New Hire Orientation: A Practical & Concise Guide for 2023

We know that a new hire orientation process can be quite tricky for many companies and business owners.  That’s why […]

Mark Jackson

President at SwagDrop

We know that a new hire orientation process can be quite tricky for many companies and business owners. 

That’s why we’ve put together a practical and concise guide to help you navigate through the process and make sure you’re not missing any important steps. 

Bringing a new team member into your company is a complex process; however, in this guide, we are going to break it down into the following element:

  • What new hire orientation is
  • Why new hire orientation is important
  • What the benefits of a successful new employee orientation are

Plus, we’ve created a checklist that includes all the steps that need to be taken. 

The checklist is free to download and you can use it to monitor your actions and create a cost and time-efficient new hire orientation process.

Let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

What is New Hire Orientation?

Why is New Hire Orientation an Important Process?

What are the Benefits of New Hire Orientation?

New Hire Orientation Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is New Hire Orientation?

As its name suggests, new hire orientation is the process of bringing a new employee into contact with the main aspects of their new job. 

More specifically, the new hire orientation process is about introducing your new hires to: 

  • Paperwork
  • Company policies
  • Responsibilities of their new role 

Among other things which we’ll discuss later on in this post. 

It’s about showing new hires their work environment and making sure that they communicate their questions and concerns – and get answers and guidance for them – before their first day at work. 

Think of it this way: new hire orientation is an important process that’ll help you make sure your new hires get all the information, guidance, and mentoring they need prior to starting working with you. 

You now know what it is; how about why it’s important?

Moving on to why efficient orientation is valuable both for companies and employees. 

Why is New Hire Orientation an Important Process?

The new hire orientation process is important for a number of reasons. 

One of the most important is that new hire orientation lays the foundation for the new hire’s entire relationship with the company

New hire orientation lays the foundation for the new hire’s entire relationship with the company.

In other words, this process is valuable because the whole relationship between a company and an employee starts right here. 

Plus, it helps make sure that new hires will have a smooth transition to their new role. 

Put another way, without the orientation process, a new employee might find it difficult to cope with changes and feel uncomfortable reaching their full potential. 

Overall, orientation is essential because it:

  • Introduces new employees into the organization and helps them feel confident that they have the support they need to start working
  • Gives new hires helpful, valuable, accurate, and concise information on their new role, thus increasing the chances of them feeling comfortable and being productive as early in the process as possible
  • Helps build a more productive, educated, and efficient workforce
  • Facilitates new hire adaptability, thus increasing productivity
  • Can help improve employee retention and reduce employee turnover
  • Promotes healthy communication between employers and new hires

Let’s dive deeper into each one of the benefits new hire orientation comes with. 

What are the Benefits of New Hire Orientation?

We’ve already touched upon the reasons why new hire orientation is important. 

In this section, we’re breaking down the main benefits of the process that’ll clearly show you the need for establishing an efficient new hire orientation program.

Benefit #1: Efficient new hire introduction to the organization

Efficiently introducing new hires to your organization is the first benefit we want to discuss with you. 

Spending time from day one to check in with your new hires and introduce them to the company culture, their workspace, and the steps that follow the hiring process is a rewarding experience

Hiring managers and human resources teams that focus on putting together an efficient new hire orientation process can then enjoy having new team members that adapt quickly to the new work environment and produce good work for the company from their first days. 

Benefit #2: New hires get all the information they need, thus boosting new hire adaptability

In terms of the benefits new hire orientation can bring to employees, things are pretty straightforward. 

Every new hire gets a warm welcome and is introduced to the company values as well as the information they need in order to be able to produce good work and feel confident in their new role. 

The employee onboarding process, which includes the orientation process, is vital to make employees feel part of the team as quickly as possible. 

By doing so, employees are more likely to feel happy and excited about their new role. 

We could say that the onboarding experience is equally important to employees as it is to employers

That’s because it’s not only about the new employees getting to know their co-workers and understanding the paperwork involved in the hiring process. 

