Productivity Team Collaboration Tips & Insights

A Free Job Orientation Template Your New Hires Will Love: Part One

Anyone who has been through a poor job orientation will tell you:

There’s nothing worse than starting at a new company and finding out they don’t have the right onboarding process in place to help you succeed.

Instead of feeling excited and optimistic for the future, bad job orientations leave new hires feeling like this:

Talk about a bad way to kick off a new relationship.  

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Eric Siu – who you may know from his wildly popular podcast or his digital marketing agency, Single Grain – put together a great onboarding checklist designed to help your team completely transform the way you ramp up new hires.

And the Zapty team transformed that checklist into a new employee orientation template that you can start using for free.

Starts Zapty (free or existing) account with new project based on this template

But before we get into it, let’s address an important question:

Why does your company need an onboarding process?

Look, I get it:

You hire someone based on their experience and expertise…

And you expect that they’ll be able to get up and running pretty quickly.

In a fast-paced work environment, everyone needs to be contributing as quickly as possible, right?

But here’s the truth:

New employees who go through a structured job orientation are 69 percent more likely to be with your company in three years time.

And that’s a big deal when you consider 23 percent of new hires typically turnover before their first anniversary.

And an even bigger deal when you realize replacing them costs between 100 to 300 percent of their salary.

In short, a great job orientation lowers your cost-per-hire by cutting down on the hidden costs of employee turnover (and it also boosts morale and improves your employer brand, too).   

So clearly, taking the time to put a process in place is a no-brainer.

But, shockingly enough, 22 percent of companies have no formal onboarding program.

(image source)

And even among those that do, 60 percent of companies admit they don’t set any concrete goals for new hires.

Which means one thing is clear:

Companies need guidance on how to structure new job orientation. And we’re here to help make it happen.

Employee onboarding isn’t rocket science. But it does require patience, planning, and commitment.

And that’s why we loved Eric Siu’s onboarding checklist so much:

It has all three.

So, let’s get into it:

These 11 steps make it easy for you to build an onboarding process your new hires will love.

In Part One of this post, I’m sharing four steps to take before your new hire even starts their job orientation.

(Click here to check out Part Two of the post where I’ll show you the steps for your new employee’s first day and beyond.)

#1. Get the Paperwork Before the First Day

If you’re waiting for your new employee to walk through the front door to start the job orientation process, you’re already too late:

Best-in-class companies are 35 percent more likely to start onboarding before the new hire’s start date.

Melissa Suzuno over at Greenhouse explains why in her blog post on employee onboarding:

“By taking care of these administrative tasks ahead of time, you free up the new hire’s schedule on their first day and allow them to focus on other, more meaningful tasks, like getting to know their new team members and learning more about their new role.”

And you can make things even better by sending a whole welcome packet.

Here’s what to include:

  • Welcome letter signed by you and the team
  • FAQs for the office (“Where’s the bathroom?” “When is lunch?” etc.)
  • A job orientation schedule for their first day
  • Any recent news articles about your company

In short: anything you can do ahead of the first day to clear out administrative tasks and help your new hire feel comfortable will go a long way.

#2. Build a 30-60-90 Day Plan

This might be the most important step in the entire job orientation process.


Because despite the fact that it takes your average employee eight months to fully ramp into a new role, less than 40 percent of companies have an onboarding process that goes beyond the first month.

That means even if you have the best intentions of helping new hires feel comfortable, chances are they need more.

A good 30-60-90 day plan sets clear guidelines and expectations for what you expect your new employees to accomplish in their role.

But it also holds you accountable for the support you’ll provide throughout that initial “warming up” period.

#3. Update Your New Hire Checklist

You might be thinking to yourself right about now:

I thought this was my new hire checklist.

But actually, a new hire checklist is just one small component of the overall job orientation process.

Your new hire checklist should just be a list of the small tasks you need to get done to prepare for the first day.

That includes:

  • Communicating with IT about hardware/software setup for the new hire
  • Finding a mentor
  • Putting together reading/training materials
  • Finalizing 30-60-90 day plan
  • Organizing a cultural activity for their first day
  • Determining the first project you want the new hire to work on

Organizing yourself ahead of time with employee onboarding essentials assures you’re not scrambling at the last minute to put together your onboarding. And it helps make sure the new hire doesn’t spend any time sitting around doing nothing on their first day, too.

#4. Set Up the New Employee’s Workstation Prior to Job Orientation

Let me be honest here:

Asking an employee to set up their own workstation on their first day is a lame way to kick-off a job orientation.

The best companies make sure it taken care of ahead of time. Take a look at Micah Sivitz’s set-up from his first day at Shyp:

(image source)

Not only is the tech all set up and ready to go, Micah also has some swag from his new employer to help him feel welcome and part of the team.

And that’s all before your new hire even gets started.

Go check out Part Two of this post where I show you everything you need to do to make the first day (and beyond) as successful as possible for your new employee.

Ready to get started?

You can start using Eric’s new hire onboarding workflow directly in Zapty.

We’ve built the entire workflow into an easy-to-use template that you can share with up to 5 members of your team for free.

Starts Zapty (free or existing) account with new project based on this template
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