First impressions mean a lot. Here are some considerations when onboarding a new member of your team, whether they're in the office, completely remote, or hybrid.
Before they start
Have a consistent base-line process that applies to as many types of new employee as possible. From there, decide where employee roles differ, allowing for on-site and remote work differences as well.
As obvious as it sounds, verify relevant information such as spellings and pronunciation of names, possible nicknames, pronouns, a personal phone number and email address for initial setup; this will be crucial to getting onboarding correct the first time.
Consider IT services and accounts your new hire will require Day 1, speaking to the new hire's hiring manager and working with them to develop a checklist for this type of role.
Let your IT team know what hardware is required. Will this person be developing software, be using heavy graphics or video production applications, or require accessibility equipment?
Set up the accounts before they start
Your new teammate may not have begun yet, but you'll want their accounts included on important messages. Part of your setup checklist should be to create their email, group, and other cloud accounts in advance of their start date.
Passwords can be delivered on their first day
Your passwords should be temporary and require a change upon first login. Make sure you check the expiration dates on certain accounts, as they may expire the temporary password if you make the account too early.
Don't include the password with the device
If you deliver a laptop with the temporary password on a piece of paper, any porch pirate will have easy access into your corporate data. Instead, if you're sending a device to a new hire, hold onto the password information and provide it either to the hiring manager or give it to the new hire live on their first day.
Have extra equipment ready
You may receive a new device that's inoperable, or damaged in transit. Rather than scramble to fix it in time for your new hire's first day, have spare computers on hand just in case. You can use these as temporary loaners as well in case any of your existing computers need to be sent in for repair.
Consider replacing an old device
New hires either get the newest equipment or they get older equipment, usually from previous employees. To ensure your existing staff is treated fairly, consider getting them the newer gear and rotating the other devices to the new staff. Who deserves the best hardware, the people who have already been with you the longest, or the newest member of the team?
Spelling isn't always right
All it takes is one typo and everyone on your team may be using the wrong spelling of someone's name. Make sure you have the employee verify the spelling of their name before you set up all the accounts. Changing this after everything has been set up can be a time consuming (and embarrassing) process and can disrupt a person's first few days with your organization.
Communicate the onboarding schedule to the new hire as soon as possible, updating them if and when that schedule changes over time.
Work with your IT team to coordinate equipment arrival well in advance of the new hire's first day.
Create a written quick-start guide for new hires with contact information for the hiring manager, IT support, and an HR representative.
Send invites for IT account to the new hire's preferred email to allow for them to self-service whenever possible.