On the contrary, employee onboarding allows new hires to get a very clear picture of what the company they’ve just started working for is all about and what they need to do to become effective members of the team. 

Benefit #3: More productive, educated, and efficient workforce

By giving new employees all the information they need about the company mission and way of working and operating, you basically increase the likelihood of having a more productive, educated, and efficient workforce

The reason why orientation is relevant and important is that it shows new hires much more than what they already know about the job description of their new role. 

It allows employers to share information that employees can use to do their job in the best way possible without losing valuable time in the transition. 

Benefit #4: Boost employee retention and reduce employee churn

The fourth, and one of the most important benefits of new hire orientation, is that it helps boost employee retention and reduces turnover. 

According to a CareerPlug survey, 50% of respondents have considered leaving their current job in the past year. 

Image Source: CareerPlug

Even though you might not always be able to control all aspects of your employees’ work-life and the issue they might be dealing with which could make them decide to leave your company, you can always control the orientation and onboarding processes. 

By making sure that you’ve covered all necessary orientation steps that are required to make a new hire part of the company and boost their morale, you increase your chances of keeping your new members with you for a long time. 

Business owners know how stressful and damaging employee turnover can be. 

That’s why they need to do all they can to make sure that new members are successfully introduced into the company. 

Put another way, recruiting and hiring new employees is a difficult and demanding investment that can lead to lost productivity and money if not done properly. 

Overall, the new hire orientation is one of the very first impressions an employee will get about the company they’re about to start working for; so it needs to be good and positive. 

Benefit #5: Improved communication between employers, co-workers, and new hires

Orientation is essential for companies that want to promote communication between employees, colleagues, and employers. 

According to a study by BambooHR, effective onboarding, which as we’ve already mentioned includes orientation, can bring fantastic results.

The research said that 91% of new hires who received an effective onboarding experience reported that they feel strong connectedness at work as opposed to 29% of new employees who got ineffective onboarding. 

Therefore, we understand that a well-structured onboarding and orientation helps create an employee experience that’ll make new employees feel more comfortable with and connected to their employers as well as their colleagues. 

Feeling more connected to the people you work with can boost employee engagement

Similarly, positive interaction between employees can definitely help create a healthy and productive workspace. 

The section that follows is a step-by-step breakdown of our free new hire orientation checklist which you can download and use for your business. 

Keep reading to get our checklist. 

New Hire Orientation Checklist

As promised, we’ve put together an employee orientation checklist that’s free to make a copy of, save it on your computer, and start using it to make sure that you’ve got a new employee orientation program that works and saves you both time and money. 

Let’s get started. 

Step #1: Introduction to the company

The first big step you need to take with your new hires is a general introduction to the company

This introduction is going to be the same for all new hires, no matter what their new role at the company is. 

It’s your opportunity to:

  • Discuss company culture and company background
  • Discuss company values
  • Discuss company vision
  • Discuss company mission

Once you’ve got these first company-related conversations done, you’re ready to start preparing for the next step. 

Step #2: Before the first day at work

The second step in the new hire orientation process is a number of different tasks you should complete before your new hire’s first day at work

Take advantage of the time before your new team member’s first day to make them aware of the following details:

  • What time to start
  • Who to report to
  • Where to arrive

Another important part of this step is that you prepare your new hire’s workspace and make sure that they’ve got all the office supplies they might need. 

In the case of a remote new hire, you should remember to send them a useful work-from-home kit that’ll make their new work routine easier. 

Last but not least, remember that it’s essential to prepare your current employees with a briefing that they’re going to have a new colleague joining them soon. 

Moving on to some more position-specific steps. 

Step #3: Position-specific orientation and paperwork

The third step is to complete all the necessary paperwork and make your new hire aware of all important position-specific information. 

More specifically, now it’s the time to:

  • Share the employee handbook
  • Discuss dress code, if applicable
  • Explain shift patterns and breaks
  • Inform new hires about paydays
  • Discuss sick leave, vacation time, etc.
  • Discuss performance evaluations
  • Discuss employee benefit programs
  • Have your new hire complete payroll forms

By completing these tasks, you increase the likelihood of your new employee joining your team stress-free and having a smooth transition. 

