13 Ways to Onboard Employees Like the Pros

How to Onboard New Employees

Getting a new employee integrated into your business takes time and plenty of resources. You may feel like you are spinning your wheels trying to remember everything they need to learn. You may not have a solid system for the onboarding process, leaving your new employee floundering to catch on and get acclimated to their new role. That’s why we asked 13 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“Hiring new employees is exciting, but it also means integrating them into your company and their new role. What’s the best way you’ve found to onboard new employees?”

How to Onboard New Employees

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Invest Time in Onboarding Checklists

“Having checklists for when you onboard new hires will help you systemize your business. By doing so, you will transform a process that can be overwhelming to one that is significantly less difficult. In addition, having an onboarding checklist will make it significantly less likely that you will miss key hiring steps.” ~ Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

2. Curate an Onboarding Guide

“We operate an internship that starts with a six-month stint that if completed flips to a paid SEO apprenticeship position, and ultimately results in a full-time position. To manage the demand for our intern program, we curated all the best reading material on the industry, our internal processes, and external content into bite-sized pieces in a holistic onboarding guide.” ~ Nick Eubanks, I’m From The Future

3. Provide a Mentor

“First days are stressful, but just how stressful is up to the employer. Early in my career, I started at a company that was totally unprepared: My manager didn’t know who I was, I had no desk, and no one to guide me. That was a stressful day. To avoid that scenario, we provide written material that documents processes and offer new hires a mentor — someone they can go to with any questions.” ~ Vik Patel, Future Hosting

4. Work Directly With Them

“I tell all the companies I advise to shadow new employees for a week or longer. This way, the new hires will know they have someone to help them at all times and get them through the process of understanding what technology is used and how workflow goes.” ~ Peter Daisyme, Calendar

5. Enforce a Repeatable Process

“I am an absolute advocate of having a scalable, repeatable process! Especially if your organization is growing quickly, putting new hires through an organized, structured onboarding process not only ensures they get everything they need to be successful but also that everyone starts the same way! This avoids silos or new employees being pigeonholed into their departments from the start.” ~ Suneera Madhani, Fattmerchant

6. Place Them in Customer Service to Start

“One of the best ways for new hires to develop a deeper understanding of your product or service is by making their first job at your company one in customer service. Place new hires in customer service temporarily so they can learn, firsthand, what customers want, need and expect. This allows them to become more empathetic to customer needs and will make them better equipped for their hired roles.” ~ Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

7. Throw Them to the Wolves

“The best way to integrate a new hire is to get right down to business immediately. Get the new girl on a team that is in the middle of a project and let the team bring her in. Aside from the necessary and customary HR litany, set up your new hire to participate at a high level as soon as possible after arriving on the scene.” ~ Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP

8. Do Regular One-on-Ones

“I make sure I set aside 15 minutes per week for one-on-ones with every new employee for their first 60 days of employment. This not only keeps me in the loop about their successes but also makes me aware of any problems or challenges they might face. While we address professional issues, I also take time to inquire about their personal lives, as this helps build a more human connection.” ~ Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns

9. Communicate Closely

“Historically, it has been a relatively smooth onboarding process, as we have brought in employees who share a passion for our mission. When everyone’s goals are aligned it can go a long way toward working out any professional differences. On a personal level, communication is key to building strong relationships. We like to go out to lunch or coffee whenever we bring in a new employee so we can all get to know each other” ~ Zohar Steinberg, token payments

10. Have Them Shadow Multiple Team Members

“A common practice when bringing on a new team member is to assign them a more experienced co-worker to follow and learn from. This is certainly helpful but I’ve found it much more effective to have new team members shadow multiple co-workers. This way they can see our company’s environment and culture from multiple perspectives and will receive more well-rounded training.” ~ Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

11. Make First Impressions Count

“Onboarding should be treated as a key part of your business’ success. One of the most effective ways to get a new hire acclimated to your business is to get them some face time with some of your stakeholders or customers. When you give a new hire a firsthand glimpse into the people that your business is most focused on, you are giving that person an opportunity to see how their work will make a difference.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

12. Employ Your Team

“Too often, new employee onboarding and initiation falls on upper management. I’ve found that empowering the new employee’s counterparts to come up with ways to integrate their new team member has been most successful. Transitions become easier when everyone “buys into” the process. Don’t leave it all to upper management because you’re missing out on the resources you already have!” ~ Kim KaupeZinePak

13. Take It Slowly

“Oftentimes, onboarding can be an overwhelming and stressful process. The worst thing you can do to a brand new employee is overwhelm and stress them out. We keep onboarding very relaxed and simple. We provide some training materials to begin looking over, provide a new member welcome kit with all sorts of goodies, and put a focus on meeting other team members rather than starting work day one.” ~ Mike A. Podesto, Find My Profession

Photo via Shutterstock

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.