Your IT Checklist for a Smooth New Employee Onboarding

Our ever-growing reliance on technology means IT touches every aspect of your business – including new employee onboarding and offboarding. It is no longer an HR department task. From the first day, new hires need immediate access to all the systems and tools to succeed at their job. And to ensure your business data isn’t compromised when they leave your organization, you need assurances they’ll no longer have that access. Therefore, a clear employee onboarding and offboarding process must be among your IT department’s top priorities. 

In this post I’ll give some tips on how to develop the employee onboarding process, so new hires hit the ground running. Check out the employee offboarding strategies in my next post to help you prevent former employees having the power to bring your company to a screeching halt.

How to Onboard New Employees 

Within half an hour of arriving on their first day, any new employee will likely have already decided whether or not they see themselves at your company long term. If the IT department leaves them sitting around wondering how to access files or where to find tools they need, your new hire might have one foot out the door before they even settle in. Bottom line, companies that offer the best employee onboarding experiences tend to have a more dedicated workforce with lower turnover rate.

A seamless employee onboarding experience starts before they have even been hired. Here are a few steps that can help you set your employees up for success from the get-go:

  • Involve Department Heads – Successfully onboarding a new employee will take a coordinated effort. If you allow each department to create an onboarding process independent of each other, you risk a lack of cohesion. From HR to IT to upper management, you’ll need all your senior leaders’ input to ensure the process is streamlined and everyone assumes shared responsibility for getting your new hires acclimated as quickly as possible. 
  • Break Down Your Organization into Functions – Different jobs have different technological needs, so it’s essential to think through, for instance, how a new marketing employee’s onboarding process will differ from someone in sales or HR. Identify all job functions across different departments in your organization that could be similar regarding their use of technology and level of access and pinpoint those similarities in order to create a streamlined onboarding process.
  • Decide What Technology is Needed – One area where there is sure to be some separation is in what technology is required for each job. For example, an executive employee will require extensive permissions and might need a setup for easy remote work. In contrast, an engineering employee might need a device with robust processing power and AutoCAD installed. Create a technology sheet that categorizes the hardware, software, and permission level required for each department. Categories should include:
    • Department
    • Role
    • Access Level
    • Type of Device Needed
    • Additional Tools Needed
  • Develop Workflows – The employee onboarding process doesn’t end after day one. But how long should onboarding last? Check-ins, meetings, and additional access may be needed as an employee settles in over time. Establish a timeline with phases such as:
    • Phase One – Begins at the acceptance letter and ends at the beginning of the first day.
    • Phase Two – Begins on day one and ends at the end of the employee’s first day.
    • Phase Three – Begins at the start of the employee’s second day and ends at the end of their first week.
    • Phase Four – Begins at the beginning of the second week and ends at the end of one month of employment.

Create as many phases as you see fit. Organize your onboarding process to create deadlines and ensure employees involved in the process won’t be stepping on each other’s toes. Then, create a flowchart to showcase the process from start to finish.

Employee Onboarding Template

Having developed a clear and precise process for each department and job type with timelines and workflows, it’s now time to create shareable documentation in the form of an onboarding checklist. Below is an example checklist you can use as a template: 

Before Employee’s First Day 

  1. Collect all information from HR that will be needed to prep your new hires IT setup, including:
    • Name
    • Contact Info
    • Department
    • Position
    • Permission Level
    • Start Date
    • Software Needed
    • Hardware Needed
  2. Order and prep any required equipment. 
  3. Install and set up any software, tools, or accounts needed (company email, shared spreadsheets, productivity tools, etc.).

On Employee’s First Day 

  1. Prep new hire’s desk with necessary hardware.
  2. Provide account access and give security permissions
  3. Schedule one-on-one meetings to help new hires get acclimated.
  4. Provide any user manuals or training documents necessary and provide a walk-through on how to use office equipment such as:
    • Printers
    • Video conference tools
    • Any tools, applications, software, or processes that may require an explanation
  5. Train new hires on cybersecurity basics and such as:
    • How to secure their workstations
    • How and where to save data
    • How to properly share sensitive data
  6. Share who should be contacted to resolve any technical issues

During Employee’s First Week/Month 

  1. Schedule check-ins with new hires to see if everything is working properly.
  2. Schedule training exercises on:
    • Cybersecurity
    • Tools and Processes

I realize developing an employee onboarding process can seem long and tedious but it is ultimately paramount to your ability to protect data and create a secure work environment. If you need help with onboarding new employees or creating a checklist that is specific to your business, don’t hesitate to contact me at

Of course, when onboarding an employee, you’ll want to factor in the offboarding process as well making sure, once an employee decides to move on or is let go, you can easily protect your data by revoking access and collecting your devices. So stay tuned for my next post, in which I’ll discuss strategies for a cyber secure employee offboarding.