save you plenty of time in advance. You’ll get instant feedback on the candidate’s work history and if they have what it takes to fulfill the job.

Pay Attention to Their Questions

As you interview the candidate for the role, pay attention to their questions and body language. It’s going to provide clues on whether or not they’re the right fit for the job.

For example, are they asking insightful questions? Do they overall seem excited and determined to land the offer? Are they asking how they can take your company to the next level? 

Reading the candidate’s body language also gives you a feel into how they’re feeling and what kind of person they are. If the candidate is slouching, for example, it shows a lack of confidence. If they’re leaning back, they might be feeling defensive.

Consider If They’re Fit for Your Company Culture

While experience and work ethic are important traits to look out for in an interview, they’re not the only things that matter when selecting candidates. You also want to make sure that the interviewee is suitable for your company culture. 

For example, if the job requires talking to partners and clients frequently, the candidate must have good social skills. If they come across as too shy or introverted, they might not be the right fit for the role.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the candidate’s interests outside of work. It’s going to help create a full picture of the candidate and see how they fit into your company.

Run a Background Check on Social Media

Social media screening is becoming a go-to tactic for many businesses and isn’t taboo anymore. 70% of employers already use social media to screen applicants during the hiring process. 

Running background checks on social media gives a better idea of whom you’re dealing with in front of you. It’s going to help avoid red flags that could negatively impact your company culture and overall reputation. 

Social media checks minimize the chances of making a poor hiring decision. Whatever you do—do not ask for the candidate’s social media passwords. Not only will this throw them off, but it’s also an illegal practice in many states.

Consider Non-Traditional Interview Processes

It sometimes pays to think out of the box. You don’t just have to settle for an interview—there are also non-traditional ways to get to know the candidate and see if they’re the person for the role.

Now, we are not encouraging that you drop the interview process altogether. But by spicing things up a bit, you’ll be able to learn more about the candidate and how they behave outside a traditional interview environment. 

For example, right after the interview, you could take them to lunch with other employees from your company or do special group activities. It’s going to give you a good clue on how they’ll be bonding with other members of your team.

Give Them a Project or Problem to Solve

If you didn’t know, it’s possible to get a clue of how a candidate likes to work before you even hire them. All you have to do is simply give them a project to complete during the interview.

Let’s say you’re on the hunt for a web developer. You can ask them to design a website and get an assessment of their skill. If you’re looking for a salesperson, you can ask them to create a sales pitch. 

Doing so will give you an idea of how the employee likes to work. It’s going to provide insight on whether or not their style of work fits into how your company wants to do things.

Ask the Candidate What Are Their Weaknesses

Lastly, no one is perfect. You won’t ever find a candidate who is simply good at everything under the sun. During the hiring process, make sure you ask the candidate what their weaknesses are to get an idea of areas they need to improve.

The point is not to just get an idea of their weakness. It’s also to determine where they’re willing to work on those weaknesses or not: it shows whether they’re determined to solve their issues.

By applying these nine tips above, you should find the candidate who is the right pick. From there, it’s time to start the onboarding process and welcome them effectively to their team.

Chapter 4: The Onboarding Process – 19 Best Practices

The Onboarding Process – 19 Best Practices

Finding the perfect candidate is just the first step of the process. Now it’s time to onboard the new hire into your company and make them feel welcome into your culture. Here are the different steps to creating an onboarding experience hires will never forget.

Start Planning Before the Big Day

Failing to plan is ultimately planning to fail. Before your new hire walks through the front, you want to make sure to have all of the resources they’ll need for a warm welcome. Here’s how your company can successfully prepare before the new hire’s first day.

Set up the New Hire’s Workstation

The new hire won’t properly get their work done if they don’t have a clean desk to work on. Make sure that you prepare a nice workstation and chair for the new hire once they arrive.

Also, think about any small details, including a plant for design and mouses they can use. Make sure to include any essential documents that they need access to on the desk.

It would be best if you also prepared essentials for the new employee, such as:

  • Access keys
  • Uniforms (if required)
  • Monitors and adaptors

Send an Email To the Candidate With All Relevant Information

Once you have the new hire’s workstation ready, you can proceed to email the necessary information they need to know before stepping into your office. Your email must include relevant information such as:

  • Start date and time
  • Dress code
  • Directions to the office
  • Parking

Create a Training Plan for the New Hire’s First Months

If you’re following a formal onboarding plan as we recommend, you’ll want to create a training plan for the new hire to follow. The goal is to get them to learn new skills so they’ll be ready for the job within a couple of months.