Keep reading to find out more about the next step. 

Step #4: Give a warm welcome

The time has come for the new addition to your team to join you at the office and meet everyone. 

The warm welcome step is all about making introductions and making the new team member feel welcome and comfortable. 

This step includes the following activities:

  • Introduce new hire to managers
  • Introduce new hire to co-workers
  • Assign an employee to assist your new hire with questions and concerns
  • Give new hires an office tour

Below is step number five.

Step #5: Go through company policies

After having made all the necessary introductions, it’s essential to go through all the  company policies to make sure that your new hire knows and understands basic operational policies. 

Each company has its own policies and standards which you should make sure to incorporate in the orientation checklist. 

Some tasks which we’ve identified in terms of policies and standards that need to be discussed are the following:

  • Discuss telephone usage during work
  • Discuss overtime policy
  • Discuss smoking policy
  • Discuss training programs
  • Discuss harassment and bullying in the workplace policies

Health and safety, emergency, and security policies come right next. 

Step #6: Go through health and safety policies 

Similar to what we said earlier about company policies and standards, there are a number of security, health, and safety policies you should be discussing with your new hire in order to make sure that they have all the necessary information to work safely.

Some good starting points in terms of going through health and safety policies are: 

  • Discuss fire procedures
  • Point out emergency exits
  • Point out first aid department and resources
  • Discuss accident reports
  • Discuss COVID-19 health and safety protocols

These are included in our orientation checklist which you can make a copy of and use every time you have a new member joining your team. 

Once you’re done with company policies and safety protocols, you’ll need to complete another two simple steps. 

Step #7: Go through the job description

As you move towards the end of your checklist, we advise you to go through the job description of your new hire to point out important elements of the position they’re about to undertake. 

This’ll allow you to answer any questions they might have and will give them the opportunity to start their new role feeling confident and comfortable with everything they’ll have to do. 

Step #8: Training

This final orientation step signals the beginning of the rest of the onboarding process. 

As part of the orientation process, you should provide your new hires with preliminary training and reassure them that they’re going to have access to ongoing training in their first week, month, or for as long as they need to. 

Once that step is completed, you’ll have a new team member ready to start working with you and bring value to your business. 

Feel free to click on the link below to get access to our checklist and start working on creating the best new hire orientation experience. 

You can access our new hire orientation checklist here:

New Hire Orientation Checklist

We may need to wrap up this post, but there’s also an FAQs section – right after the outro – you should have a look at, especially if you have questions about new hire orientation.

Final Thoughts

The new employee onboarding and orientation processes can be quite complex and demanding for all types of businesses – from small businesses to enterprises.

That’s why it’s essential to establish a well-structured step-by-step orientation process that’ll help you keep track of all individual steps and elements. 

Whether you have a well-organized HR department to take care of the process or not, you can get access to the checklist we’ve created to streamline the orientation process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the purpose of new hire orientation?

The purpose of new hire orientation is to introduce new employees into the company culture and give them access to valuable information that’ll help them have a smooth transition. 

Q2. What’s the difference between new hire orientation and new hire onboarding?

New hire orientation is a part of the overall new hire onboarding process. 

The onboarding process includes a wide range of steps and activities from the hiring process to the point where a new employee is fully transitioned into the company. 

Q3. How long does the new hire orientation usually last?

The length of the new hire orientation process depends on the steps each company chooses to include in it. 

As a general rule, the new hire orientation process should last some days or until the new hire has all the necessary information they need to start their new role. 

Q4. Is new hire orientation necessary?

New hire orientation is absolutely essential for companies that want to create long-term relationships with new employees who feel comfortable and confident working with them. 

Q5. What’s the best way to make new hires feel welcome?

The best way to make new hires feel comfortable in their new position is to make sure that they have a clear understanding of how the company works and that they know where to go in case they need help or need additional guidance.

Featured image by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

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