Chapter 2

Onboarding New Hires

  • When you’ve found the right person, you need to get them set up quickly and correctly. Get it right and you can slingshot them toward productivity and engagement. Get it wrong and they might not stay long.

    Watch: Onboarding new talent

    Did you know?
    Employers must retain original I-9 forms for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later. Store the forms separately from other personnel files.


    • Having no (or worse, the wrong) personal information for your new hire in your system
    • Discussing their personal information in front of other employees
    • A long, complicated (and manual) paperwork process that takes time away from getting the new hire to work
    • Failing to have equipment, workspace, handbooks, and proper system access established on their first day
    • Failing to plan and execute appropriate orientation and training

    Potential costs of getting it wrong

    • Liability from failing to protect personal information
    • Potential liability that comes with failing to give adequate training
    • Reduced new-hire motivation and productivity when they start
    • Wasting a hiring manager’s time if an employee leaves and the position is vacant again

    What good looks like

    • Most of the new hire's paperwork is completed prior to their first day, and all of their data is already securely in the system when they arrive
    • Updating their personal information is a simple process; one system syncs with all the others, such as payroll, benefits, training, etc.
    • The new hire’s workspace is ready and someone is available to give them a tour, introduce them to coworkers, share their first meal break, etc.
    • Conducting necessary policy and procedure orientation in person, allowing new hires the opportunity to ask questions
    • Making sure the new hire’s first few work periods include training, meetings or activities to help them get up to speed and know what’s expected in their role. Working together to set realistic targets after an initial onboarding period.