There’s a lot to do when you’re onboarding a new employee—and depending on the job description, onboarding can take anywhere from a day or two to weeks or even months. There may be training sessions, orientation meetings, tours, and other activities they need to complete before they’re ready to start work. As if that’s not enough, they may also need to go through a process of IT onboarding, to make sure they’re familiar with the software and hardware that they’ll be using. To help make your IT onboarding process a little bit easier, we’ve put together a checklist that you can use to make sure you have every aspect covered. Modify it to suit your own organisation, and you can then customise that list on a case-by-case basis for each new employee.
What’s the Purpose of IT Onboarding?
Onboarding is the process a new employee goes through in order to get ready to actually do their job. Depending on the nature of the work, new employees can’t necessarily jump right in and get started on their first day. Typically they must go through one or more processes to get their workstation set up, to get training for software or hardware they’ll use, or to help them familiarise with other aspects of the job they’ll do.
Some examples of what an employee might do during the onboarding process include:
- Meetings with co-workers and/or bosses, team leaders, and other people they’ll interact with on a daily basis.
- Training sessions for software and/or hardware they’re unfamiliar with.
- Training sessions to familiarise them with unique company tasks or processes.
- Safety and/or security training.
- Requisitioning of specific items of hardware or software.
- Setup of accounts, identification, systems access, and workstations.
Preparing for New Employee Onboarding
Before a new employee arrives on their first day, there are some things that need to be done so that they can start the onboarding process promptly. The specifics will of course depend on the nature of the job, but there are some general things that will apply in most situations.
Depending on the company, this might be as simple as making preparations for their arrival yourself. Or, in a larger organisation it may mean some coordination between the hiring manager and HR to obtain information about the new hire, and find out what’s needed to prepare for their arrival. For instance:
- Name and contact information
- Job title and department
- Starting date
- Software and hardware required for the job
- Any other equipment required for the job
- Access and authorisation required for the job e.g. access to particular kinds of data, access to physical locations, including after-hours access
The new employee’s immediate superior—whomever they’ll be reporting too—also needs access to some of this information, depending on their responsibilities. For instance, employee onboarding may include one or more meetings between the new hire and their immediate superior as part of the orientation process.
IT Onboarding Checklist
- Email setup
- Mailbox setup
- Anti-spam system
Hardware and File Access
- Hardware requisition, e.g. phone, monitor, keyboard, mouse, laptop, other
- Software requisition, e.g. Microsoft 365, Microsoft Visual Studio, AutoDesk, other
- Workstation setup and training
- Software training, including security best-practices as well as basic usage training
- Equipment training, e.g. printers, fax machines, projectors, etc.
- Network setup – company
- Network setup – department
- Print drivers
- Personal storage
- Desk phone
- Phone network
Meetings and Training Sessions
Many activities on the checklist will mean the new employee must meet or work with one or more people, for instance someone from the IT department to help them set up new accounts or learn to use new hardware; a co-worker to help them learn the basics of new software.
Depending on the nature of the workplace, there may be additional meetings needed for other matters, such as for new equipment training, workplace safety and/or security training, and anything else that new employees need to know.
It can be useful to schedule these meetings and training sessions in advance, so that new employees aren’t left with little or nothing to do in their first few days. This can leave new employees feeling adrift and isolated, and may even create a negative first impression of the workplace.
It’s also a good idea to schedule follow-up meetings—or at least, let new employees know that they can ask for them. Follow-up meetings are useful in that they give new hires a chance to ask questions that arise after they start training and get to grips with their new job. There may be questions they didn’t think to ask initially, or questions that have arisen as they become more familiar with the workplace, with equipment, and with day-to-day tasks.