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How to Effectively Onboard New Employees

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An effective onboarding programme starts from the moment your ideal candidate accepts your job offer. The days, weeks, and months that follow are crucial to developing a long-lasting and productive working relationship between you and your new employee. This resource is here to help you design an onboarding programme that will set all your new starters up for success.

Start Onboarding Your New Employee Early

Planning your new employee’s first day from the moment they accept your offer of employment is pivotal to starting your onboarding programme on the right foot. Use the information you gathered during the interview and combine it with your knowledge of their new role to create an orientation programme that suits them. These include:

  • A welcome package with a brief of their role, your company’s values and mission statement, and a branded gift such as a t-shirt, stationery and/or a welcome card
  • An employee handbook built on the feedback from your existing and previous staff to answer any questions a new employee could have

There can be a lot of paperwork to fill out when you’ve made a new hire and any delays could result in your employee unable to start working. To avoid that, sending out any required legal paperwork after your welcome package has been received is a great way to get a head start.

Staying in frequent contact with your new employee whilst they’re waiting to start work is an excellent way to ensure they’re prepared and eager to begin. To guarantee their first day goes without a hitch, make sure their desk, equipment, security access, software, and anything else they may need, are all ready to go.

Getting Your New Employee Settled In

With lots of faces to remember and information to take in, the first week for any new hire can be overwhelming. To ensure that doesn’t happen to your employee, avoid introducing them to your whole business in their first week and instead allow them to really get to know their immediate team.

Once introductions are out of the way, you’ll want to ensure your new starter quickly becomes settled and comfortable. A fantastic way to do that is to assign them a mentor or buddy. This is a strategy that Facebook use for their new engineers: the infamous ‘six-week engineer bootcamp’. Regardless of their level, every new engineer must go through this program where they are assigned a mentor and start work on Facebook’s actual code within a few days of joining. Facebook’s bootcamp was designed to help new engineers find out where they fit in within the tech giant’s culture at their own pace, and it’s been a huge success. However, your own plan to settle new employees in doesn’t have to be so technical. In fact, it can start with simply assigning a new hire a buddy who can show them the key areas of your building, such as communal kitchens, toilets and break out areas, and tips about the surrounding area like where sells great coffee.

First impressions really do matter during onboarding, so once your new employee has settled in, connecting them to the key people they’ll be closely working with from other teams and departments can really make a difference. Also, if possible, setting up a lunch between your organisation’s new hires and your senior management can help them all feel like more valued members of the business.

Planning for Your New Hire to be a Success

When it comes to setting your new starter up for success, creating a 90-day plan is crucial. This plan can differ from employee to employee but should encompass three key milestones for their first, second and third months with your business. The first 30 days should enable your employee to learn all key information of their role, such as your tools, software, products and services. It should also let your new hire become comfortable with your company’s culture. The major milestone for the end of the first 30 days should test your employee’s new skills by having them achieve a small goal.

By 60 days your plan should allow your employee to take on larger and more long-term responsibilities, such as tracking and reporting certain statistical information depending on their role. It should also include introducing them to collaborating with other teams and departments across your business. Once again, the key milestones for the end of the 60 days should be completing a big project that showcases their new abilities.

The final 30 days should aim to take on all remaining responsibilities of their role and result in your employee completing a project independently. However, your new hire’s development doesn’t stop at the end of their third month. To ensure they continued to stay engaged and committed to their role, you can move the employee on to a Personal Development Plan which will aim to continue their development and foster their growth within your business.


A great onboarding programme is crucial to setting up your new employees for success but these programmes can’t be created overnight. So, take your time and remember that your greatest resource is those who have already gone through your onboarding process: your existing staff. If you need further advice on how to successfully onboard new hires or would like to connect with New Zealand’s exceptional talent, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. 

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