An effective onboarding checklist for marketers

Onboarding is the process of welcoming a new employee to your company and ensuring they acquire the knowledge and skills they need. An induction should cover their specific tasks and responsibilities, but also the company’s values and working culture. Temps and freelancers also need effective onboarding to perform well.

It’s important to have a good onboarding process because:

  • Up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days. If an employee is struggling and does not feel supported in their role, they could leave and you’ll have to start the recruitment process again.
  • Without a good onboarding process, employees can take a long time to become effective, costing your team lost productivity.
  • If a staff member leaves shortly after joining, it can have a negative impact on your team’s morale and their performance.
  • Less than six months into the honeymoon period of a new role, 31% of UK employees admit they are disappointed. If you don’t look after your new employees, they could spread negative feedback about your company, damaging your employer brand.

So onboarding is an important part of employee retention, but how can you do it effectively when everyone is busy and you’ve got limited time and resources. Our checklist below will help make sure you don’t miss anything.

Before they start

tickbox Email your new employee with instructions for their first day – what time they should arrive, who they should ask for at reception, etc

tickbox Liaise with IT & HR to ensure all starting paperwork is completed and they have a network login, email account and phone number set up.

tickbox Make sure they are added to team email / phone groups

tickbox Add details to team web page / intranet / employee directory and update org charts / phone lists / seating plans

tickbox Ensure their workspace is set up with computer, phone, chair and stationery

tickbox Order business cards if necessary

tickbox Send an announcement email to all relevant staff introducing the new hire and explaining their role and responsibilities

tickbox If you use a password manager to store team passwords, share details with them

On the first day

tickbox Introduce them to team members and key contacts in other departments

tickbox Hold a team lunch to allow them to socialise with their new colleagues

tickbox Conduct an orientation around office – pointing out toilets, kitchen, fire escape, etc

tickbox Give them a copy of your employee handbook

tickbox Make sure they are clear about their lines of reporting and who they can approach for help

tickbox Run through your organisation’s formal policies, as well as informal conventions like dress code, sickness procedure etc.

In the first week

tickbox Go through their responsibilities and set initial goals for their first 90 days. If they are in a probationary period, make it clear what is required to pass probation.

tickbox Give them an introduction to the company, including its vision, mission, values

tickbox Go through your customer personas and sales funnels – schedule some tag-along customer visits if possible

tickbox Go through your products / services, including USPs, pricing, competition and channels to market

tickbox Talk through previous marketing activity and results, including ad copy, branding and messaging

tickbox Run through the marketing budget and team goals and how they fit in to company goals

tickbox Go through your team processes, eg putting together a campaign from initial concept to sign-off for launch. Visual aids and flow diagrams can help to make these clear.

tickbox Give them copies of your design guidelines and style guide

tickbox Assign them an onboarding buddy – ideally someone in a similar role in a different team and ask them to check in with them regularly

tickbox Go through the tools your team regularly uses, eg:

  • CRM
  • Email software
  • CMS + analytics
  • Social media accounts
  • Design tools
  • Any other marketing tools

tickbox Book in training for any essential software or marketing skills they are missing

tickbox Make sure your new hire has some actual work to do, not just learning.  It’s virtually impossible to take in everything if it’s presented in one unbroken block of information.

In the first 90 days

tickbox Hold regular meetings to check the progress of your new employee. These should tail off in frequency as the employee becomes more competent and familiar with their work.

tickbox Arrange a formal progress meeting (often a probation review) after three months.  This should have been enough time for an employee to settle in and start producing work of value.

tickbox If your new hire is not progressing as planned, act promptly and be honest about the situation. Create a plan for improvement and if that fails, cut ties with them as soon as possible. It’s in everyone’s interest to address the situation as soon as possible if things are not going to work out.

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