How to Onboard Employees Successfully

A new hire grace period only lasts so long. The initial excitement of being at a new place and meeting new people can diminish quickly. That’s why making sure you have a transparent and well thought out onboarding process is so important. 

Unfortunately, onboarding can be stressful and chaotic for employees as well as employers. One of my first jobs had no sense of how to onboard a new hire. I continually had to ask what I was supposed to be doing, how to do different tasks and introduce myself to my co-workers. I didn’t want anyone to hold my hand during the process, but a little direction would have made the first couple weeks on the job a lot easier.

Are you automated?

First and foremost, make sure ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is linked to your payroll/HR software. Transferring over all useful information directly into payroll will make the initial work behind getting an employee onboarded that much easier. All you’ll have to do is upload direct deposit information, pay type, frequency, social security number and the employee is ready to go.

If you’re utilizing ESS, the employee should be able to go into their portal and do their own onboarding. Introducing them to their new portal can also alleviate a lot of their trips to your office for pay stubs, W-2 info, PTO requests, employee handbook copies, etc.

Show culture right away

Culture should have already been a focal point during the interview process but the employee needs to be reminded why they’re there. When I first started at Dominion, one of the first meetings I had was with the CEO and he walked me through the history of the company, where we currently are and where we’re going. That meeting immediately made me feel an intrinsic link to my job and the company – that I would be continuing this tradition and have a hand in making this company better.

Out to lunch

Make sure the new employee feels comfortable with their new direct co-workers. Take them and a couple team members out to the local sandwich spot to help them break out of their shell. The first couple hours or days at a new company can be pretty overwhelming, a new hire will definitely need this less intense, more casual lunch to help them meet their co-workers on a more intimate level.


Make sure the new hire knows when, where, why and what they’ll be doing for the first couple weeks. Don’t blindside your new employee with a bunch of training and tests when they thought they were going to get right down to work. A pre-made schedule in their email, whether it be google, outlook or something else will help them feel more comfortable in what they’re doing at the company. 

When I first started at my current job, my schedule was pretty much out of my control. The first couple weeks were very structured and while that normally does not click with my personality, having my day planned out was the best thing for me. It immediately set the expectation of always working towards something. There was no downtime, no time wasted. And having that schedule stuck in my brain long after there wasn’t one. I always have a timer in my head when working on projects and when I feel like I’ve focused too long on one, I move on to something fresh. 


Hiring managers typically forget about one thing when bringing new employees on; current employees. Current employees are already in the flow of what they’re doing and have busy schedules so it can be easy for them to forget about introducing themselves to new employees or even remembering there are new employees. Have new hires write up a quick bio and send out an introductory email to the whole company. This will remind all the other employees that there is a new person at a company, who they are and remind them to go say hi! 

Utilizing these techniques will assure your newest hire made the right decision coming aboard at your company.