IT Onboarding Checklist: How to Set Up New Hires for Success

Closeup of (hands and arms only) of people working on laptops together.

A strategic and well-planned new hire onboarding program is an essential first step in training and developing your workforce. During an onboarding process, new employees will ideally:

  • learn about company culture
  • meet their team lead and colleagues
  • set up any tools and technology
  • start working on initial tasks or projects

The details of any onboarding process will vary between companies — and even between departments at the same company. However, many jobs today require computers, company phones, and other devices to work day-to-day. For that reason, it’s important to set up Information Technology (IT) onboarding for new employees.

Keep reading to learn:

  • what IT onboarding is
  • why you need an IT onboarding checklist
  • how to create an IT onboarding checklist

What is IT Onboarding?

IT onboarding is the process of setting up new employees in a company’s technological systems. In general, this can include:

  • creating new user accounts or emails
  • acquiring necessary equipment
  • setting up new workstations
  • adding new licenses for software
  • setting up new phone numbers and voicemails
  • teaching employees how to use their devices and software
  • training employees on IT security

IT onboarding might be more or less involved depending on the company and the new hire’s role within the company.

Why is IT Onboarding Important?

Any employee who uses any technology in their job needs to know how to use it and how to ask for help when they don’t as part of their onboarding.  This allows new employees to start working on tasks and projects immediately, with full confidence in their tools. Without IT onboarding, employees might not have what they need on their first day, or they might waste time trying to set up their devices without dedicated IT assistance.

In addition, you may open your company up to security risks if you don’t introduce IT security to all new hires. New employee email addresses are an enticing target for scammers. With proper IT onboarding, new employees will be taught to recognize risks and can avoid falling for scams.

How to Create an IT Onboarding Checklist

New hire onboarding begins before an employee’s first day, so you need to create an IT onboarding checklist before their start date. Depending on your company, you might need a few versions, such as:

  • a general IT onboarding checklist with all minimum requirements for any role in the company
  • a checklist specific to each department
  • custom checklist for each specific role

Your Human Resources (HR) department and IT department should work together to create a company checklist. The general version can serve as a starting template for any specific versions. From there, department heads can tweak the checklist accordingly. Finally, whenever a department hires a new employee, the hiring manager can put together a checklist specifically for their direct report.

You can use Excel or Google Sheets to create an easily customizable and shareable document. In addition to listing all tasks and reminders in the IT onboarding checklist, you can also assign responsibility to a specific team member.

It’s a good idea to update your IT onboarding checklists on a regular basis. Technology keeps changing, so we all need to keep up!

What to Include on Your IT Onboarding Checklist

IT onboarding for new employees covers more than just their first day. For a smooth new hire experience, you need to complete some items on a specific timeline. This will be easier if you divide your checklist by time periods:

  • before your new hire’s first day
  • your new hire’s first day or week
  • your new hire’s first month

IT Onboarding Checklist: Before Your New Hire Starts

These are some of the most common IT tasks to get done prior to a new hire’s first day.

Provide Your IT Department with All Necessary Details About the New Hire

The IT department must know about the new hire as soon as possible. Not all new hires need the same devices and software, so it’s important to share specific requirements with your IT department. This will allow them to start getting the systems ready for the individual and make sure that their email and other accounts are set up correctly. Here are some key pieces of information to share with IT:

  • The new hire’s name
  • Contact information
  • Job title and department
  • Start date
  • Any equipment they need
  • Any software they need

Order and Set Up Equipment

If the new hire is starting in an office, make sure that their workstation is ready for them with all of the necessary devices and everything else set up correctly. If they are working remotely, you may need to ship them the appropriate equipment, and ensure that they have access to physical and digital files.

Standard IT devices can include:

  • Laptop
  • Monitor(s)
  • Docking station(s)
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard(s)
  • Charging cables
  • Power strip
  • Desk phone and/or cell phone
  • Headset

With many employees working a hybrid schedule, several companies opt to provide them with separate sets of equipment so they only have to take their laptop back and forth between their remote work station and the office.

Create User Accounts

The IT department will need to create user accounts as soon as possible so that the new hire can start using company systems and applications from day one. This includes email, file-sharing platforms, and anything else required for their role, like software.

If possible, have the IT department download and install any software before the new hire starts. This will make it easier for them to jump right into their new role.

Set up Phone and Voicemail

Ensure that the new hire’s telephone system is set up and functioning properly with their correct extension before they start. Also, make sure their voicemail is set up, or help them set it up on their first day.

IT Onboarding Checklist: Your New Hire’s First Day

While we have listed these action items for your new hire’s first day, you can choose to spread these out over the timeline that suits your business best — perhaps the first week.