Think about the goals and milestones you want the new hire to reach within the first months. That way, on the employee’s first day, you’ll already have a game plan ready to make sure they make progress.

Sit Down and Have a Discussion with Your Team

Next, you must set aside time to let employees know that a new hire is coming. You want to provide them with information on the candidate’s background and what position they’ll be filling in for the company. 

It’s essential during this time to identify any potential mentors that could help the new hire on their first day, which is something we’ll get into later in the next section.

Get All the Paperwork Ready

Adding a new team member to your company means you’ll need to cover plenty of paperwork. Ensure that documents such as the employee contract, payroll, visa, and work requirements are all set. 

Deliver the Best First Day Ever

Once you have planned everything, it’s time to welcome the new employee on their first day. This is where all the magic happens. 

Don’t underestimate this part of the hiring process. The first day alone can significantly influence whether a new hire will want to stay at your company in the future. 

If they have an unpleasant or underwhelming experience, they might not follow through with the job. Here’s how you can create the best first day ever for your new employee.

Offer Them a Welcome Gift

Want to know the best way to start a new employee relationship on the right foot? Simple: give the recent hire a welcome gift! Here are some ideas for perfect welcome gifts you can provide.

  • Lunchboxes
  • Company T-shirts, mugs, or caps
  • Notebooks and pens
  • Keychains

Give the New Hire an Office Tour

Once the new hire walks into the building, you should give them an office tour. 

It would be best if you showed them all the different facilities and departments in the office. Also, make sure to show them where the bathrooms are and where they can have their lunch break.

Provide Them with a Mentor

In the previous section, we mentioned the importance of sitting down with your team and finding a potential mentor for your new hire. Make sure to assign them a mentor who will show them the ropes and how to complete their tasks.

The mentor is there to answer any questions the new hire may have about their recent position. It’s a much better way to assimilate them into your company instead of making them sink or swim in the corporate environment.

Run Your New Onboarding Training Program

You want to get started with training the new hire from day one. It’s going to make them confident in the position and make sure they’re already learning new things on the job.

Don’t be afraid to start small and take it easy. Make sure to keep their workload light on the first day and progressively increase their tasks. You don’t want to overwhelm them on their first day.

Take the New Hire to Your Lunch Break

To make the new employee feel welcome into the company culture, please invite them to your lunch break with employees. It will help build a connection with them and help them get to know other workers on the team. 

Aside from lunch breaks, you can also invite them to activities such as happy hours with teammates. Or why not host fun group sessions such as yoga or jogging?

Run a Survey at the End of Their First Day

Lastly, listening to the new hire’s needs and feedback is crucial to make them feel welcome into your company. Make sure that you ask the new employee to fill out a survey on their first day. 

Here are examples of questions you can ask the new employee on your team during their first day:

  • How would you rate your first day?
  • What do you think of our company and team?
  • Do you feel like you have all the equipment you need for the job?
  • Do you have any questions to ask us? 
  • Are our company policies clear to you? 

The First Week Onboarding

So, the new hire had an excellent first day. They met your employees, got a glimpse of what your company does, and are excited to come back to the office the next day.

Perfect. After that exhausting but fulfilling experience, it’s time to think about what the rest of the week holds for the candidate. Here’s what you can do to make sure the hire stays engaged throughout the week.

Set Lunch Dates with Different Team Members Throughout the Week

The first week of onboarding aims to help the hire find their group in the company. You can have them take lunch with different team members each day of the week to see whom they fit in with the most.

It’s going to help them meet different team members and find their place. You can then take them out to lunch at the end of the week to get an idea of how they’re assimilating into the company. 

Introduce them to their Direct Manager

After the first day, you want the new hire to meet their top supervisor. It’s best to hold this meeting once they have already had a taste of what working at your company consists of.

Assign a Meaningful Task or Project

New employees want to feel that their superiors trust them. To keep them engaged during the first week, offer them the possibility to contribute through a project. 

