Onboarding Starts Before the Employee Starts

Department manager working with onboarding a new employee
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You put a lot of time and energy into finding and hiring the right person. You need to put just as much effort into making sure they succeed. Onboarding is the way to do that. Onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee into the company and giving them the tools, information, and introductions they will need to succeed in their new job.

The Onboarding Process

The onboarding process begins even before you hire someone. It continues when you hire the person and when they start working. And good onboarding continues for a while after the new employee starts.

Begin Before You Hire

Whether you are hiring for a new position or replacing an employee who has left, the first phase of onboarding begins as soon as you get the authority to hire. It is when you start making sure the physical environment is ready. These are things that are required for any employee so you can do them ahead of time because they will be the same regardless of who you hire.

Get the Physical Space Ready

Is there an office or a desk assigned? Is it in good shape? If it has a lock is, the key there? Is there a phone? Is the phone connected?

Get the Computer or Other Needed Tools Ready

Can you get the computer set up now or do they have to sign for it when they start? Make sure IT has a computer available and earmarked for your new employee. Make sure they configure the computer with all the software and access permissions the person in this job will need.

Is There a Checklist?

Many companies have checklists that can guide you through these steps. If yours doesn't, you can make your own from this list.

Before The New Employee Starts

After you have selected the new hire, and before the person starts, there are more things you can do to make the onboarding more successful.

Get Their Personal Information

You have the person's name, Social Security number, etc. from their application. Make sure you know how they want to be addressed (e.g., does the person want to be called Bob or Robert).

Notify the Support Departments

Inform Human Resources (HR), Payroll, Facilities, Information Technology (IT) and anyone else who need to know of the new employee's name, title, reporting supervisor and start date. Follow up with them to make sure they prepare ahead of time for the arrival and onboarding.

Add Them to Distribution Lists

Make sure IT creates the necessary email accounts and then adds the new person to the email distribution lists they need to be on. You will want the new hire to start receiving the appropriate email as soon as they start.


Again, there may be a checklist for each of these various departments. If so, get a copy and use it to make sure they are preparing. If not, make up your own and share it with them.

When The New Employee Starts

There is more of the onboarding process to complete as soon as the employee starts. From welcoming them to completing the necessary paperwork and getting them set up at their new workplace.

Bottom Line

The sooner you begin the onboarding process for a new employee the better your chances of successfully integrating the new employee into the company quickly and well.