For example, at Insight Global, new employees go through Welcome Week. On “Technology Tuesday,” new hires receive laptops and charging cables. By end-of-day Friday, they must complete an online training module on cybersecurity.

Confirm Your New Hire’s Equipment is Working for Them

Make sure your new hire has all of the corporate office equipment they need. and that it’s working properly. This includes computers, phones, other devices, and any software tools or apps they will be using. If you have provided them with remote access to company systems, ensure that this is working as well. Also, provide them with some office equipment productivity tips to help them navigate through systems effectively.

Train the New Hire on Privacy and Cybersecurity

It’s crucial for any new hire to understand the importance of privacy and cybersecurity, especially if you work in an industry with strict privacy concerns. Information you might cover during this time includes:

  • strong passwords
  • VPNs
  • resources to report suspicious activity
  • corporate privacy policies
  • any applicable privacy laws

This is also the time to have your new hire sign the company’s data privacy agreement.

Meet with the New Hire to Review Accounts, Systems, and Procedures

Either through a one-on-one meeting or group training, introduce all basic company applications to new hires. Go over the company’s accounts, systems, and procedures. Some of this will apply to all employees, like the company email or the company Intranet. Other details will apply only to specific roles. For example, payroll employees have access to different applications than the digital marketing team.

If your new employee works with multiple types of hardware and software, break up this step into multiple meetings.

Follow-up this training with digital copies of manuals for all hardware and software. Also, if your company has any relevant webinars, explain how to find those.

Train Your New Hire on Corporate Equipment

In addition to individual workstations, most office employees share access to communal devices. Take time to show your new hire where to find them, how to borrow them or check them out, and how to use them. Make sure they have access set up on their computer so they can print reports or connect before a big presentation. Shared office equipment might include:

  • printers
  • conference rooms
  • video conference tools
  • fax machines
  • office phones
  • projectors

Let Your New Hire Know Where to Go for Help

Even with a great IT onboarding, your new hire will likely have questions. Who do they ask for help? Let them know how to contact you, plus how to contact your team’s IT support person. If there is a formal process for requesting IT help, walk them through that process.

IT Onboarding Checklist: Your New Hire’s First Month

New employee onboarding is not over in a day or even a week. Extending it into a month or longer gives new employees time to acclimate to their new role, especially if they’re learning multiple new technologies. In fact, an intentional and well-designed onboarding program is one way to improve your company’s overall attrition rate!

Confirm Equipment is Still Working Properly

Technology that worked perfectly on Day 1 doesn’t always work perfectly on Day 15. Check in with your new hire multiple times to ask about their work equipment. Does everything still work correctly? Are they missing anything?

Ask About Software Needs

Once your new hire has been working for a few weeks, they might realize they need additional software to do their job more effectively. During their first month, be proactive and ask them if they need anything else.

Schedule Additional Cybersecurity Training

Unfortunately, businesses must worry about multiple different types of cybersecurity threats. To minimize risk, train new employees on the different ways cybercriminals might act. By breaking up the training into different modules, new hires can learn a little at a time, instead of being overwhelmed with too many details.

Offer Optional IT Training

New employees will start with different levels of technical experience and comfort. Not everyone needs a beginner’s course on Outlook or WordPress, but some people do. If you have the resources to do it, create a curriculum of live classes and recorded webinars on different internal systems and popular software applications. Give your new hire dedicated time each week for learning, and let them choose what to learn. If your team is small, make sure you have someone that all employees can go to when they get stuck or find online training options they can refer to when they want to enhance their skills.

Communicate

Finally, more than anything else, communicate, communicate, communicate! Be available for your new hire, especially during their first month. It’s okay if you don’t have the answers to all of their IT questions, as long as you point them in the right direction. Listen to any feedback they offer, and use it to update the IT onboarding checklist for future hires.

A Quick IT Onboarding Checklist for You to Use

Copy and paste this IT onboarding checklist into your own document or spreadsheet as a starting point to create your own.:

  1. Share new hire information with your IT department
  2. Order and set up equipment
  3. Create user accounts
  4. Set up phone and voicemail
  5. Confirm equipment works
  6. Train new hire on privacy and cybersecurity
  7. Review accounts, systems, and procedures
  8. Explain corporate equipment
  9. Be available for questions
  10. Follow-up on equipment
  11. Ask about additional software
  12. Offer more cybersecurity training
  13. Offer optional IT training

An IT onboarding checklist is a great way to ensure your company’s new hires are taken care of from day one.

You can ensure that your new hire has a smooth and successful transition into their new role by following these suggestions. Now you can rest easy knowing every detail has been covered!

If you need help filling open positions, check out the Insight Global hiring page, and we’ll instantly connect you with top talent.

 

Need help finding talented employees? Visit Insight Global's Staffing Services page to get started.