Action Completed/comments
1. HR… employment contract, payroll, insurance, pension etc
2. Background check
3. Devices, equipment, logon and workspace, passes
4. Familiarising hire with security issues, company policies and any guidelines around behaviour, culture, social media… tour of the company premises
5. Discuss remit/job spec
6. Orientation
7. Training/induction
8. Assign a peer mentor
9. New employee announcement and introduction to colleagues, immediate and associate depts
10. Re-visit process/check the new hire understands how to do their job – help bridge gaps – this is normal, addressing them is positive
11. Schedule time for onboarding feedback
12. Set up 30, 60 and 90-day check-in plans, and subsequent 6, 9 and 12-month ones.


Four pillars of support


Outlined in the above checklist


Develop familiarity, skill up and review


Integration, networking, relationship building

Emotional support


We’ve outlined above what we think you most need to consider… if you’d like to read you’ll find additional ideas.


Onboarding… when does it end?

Your choice, your definition it’ll depend on the seniority and complexity of the role.

And whether your definition is simply the first days of arrival or a much broader one, representing the start-up period – the first 100 days, or the first 6, 9 or 12 months.

If you hired a Barista in Starbucks you’d want them to be able to make all types of coffee by the end of the day and be familiar with every in the store by the end of the week.

For senior jobs, you’re more likely for the person to be effective in weeks or months.

On pages x to y, how you may wish to approach onboarding and developing your new hire in the weeks and months ahead.

Day 1/Week 1

Discuss the job.

Introduce their peer mentor

Explain any processes. It’s critical that they need to understand the systems, and how the organisation works.

Show systems.

Familiarise the hire with the culture and modus operandi of the company – you need to avoid a misfit with the organizational culture.

First 2-4 Weeks

Check their familiarity with the job.

Weekly review meetings.

Ask for feedback.

Check for inclusion. People fail when they fail to forge alliances with peers.


4 Weeks/8 Weeks/12 Weeks

Their success and your success are dependent on the hire’s ability to build relationships.

This has got to be worked on. Relationship building and networking are critical particularly in senior roles, and in big companies. You need to encourage them to build a network and develop relationships with key colleagues.

Also, you might like to consider this!

Emotional intelligence 2.0…

A game-changing new book from the #1 bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, this book delivers practical strategies and showcases how an emotionally intelligent team is far more than the sum of its parts.

Just $25. The book comes complete with a code so that your new employee can take the test online and get an emotional intelligence rating known as emotional quotient (EQ).

Emotional intelligence accounts for 58% of performance in all job types.

Leaders who are high in it, are 40% more successful.

Unlike IQ, EQ is something that you and your people can develop, Emotional intelligence 2.0 will help you to do so.

Don’t stop after 100 days. Consider onboarding and support over a longer period: 6 Months/9 Months/12 Months

The cost of failure and underperformance is huge.

It can represent the difference between your own success and failure, perhaps a 10-20% impact on your own overall performance or ratings.



If you haven’t already done so you may wish to ask your new hire to undertake the StrengthsFinder test.

If you work for a big company, your HR dept will have all sorts of recruitment and people development and assessment tools otherwise you’ll be unlikely to have such resources.

There is a low cost (c $20 per person), easy, fun, very practical and affordable tool that you can take advantage of to get an understanding of someone’s strengths, how their mind works and in doing so, give you clues as to how their capabilities and importantly how to best manage them.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a book, you can buy on Amazon and comes with an access code, enabling you or the user to take an online test.

The book is fairly short, an easy read, quick to reference and compliments the test but what you’re really buying access to is the fantastic online psychometric test.

StrengthsFinder is based on 34 different types of strengths and the test picks out our best 5.

Achiever Activator Adaptability
Analytical Arranger Belief
Command Communication Competition
Connectedness Consistency Context
Deliberative Developer Discipline
Empathy Focus Futuristic
Harmony Ideation Includer
Individualisation Input Intellection
Learner Maximizer Positivity
Relator Responsibility Restorative
Self-assurance Significance Strategic
Winning others over


Understanding someone’s Strengths will enable you to understand how to best manage and develop them. You should retain this information.


Identifying developmental needs

What is their preferred learning method?

Gathering information



Clarifying and acknowledging their career goals.

You should have captured this information when interviewing.

Assuming your new hire is a good one, as time passes by, you’ll need to ensure they are happy… retaining and developing good talent is key to success. This means that you need to be aware of how they wish to develop their career.

When onboarding you may wish to:

  • Be clear with your new hire that what you both need to do, is to make sure they are a success in this role.
  • That you’d like to take the opportunity to clarify their career goals.
  • State that in the fullness of time, we can look to work on your personal and professional development.

i.e. you are acknowledging their goals, clarifying their goals and stating that in the here and the now, the objective has got to be to get them up to speed. NB you need to keep a record of these.


Progress and Performance Review

Assessing skills, bridging gaps and performance improvement

You need to work from the original job spec.

Paying attention to the essential and desirable skill sets, you need to assess current skills against all qualities.

Consider any feedback that you had in the interview process from other people who met with/interviewed the candidate, any valuable insights that you may have gained when taking up a verbal reference/s and of course your own observations.

Once you have gathered this information, you may then wish to ask your new hire to assess their skills against those required in the job.

You could say… “Firstname we want to support and help you to excel in your new job. And with this in mind, we want to develop a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses, so that we can capitalise on your strengths and address any gaps.”


Rating performance

Obviously, you’ll need to review your new hire’s performance against what matters most.

This needs to be a sensible number of key areas, perhaps 5.

If you itemise ano 10 or so areas, these secondary areas will often give you clues as to how you can raise someone’s performance in the key areas.

Suggested rating definitions.

5) Exceptional: Meet all aspects of the characteristic?

Consistently exceeds all expectations. The key characteristics here are “all” and “consistently” together. An exceptional performer should equate with the term “role model” where they far exceed normal job requirements and perhaps when the person brings innovation to the role and company.  When hiring: to be exceptional means that the candidate meets all aspects of your requirements well and has more to offer, for example, can be expected to be a role model, mentor and mover & shaker, and high performer.

4) Good/suitable: Meets the standard well.

Consistently meets expectations and frequently exceeds all relevant standards. Key characteristics here are “consistently meets” and “frequently exceeds”. It means that the job holder performs distinctly better than the requirements of the job.  When hiring: to be good means that the candidate meets your requirements in all of the most important areas well.

3) Satisfactory: Meets the standard.

Meets standards most of the time, rarely exceeds or fails expectations. Skills, ability, behavioural and performance levels all being acceptable. When hiring: to be satisfactory means that the candidate meets most of your requirements in the most important areas and that you are confident you can bridge skills gaps.

2) Poor / some doubts: Not an area of strength.

Sometimes meets the standard, rarely exceeds and often falls short of expectations. When hiring: this is where you would have doubts about a candidate and where you’ve perhaps identified gaps in skills or performance or behaviour and where you may see responses to questions lacking substance. Hiring here may be based on hope rather than good judgement. The only reason to proceed here is if you are confident the candidates’ motivations & competencies align well with the role and that therefore the person can be trained.

1) Unacceptable: Evident weakness – does not meet the standard.

Consistently fails to meet standards and expectations. If the person is a new hire / new to the role this may simply be a matter of training however if the employee has been properly trained and coached, and consistently failed it’s time to show them the door.  When hiring: to be unacceptable means just that. You’ve interviewed someone with evident weaknesses, responses did not meet the standard and there’s little or no reason to think the person can be developed into the role.