5 things an employer should do when onboarding new hires

by Beam



For employers, the onboarding process for new employees is hard. There are lots of challenges like admin, training and obligations to meet regulations.

Plus, the importance of having an engaged employee from day one can’t be overstated. Research shows a link between high levels of employee engagement and greater profitability. What’s more, it can lower turnover by up to 18% (Gallup, 2013).

Follow these key steps to ensure your new employee has a smooth and positive transition into the workplace.

Step 1: Organise your employee’s first week

To support your new employee on their first day, make sure you’ve covered the basics. Tell them where they need to go, at what time, and who to speak with on arrival.

Consider using an onboarding checklist. This should include any relevant training details. A checklist is also a good place to include details about your business’ strategy. Include your mission statement (if you have one).

Set up meetings with relevant people in your business. Additionally, include your new hire on any social events. For example, a welcome lunch with the team.

Step 2: Consider assigning a workplace “buddy”

Having a clear plan for an employee’s onboarding journey shouldn’t just focus on the first week. It can take a while for a new starter to feel settled and across things.

A “buddy” system can boost a new hire’s productivity and wellbeing. A university study (University of Warwick, 2022) found new employees who were part of a program were 12% more productive than those who weren’t.

A buddy can help guide the new employee through a range of issues they might come across in their new roles. You might consider an experienced person within your company for this role.

If you opt for a buddy system, set clear expectations for both the mentor and the mentee. It could be beneficial if your company has a separate checklist with each topic or task being agreed ahead of time.

Step 3: Get personal details correct – first time

The admin in onboarding new employees can be time-consuming.

By taking steps to automate your employee onboarding process, you can reduce human error and easily collect accurate details. It also frees up time better spent on more productive tasks. With that in mind, it’s worth considering Super Fund Onboarding (SFO).

SFO’s digital platform offers an efficient and secure way to manage your employees’ super fund choice, tax details and personal information in real-time.  And soon, employers can request stapled fund details, directly from the ATO from within the SFO’s platform. It’ll be another way to simplify and conveniently stay on top of your super obligations and remain compliant with stapling rules.

It’s important for employers to get these details right. There are government-issued penalties and charges if tax and super guarantee (SG) payments aren’t managed correctly.

On top of making sure they meet their super obligations, employers also need to work through other responsibilities like employee entitlements, such as annual leave, and insurance such as workers’ comp, along with health and safety requirements.

The government’s website has a comprehensive summary of the Australian laws that apply (Australian Government, 2023) when hiring a new employee.

Step 4: Plan your employee’s career path

The first 30 days can be a good time to understand your employee’s long-term career goals. Encourage them to share their career aspirations, so you understand their expectations from the get-go.

Goal setting can be useful. Some organisations favour the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) approach to help set these.

The more detailed a development plan you can make upfront, the more likely it is your new hire will feel plugged into their journey with the company. And with a career plan on paper, it increases their accountability.

Step 5: Give timely feedback (and praise)

Workplace research (Gallup, 2023) has shown employees who feel they get the right amount of recognition are four times more likely to be engaged at work.

This can be done when meeting your new hire to discuss their progress. It could be through daily, weekly or bi-monthly meetings. In an employee’s early days, it’s generally a case of the more contact, the better.

At these check-ins, offer feedback, and answer any questions or concerns they may have. Embed clear expectations for the new employee’s role and responsibilities. Give praise where it’s due.

Set up the performance review cycle so they know when they can expect more detailed feedback about their work. This is often a 3-, 6- or 12-month cadence.

On the business’ side, it’s important that you’re open to feedback and willing to address any issues in the early stages of a new employee’s time with you.

Schedule time for onboarding feedback as well. If they found the process to be admin-heavy, it might be worth looking into using a digital employee onboarding like SFO.

Looking to save time? Find out how you can plan, pay and manage super with ease.


This is general information only using sources that we believe are reliable and accurate at the time of publication. No responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information supplied and you should seek advice for your circumstances. This is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any product. You should read the relevant PDS and FSG before deciding whether the product is right for you.

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