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There’s no time like the present when it comes to reviewing your current onboarding policy.

Onboarding is a vital part of the employee experience. When companies fail to recognize its importance, the outcome can be disastrous.

When adding new hires to your company, you want to be sure they’re being trained properly, so they can become effective employees as soon as possible. To do this, you need to ensure you have the right workflow in place.

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Reviewing your current onboarding workflow provides opportunity to find any kinks it may have. By monitoring your onboarding activities, you can work to increase their overall efficiency.

The Onboarding Workflow—A Breakdown

An onboarding workflow is an outline of the steps that occur between making the job offer to a candidate and the time they complete their training in the office. This could be a few weeks, or it could take a few months. It will depend on your company and on the position itself. Although most stats say onboarding should extend over, at least, a 3-month period.

Your onboarding workflow should aim to outline the tasks you need completed at each stage. This will help you move seamlessly from one step to the other. Following the workflow improves the onboarding experience for your new hire. It also makes it easier for you to remember everything you need to complete and keeps you organized.

Finally, a good workflow for the onboarding process will increase efficiency.

The Onboarding Process

The onboarding process can be flexible—this time frame may change depending on the position and team a new hire is joining. High-level positions may require successful candidates to undertake a longer transition time.

There are several stages to the onboarding process, with the three most common being:

Offer and Acceptance

  • You’ve extended an offer to a candidate and they’ve accepted
  • Their start date is scheduled and confirmed
  • You’ve extended an official welcome and left open the opportunity to ask questions

First Day / Orientation

  • Orientation begins—this can last anywhere from 1 day to a week +
  • Provide a virtual tour of the office, if there will be days in an office
  • Make virtual introductions, including to key staff members, the new hire’s team or department
  • Begin all official paperwork (benefits, etc.)—if it wasn’t started before their first day


  • Role related training, usually with either the departing employee for whom the new hire is taking over, or with their supervisor
  • Job shadowing (where possible)
  • The goal is to help the employee settle into the role. Assistance may be intense for the first few days, followed by a gradual tapering off as the employee becomes more independent

Checklists for Organization

Once you’ve outlined the various stages of your onboarding process you can begin creating a workflow.

For each stage outlined, you’ll need to identify each step that must happen, including introductions, required paperwork etc.

Next, you’ll want to create a document listing the various training programs the new hire will need to take part in. Some will be mandatory training, such as required health and safety training. Others might be more informal programs you run in the office.

Edit, Revise and Polish Your Workflow

Once your workflow is fully outlined, it’s time to revise and edit. Be sure you’ve not repeated any tasks. Also, check for any unnecessary steps or any that may be missing.

Take time to discuss the onboarding workflow with your team and other supervisors. Also, go over it with your HR department—as they can ensure you’re not failing on compliance.

Taking time to streamline your onboarding workflow will make it more efficient, eliminating confusion for those taking part in onboarding. A cohesive workflow will help set your new hire up for success.

Feedback is Key

Before you execute the workflow, you’ll have gone over it with other key employees—your team, HR, even IT (to ensure the new hire’s workspace is properly set up).

The final step of an onboarding workflow should be a three month review of the new hire’s performance. Part of this review should include asking for the new hire’s feedback about the onboarding process. Use this as an opportunity to take note of what works and what might need a bit of tweaking.

Take this information and incorporate it into your workflow. As you do, you’ll build a more streamlined, efficient process that will get your new hires up to speed in no time.


Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with an advanced knowledge of human resources and organizational structure and design. She has extensive experience with HRIS systems and understands the need to move HR from a transactional model to a transformational one. She has worked in the investment banking, insurance, and legal industries, as well as with large not-for-profit centres helping to simplify and streamline their internal systems. Kaneez is an expert in building relationships and affecting change in a positive and productive way. She acts as the key HR business partner at Apri Insurance Services Inc, managing the implementation of JungoHR, while providing expert advice and counsel on a range of HR matters. Kaneez holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management as well as a Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.

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