Onboarding is a crucial part of any new hire’s journey. One of my key responsibilities at Charlie is to ensure every new hire gets the best onboarding experience.

To do this, I use employee onboarding checklists, and to be honest, they should be a must in any onboarding process. Without them, you’ll probably miss important deadlines, forget essential tasks and fail to hand out key documents to new hires.

That’s why I thought you’d like to hear more about how to make onboarding a smooth process for new hires and yourself, by giving you exclusive access to Charlie’s employee onboarding checklists, one for each stage of the process. Read on. 

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Employee onboarding checklists – 5 essentials for your small business 

Employee onboarding checklist 1
Before the new hire’s first day

The onboarding plan starts way before your new hire’s start date and directly after they’ve accepted the job offer.

The quicker you are to process all their information and get all the onboarding tasks ready, the more confident they’ll feel about joining your business and starting their new job.

Here’s roughly what your new hire checklist should include – you can of course cut or add to it depending on your situation:

Send contract and have it signed 

Set up email address

Invite them on Slack

Order laptop 

Set up desk 

Order office access and fob 

Inform payroll of new hire

Email first-day agenda

Invite to company meetings 

Assign an onboarding buddy 

Book introduction meetings with key people in the business

Send welcome email/letter a few days before they start 

Book probation meeting in advance 

Simply copy and paste what’s available here, or you can also have a look at downloading a employee onboarding checklist word template below through GoogleDoc. 

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Employee onboarding checklist - End of probation

Employee onboarding checklist 2
New hire’s first day

First days can be nerve-wracking – both for you and your new hire. That’s why getting that day right is important to make a good first impression.

To ensure your new team member feels confident in their new role, you‘ll be responsible to give them an onboarding experience that’s as smooth as possible.

So get your employee onboarding right to strike the right balance between an informative and welcoming first day.

Here’s the list of things you should aim for: 

Complete new starter document or get their P45

Check their passport 

Complete any other hiring paperwork you might have on top

Book a coffee with them to make the process more welcoming 

Organise a welcome lunch with their team 

Give them an office tour

Get the hiring manager to book a welcome meeting

Show them how to book time off 

Give them access to your employee handbook so they can familiarise themselves with your company policies 

Ask the manager to give an overview of the regular meetings the new hire will be attending

Get manager to set a one-to-one for the end of the week 

Ask managers to share goals for the rest of the week 

Give them a run-through of your HR software

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Employee onboarding checklist - First Day

Employee onboarding checklist 3
New hire’s first month

Just because you’ve got your new hire on board, that’s not why you should get them out of your sight. You’ll still need to overlook their onboarding process and make sure everything is going smoothly.

Here’s what your checklist should include:

Line manager runs new hire through role document 

Introduction to progression documents and where the role can lead to

Goals set for weeks until the end of probation and expectations explained

Regular check-ins every week 

Feedback given in a timely manner 

Collect feedback from other team members 

Organise a team event online or in person to create connections between team members 

Operations to check with line manager how the first month is going 

Check all documentations are in order before payday

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Employee onboarding checklist - First Month

Employee onboarding checklist 4
Employee onboarding checklist Excel template

If you’d like to have everything in one place, we’ve created this Excel checklist template so you can keep track of all your team members, assign tasks to coworkers and mark them as not done, completed or in progress.

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Employee onboarding checklist 5
Employee onboarding checklist in HR software

At Charlie, we also used to write up manual checklists before we built a checklist feature directly in our software.

This allowed us to:

  • Remove extra onboarding steps from our onboarding process by having everything in one platform
  • Make sure no aspect of onboarding is forgotten by tagging the relevant people next to the right tasks and setting a due date – with automatic reminders and no email chasers
  • Standardise the onboarding process by saving the employee onboarding checklist template in software and reusing it every time a new hire starts 
  • Gaining new hires’ trust and enabling them to focus on their work with a professional and well-rounded process 
Create checklists and delegate the onboarding process to the hiring team

And if onboarding also takes a good chunk of time out of your days, perhaps that’s where having an onboarding software could help. Team members can self-serve through the entire process – uploading passport, filling in information and having access to your company handbook in one click. No reason for you to get involved. 

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Try our checklists along with our onboarding feature for yourself. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today. 

Onboarding Checklist Template For Small Businesses – FAQ

How do I make my own onboarding checklist?

Perhaps you need to tailor the content of your employee onboarding template, and you’re not sure whether the options we got above are suitable for your business.

To make your own onboarding checklist, you’ve got tons of solutions available:

  • Free checklist app – a simple tool that will allow you to create or copy processes, including onboarding checklists, share it with other team members and track the progress they’re making towards it
  • Excel/Word documents – if you’re into more traditional methods, maybe you can try a hand at making your own checklist on Excel or Word
  • HR software – an all-in-one solution where you can create checklists, assign task to people, upload documents, create deadlines, get automatic reminders and have the rest of your HR on the same platform 

These are all great ways to make your onboarding as effective as possible for your business.

What should an employee onboarding checklist include?

Of course, there’s no “right way“ of doing an employee onboarding checklist. After all, all companies are different and will use a multitude of methods to onboard team members.

However, when it comes to onboarding processes for small businesses in the UK, there are a lot of similar aspects to consider, whether it‘s on a practical or compliance level.Let’s have a look at what the 4 phases of onboarding look like:

  • Pre-onboarding – preparation before the new hire’s first day
  • First day – when the new hire starts their job
  • First month – an essential part of the employee’s journey to set them on the course to success

The best way to approach onboarding is by having a separate checklist for each of these phases – so you won't forget anything. You can also put together an offboarding checklist if your team member is leaving.

And if you want to find out more, check out our guide about what is onboarding.

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