New Employee Onboarding Checklist

Streamline your onboarding process and ensure that your new team members' first weeks go without a hitch.

The long, arduous recruitment process is finally over. You’ve whittled down the candidates to find that one perfect individual who ticks all the boxes on your list. They are surely going to be a great addition to the team.

Time to pat yourself on the back and get back to business as usual, right?

Alas, studies say that around 20% of employees quit within the first 45 days of starting a new job. With the cost of hiring a new employee averaging around $65,000 (use this employee cost calculator to better understand the associated expenses), the real work of the HR manager begins after the new hire signs the contract.

The first step towards successfully engaging and retaining new employees is creating a thorough new employee onboarding checklist.

What is an employee onboarding checklist?

A new employee onboarding checklist is a comprehensive list of all the tasks that need to be completed in order for the new employee to get up to speed. If you want to retain your top talent, good employee onboarding is essential. And like all first impressions, you only have one shot to get it right.

New employee onboarding checklist template

Successfully preparing an employee for their new role is never an easy task, even when the new hire is an experienced professional. From getting all the paperwork in order to clearly communicating the expectations of the job, many things can slip through the cracks.

A new hire onboarding checklist is there to prevent this from happening and help you make sure you don’t miss anything crucial during your new employee's first few weeks on the job. It streamlines your employee onboarding process and helps your new teammates hit the ground running when you welcome them to the team.

New employee onboarding checklist in Nuclino

New employee onboarding checklist in Nuclino

What to include in your checklist

A new employee onboarding checklist is more than just a list of forms to fill out and sign. While getting all the necessary paperwork done is certainly an important part of onboarding, there is a lot more to it.

The exact list of items you would need to include in your onboarding checklist depends on your company and the local legal requirements you may have in your country. However, there are several important topics you would likely want to cover regardless.

Before the first day

Onboarding doesn't start on your new employee's first day. It starts the moment they accept the job offer. To make sure everything is in order by the time your new colleague enters your office, create a checklist listing all the things that need to be done before their first day.

Such checklists usually include the following items:

New employee onboarding checklist example, before the first day

Onboarding checklist to complete before the first day (created in Nuclino)

On the first day

Your new team member decided to switch jobs because they were convinced your company is better. And you know what? They’re totally right. Reaffirm that belief by making sure their first day goes without a hitch.

Often a new employee will arrive during a busy working week. Clear your schedule and make the new employee the number one priority for the day.

This part of the new employee onboarding checklist usually covers the orientation program and includes the following items:

First day onboarding checklist example

Onboarding checklist to complete on the first day (created in Nuclino)

First week

During your new employee's first week, it's time to help them settle in their new role. Provide them with small but interesting challenges so they can gradually learn their new responsibilities. It's also a good time to clarify your long-term expectations.

This final section of the new hire onboarding checklist typically includes:

Onboarding new employees with Nuclino

Until now, we focused on the checklists intended mainly for the HR team and the hiring manager. However, onboarding checklists are also great for guiding your employee during their first weeks. And the checklist you share with your new colleague on their first day should be more than a list of tasks. Instead, create a proper welcome page that contains everything they need to know and do on their first day.

The best place to store it is in your company wiki. This will give them access to all your internal company knowledge and let them explore it at their own pace.

After all, your new employee will likely have a lot of questions on their first day. Most of them are simple and repetitive: How does the printer work? Where do I submit expenses for approval? What's the vacation policy? You can let them tap on people's shoulders, or you can allow them to find answers to most of these questions themselves, helping them get up to speed faster.

If you don't have a company wiki yet, this is reason enough to create one. There are many wiki tools to choose from – Nuclino is one of them. Give it a try by creating an account and putting together your very first employee onboarding checklist.

But regardless of the tool you choose, creating a new employee onboarding checklist is sure to pay off. It's one of the most straightforward ways to make your new employees feel at home and help them get up to speed faster. You may not get it perfectly right the first time, but make sure to continuously iterate, evaluating the steps that do and don't work for you, and adding the missing details.

And if you are looking for an easier and faster way to get started with onboarding checklists, we've got you covered – simply copy this onboarding checklist template into your Nuclino workspace and modify it to fit your onboarding process.

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