How to Set Up Employee Onboarding

March 5, 2020

Subscribe and stay up to date

No spam, we promise! You will only 
receive essential emails.
Sarah Kilmon
Written By
Sarah Kilmon
Strategy, Hiring

In our last post on onboarding at start-ups, our head of sales Jeff Hurlock talked about the importance of ownership around new employees.

We want to make sure we support them, guide them, and empower them to hit the ground running.

When we hire, we don’t just give our employees a computer and desk and say ‘go at it’!

While that might have worked when our team was small...it certainly doesn’t work now. We have processes, strategies, and information that we need to let the hiree know...so they can grow from our failures and learn from our successes.


Doing all this doesn’t happen overnight–it takes a coordinated effort from the entire team.

Now that we’ve seen the program is successful, our People and Operations team member Matt Edwards and I thought it might be good to break down how it was actually implemented.

If you find yourself onboarding a ton of employees, try out this gameplan. By creating a rinse and repeatable process, we were able to onboard employees quickly with little stress and easy management.

This plan:

  • Allows everyone involved in the onboarding process to feel confident they know the plan, and know their responsibilities.
  • Gives hires a sense of achievement before they have even hit 3 weeks.
  • Gives leadership confidence that new hires understand what to do and how to do it.
  • Gives the entire company a general company knowledge baseline - all employees go through this training so right off the bat employees can talk and understand one another.

Get Leadership Bought In

Department leaders will be the ones building out the onboarding specifics for their team. Make sure they understand the process and ask for specific items.

You’ll need:

  • Presentations. Ask each leader to outline what their presentations will be about, and about how long they will take. You should also find out if ALL new employees should receive that training, or if it’s just someone moving into their department.
  • Goals. What do they expect new employees to be able to do at the end of 30 days? We like to include this in our job postings, so potential hires already know what is expected of them. Different job positions will have different goals though, it’s important to understand the differences in expectations.
  • Final Test. Ask each department to come up with a 5-10 question quiz. This quiz should include the most commonly asked questions about the department or the core responsibilities of that team. This is a great test to understand if the new employee understood the training. Every question asked should line up with what they learned in presentations.

New call-to-action


Create a Template

Once you have leadership working on creating their portions of the training, it’s time to organize. This is supposed to be rinse and repeatable - every employee will go through this - so make it easy on yourself and create a template that you can just copy when a new employee comes on.

We chose to use Asana to do this.



Let’s break this down.

  • Account Set Up. Working at a software company, we use a lot of tools to help do our job. This helps us keep track of which accounts we have set up for the new hire, and which ones still need to be set up. We keep all important records like email and passwords in the card so the hire can always reference them.
  • Presentations. This keeps track of what presentations/training is happening, who is in charge of leading them, and when. Once the training has been complete, let the hire check it off (early feelings of accomplishment)!


Here you can see that Chris is in charge of our Welcome to Hatch presentation, while Jeff is in charge of leading the Sales High-Level Overview.

  • Free-Time Tasks. These are tasks that the new employee can complete while they are waiting for their next training, or have some free time. We include old demo recordings or customer onboardings using Gong (sidenote, check out Gong, it’s freaking awesome). In their free time, they can watch those videos to learn how it’s done!
  • Resources. Other things that new employees have questions about. What holidays do we have? Where do I go and eat around here? Where do I park (we work in the city guys, that’s sometimes a problem)?

If you want to learn more about using Templates in Asana, check out this article: https://asana.com/guide/help/premium/custom-templates.

Create a Timeline

Employees are always learning, but try to have your official ‘onboarding’ have a start and end.

This gives the new hire some early goals to hit. “Ok, step one, make it through onboarding, then I’ll go from there.”

This also gives the teammates involved in onboarding the new hires reasonable expectations. “Ok, I will be onboarding these three employees this week, but then after that, I can go back to my regular schedule.”

Make Repeats & Referrals a Reliable Revenue Stream


Celebrate Success

Finally, celebrate your new hires!

They are going to help you grow your business, and you should be excited about that!

After our new employee has gone through their training and has passed the quizzes, they can officially ‘graduate’ from Hatch Academy. We congratulate our new hires with a ceremony held at the beginning of our Company-Wide All-Hands Presentations. 

Their graduation includes a shoutout at the company-wide meeting, a surprise custom sticker, some company swag, and even a diploma.

To make this happen, we ordered custom stickers from Sticker Mule. We got their Kiss Cut Stickers, the little bird peels off so employees can put it on their laptops...or wherever! Check out what they have to offer.

We also made this an incentive for current employees that haven't gone through our new onboarding. If they take the quizzes and pass, they can get a sticker too!




We strive to constantly improve and adapt - with our product and with our processes. An important aspect of onboarding that we ask ourselves is “How can we make it better?” Being a startup is not an excuse for lacking an onboarding process.

We take feedback and implement it, constantly changing and improving the overall process to provide the best onboarding possible.



We hope this guide has been helpful to you and your team. Want to see more of Hatch HQ? Check us out on Instagram. 

Set More Appointments and Close More Deals: Download Now

View all posts

Subscribe and stay up to date

No spam, we promise! You will only 
receive essential emails.

Stay Up To Date