48+ Sample Onboarding Checklists

What Are Onboarding Checklists?

An onboarding checklist is what the manager, HR, or the welcoming committee uses to orient new employees in an organization. This checklist is simply a variation of a to-do list except it focuses primarily on what to prepare for a new hire’s recruitment, training, orientation, and specifically the steps of the onboarding program.

Did you know that 20% of new employees leave just after 45 days of their employment?

Basic Elements of an Onboarding Checklist

Indeed, everything you need to know about what to do first until the last part of the onboarding program is inside onboarding checklists. But considering that every organization has different steps and items in their checklist, what are the common elements inside standard onboarding checklists? In this section, you will learn about the basic elements of a general onboarding checklist.

Title: In case you have many business documents or checklists on hand, the only common approach to differentiate an onboarding checklist from the rest is to put a clear title of ‘Onboarding Checklist’ at the top center of the document.List of Activities and Steps: Checklists would have a series of steps or activities listed in an itemized way. And it is expected for each step to be categorized and sequenced in the appropriate manner so following it really pays off.New Hire’s Details: Sometimes, a different set of onboarding checklists may be used for every new hire. And to be sure that the correct new employee is attended and the right checklist is used, indicate the new hire’s details if asked. That typically covers the employee’s name, contact details, work position, etc.Checkboxes: A checklist would not be called as such without a blank or checkbox to put checkmarks. And every item enlisted in the list will have a corresponding checkbox to mark.

How to Create an Onboarding Checklist

Now for the main course of the article, how do you make the onboarding checklist? If you are used to making to-do lists and checklists, rest assured, it is a simple process. You only need to familiarize these four basic steps to make your onboarding checklist:

Step 1: Pick a Sample Template

There is no need to get a piece of paper and write down your checklist. You can process it much quicker with the sample onboarding checklists given above. Each sample is easy to edit, design, download, and print. Just be sure your main purpose of making the onboarding easier stays as your goal. Thus, you won’t lose track of what to write.

Step 2: Incorporate the Onboarding Elements

You were already introduced to the onboarding checklist’s standard elements that were discussed before. So be sure to insert such elements in the checklist. That means you indicate the title, itemized list of steps, and so forth. But before listing every activity or step, you should brainstorm all the activities expected in onboarding first. You may review your company’s official onboarding program guidelines or visualize what to do with a new hire right from the first day down to the last part of the training or recruitment.

Step 3: Organize Everything in Your Checklist

When you are done brainstorming the steps and inserting the elements into the checklist, don’t forget to arrange them accordingly. Organizing the list is one of the essential ways to ensure you will have things in order. You could categorize the checklist through the days of the week if it is a weekly onboarding program. One day may involve an interview of one’s application, another day for meeting the staff, and another for familiarizing with the work and service. How that is arranged will be your call.

Step 4: Go for an Easy-to-Follow Version

As much as possible, take it easy. Adding too many complex methods and unclear instructions may lead to an ineffective onboarding procedure. The key is to make the list easier for whoever uses that list in the first place. So if you are the one in charge of onboarding, do what is more convenient for you. You may add instructions, use shortcuts, and other ways to help run the onboarding smoothly.


Why is an onboarding checklist important?

Onboarding checklists help the onboarding process easier and quicker. The whole process is documented through that list from what to do first, next, until last. So at least you won’t have to worry about forgetting things. More so, the list ensures that the new hire learns and adjusts to the job accordingly. And lastly, the one in charge benefits from the list due to being guided from start to finish.

What are the four Cs in onboarding?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the four Cs or components in onboarding are compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

What details should be included in an onboarding checklist?

Although the content of an onboarding checklist differs from one organization to another, common details included there would be:

  • Company policy review
  • Office tour
  • Introduction to the team
  • Work hours and schedule review
  • Signing of forms
  • Job description and tasks review
  • Assistance with the office tools and equipment

Saying that onboarding can make a new employee leave or stay in a company isn’t just a myth. A concrete example is how according to the Human Capital Institute (HCI) research survey, 20% of new hires leave just after 45 days of their employment. Hence, make employees want to stay in your organization by managing them well right from the onboarding process. And you can do that with well-prepared sample onboarding checklists.