What is Onboarding Process?

Changes in the companies’ personnel happen regularly. Someone quits, someone comes to fill a vacant position – the company hires new employees year after year. It can often be difficult for a new worker to adjust to an already established team, as well as to get used to new requirements. Therefore, conflicts arise at the workplace, and the productivity of the new employee is low until he or she adapts to the new place. To avoid such problems, employee onboarding is conducted. Let’s talk in more detail about what this process is, how to conduct it correctly, and what a recruiter or HR should do for a new employee.


What is onboarding? Definition

The employee onboarding is the process of acquainting employees with the conditions and rules of work in the organization, as well as help in integrating the employee into the team. It is necessary both for specialists who just came to work in the company, and for employees who have been promoted. When assigned to a new position, the employee needs to get used to the new environment and requirements, so onboarding is a fundamental process that should not be left to chance.

Employee onboarding accomplishes several goals, including:

  • Reduction of costs required to put the employee in the way of things. By onboarding meaning, the employee faster understands what is required of him or her and how to accomplish the tasks at hand, so working effectively will become faster;
  • Reduction of uncertainty among newcomers. People who have just joined the position are often lost in the team, do not know whom to ask for help and what to do in a difficult situation. Adaptation will allow them to quickly understand all the subtleties of the organization’s work;
  • Reduction of the probability of rapid dismissal. Often newcomers feel unwanted in the workplace, so they have to quit. Onboarding will help them feel like an important part of the team;
  • Saving each employee’s time. A person who has not yet got the hang of things is forced to ask for help, thereby taking up other people’s time. Competently carried out activities will allow the employee to quickly understand all the peculiarities of work and not to distract colleagues.


In addition, the onboarding program of new employees develops a positive attitude towards job, and specialists have additional motivation to perform tasks quickly and accurately.

Onboarding process steps

There are 4 main steps of the employee onboarding process. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.

  1. Assessment of the employee’s competence. This is actually a preliminary stage of the onboarding, which is carried out immediately after employment. The task of experts is to find out whether the new employee had to work in such conditions, whether he/she worked according to such a scheme of work organization in the company. Please note, that the assessment of competence has nothing to do with professional experience.
  2. Orientation. It is necessary for the employee to understand the work order, the structure of the organization, the internal rules, traditions, and corporate values. During orientation the specialist is introduced to the team. In some companies, it is usual to get acquainted in an informal atmosphere. This stage of the onboarding should be held in the first 5-10 working days of a new employee.
  3. Effective orientation. The practical part of the onboarding program of the personnel. All the knowledge that was given to the employee at the last stage shall be put into practice and provide the necessary help. In this case, it is necessary to make sure that the specialist has mastered everything, has accepted the rules and schedule of the company, has adapted in personnel, etc.
  4. Functioning. The final stage, in which the employee is already fully immersed in the workflow and needs minimal help.

Enterprises are recommended to organize a special department engaged in management of the onboarding.

Types of employee onboarding 

There are two main types of onboarding. They include:

  1. Primary. Intended for employees with no professional experience and young graduates of universities;
  2. Secondary. Necessary for specialists in their field who have been promoted or come from outside, but have job experience.

In any case, an adaptation plan and specific measures are necessary to help an employee fit into the life of the organization faster.

Onboarding plan 

In order for each new employee to quickly integrate into the team and start working effectively, it is recommended to have an overall onboarding plan. This work requires a comprehensive approach, one or two measures will not be enough. A properly organized plan allows you to develop two types of motivation among employees at once – economic and non-material.

With economic motivation everything is quite simple. Correctly chosen methods of onboarding help the specialist to work with greater productivity. This leads to an increase in salary, obtaining various material rewards, bonuses, etc. The employee’s well-being increases, which means there is a desire to work with better dedication.

But money is not the only thing that motivates employees. One of the goals of staff onboarding is intangible motivation. Many specialists come to work not only to get money, but also to grow and develop professionally. The values of employees should coincide with the corporate values. In this case, the work will be as effective as possible. The employee shall actively participate in the life of the company. Let’s consider several methods that will help a specialist to quickly adapt and get economic and personal motivation.

Employee onboarding checklist

There are many methods of onboarding, the use of which is justified in different areas of business and for personnel with different levels of professional knowledge. We offer you 6 the most popular and universal ways to integrate an employee into the team and the work of the company.


A specialist can work productively only when he/she understands all the rules and peculiarities of his/her tasks. To speed up the process, a training session is used. An employee gets a clear explanation of what he/she has to do, how to fulfill his/her tasks, and what to do when something goes wrong. At the same time, it is recommended for the training to be not only theoretical, but also practical.

Contact of a supervisor and a newcomer

The contact between a new employee and his/her immediate supervisor should be established immediately. The task of the specialists of the adaptation department is to control how well the supervisor and the employee work with each other. If the supervisor is not communicating the right information to the subordinate, then appropriate work shall be done. It is also necessary to make sure that the new specialist does not hesitate to ask questions and responsibly treat the tasks and remarks of the management.

Gradually complicate tasks

It is recommended to complicate the task for newcomers gradually. It is necessary to start with simple things and examples and control how the employee copes with the tasks. Further on, more difficult tasks can be set. In this way the employee will smoothly fit into the work process. 

Social assignments

New specialists can be entrusted to any social assignments which allow them to get acquainted with the team quickly. If adaptation in the personnel does not happen, the employee may find himself/herself standing aside his/her colleagues, that might lead to serious problems.

Team building

Another way to speed up the induction of the newcomer into the team. An example of onboarding in this way is a trip to the countryside or passing any quest by the whole department. Team building is a great way to spend time together, which will allow the employee to adapt faster to the team, and lift the spirits of all employees of the department.

Corporate PR

As a rule, companies pay attention only to external PR. However, it is extremely important that all employees understand and share the values of the company. A corporate PR program can help with this. It is especially important for newcomers, because in the eyes of a new specialist, the organization should become a reliable employer, where each employee is important.


Onboarding program of new employees to the workplace is an important process. Without it, you risk encountering increased employee turnover and employee layoffs in as little as 1-2 weeks. If all the activities are carried out correctly, professionals will quickly get into work and work with greater efficiency. Employees will receive moral and material satisfaction from work in the company, work for its benefit and develop together with the enterprise. If onboarding at the enterprise is not given the necessary attention, it will be much more difficult for the company to get respect from employees. They may think they are not valued and nobody needs them. So do not ignore the necessity of onboarding.