However, whatever you do, don’t give too much they can’t handle—you don’t want to scare away a new employee with a heavy workload. 

Connect with the Employee Each Day of the Week

You don’t want the new hire to feel burned out on their first day of the job. You must reach out to the employee to make sure that everything makes sense to them. It ensures that they don’t feel left out and that you can resolve any of their issues quickly.

Review Company Policies Together

Lastly, during the first week, make sure to sit down with the new employee to ensure they’re on board with your company’s policies. Ask for their feedback or objections. You want to assess whether they agree with your guidelines and are fit to return the following week.

The First Three Months

After the first week of onboarding, you want to make sure that the employee still feels happy in their new role for the months to come. 

You can’t forget that they’re still new to the team. If you’re not keeping up with them, you won’t be aware of any issues they might be experiencing, which may lead to them slipping through the cracks. Here’s what your onboarding strategy should look like for the next three months.

Continue with Training and Mentorship

Even though the employee should be getting the hang of things at this point, you should still offer them opportunities to grow throughout the first three months.

It could be as simple as giving them training material or inviting them to events that could advance their careers.

Set up a 1:1 Meeting Each Month with the Manager

To get an idea of where the new hire is going, make sure that the employee has a 1:1 discussion with their Manager. They should have a conversation on how the first three months went and which goals the new hire could reach. 

Conduct a Final Evaluation

After three months, you should get a solid idea of the employee’s personality and working style. You must assess the employee’s performance and determine whether you should keep them in your company. 

If there are areas where you think they can improve, make sure to set up a meeting and let them know. You should continually be investing in their growth. 

Chapter 5: Taking Advantage of Technology For Employee Onboarding

Taking Advantage of Technology for Employee Onboarding

A little technology goes a long way when onboarding a new employee for the first time. So to end this blog post, here’s a list of the best software tools you can use to welcome new hires.


Our platform offers companies a simple way to document procedures to describe repetitive tasks that employees must complete for your company. That way, you can focus on what truly matters the most: running your company.

By documenting all of your tasks in one place, there will be fewer emails and guesswork during the onboarding process. You can easily create and share company policies with everyone in your office and maintain standards. 

The software also allows you to track different projects that new hires must get done. You’ll be able to set up reminders, so each employee respects their tasks and deadlines.

SweetProcess comes with a 14-day free trial for you to experiment with and see if it’s the right software for your company. 

Digital Signature Technology

Hiring a new employee means you’ll have to go through much paperwork. Ideally, you want to get all the paperwork done before the hire comes in on their first day. 

That’s where digital signature technology comes in. The software allows employees to sign paperwork digitally so they can send required documents in on time. That’s extra time you’ll save on their first day to show them around. 

The best digital signature tool we recommend is Docusign. It automates the process automatically, so the new hire gets to work as soon as possible. Some users report experiencing an 80% faster turnaround time by including the platform as part of their paperwork signing.

Goal Performance Software

Having a set of defined, clear goals ensures that new employees make progress in the office. It’s why you want to use goal performance software to keep track of how new hires are moving toward their objectives. 

One of the best performance software tools that companies can use is 15Five. It promotes employee engagement and allows employers to monitor how they’re progressing toward their goals. 

On top of goal monitoring, 15Five makes it easy to reward employees for their engagement. It includes a high-five feature, a loyalty program that celebrates wins and pushes team members to do their best. 

Digital Training

As mentioned throughout this blog post, giving new employees the proper training is key to getting them started. You want to offer various digital training modules that the hire can use to learn at their pace and pick up new skills.

Udemy, for example, offers a great library of courses new employees can check out to learn more about their jobs. Hires can learn everything from sales to better project management from the click of a mouse. They often run promotions that make their courses affordable. 

Wrapping Things Up

Putting in place an effective onboarding process is key to retaining employees and making them fulfilled. By having their back and investing in their growth, they’ll be more than likely to return the favor by performing their best at the job.

The benefits go beyond just growing your team. You’ll be able to attract the best talent, improve your company culture, and make each person on your team feel valued.

By following all of the tips above, you’ll be on your way to creating an onboarding process that leaves new hires hungry for more. To take it up a notch, you can download our onboarding checklist below to make sure you’re following all of the steps highlighted above.

New Hire Process Checklist

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