Effective employee onboarding: the Homebase hiring guide

You’ve found the perfect candidate. So they should start right away, right? Try to slow down and focus on an effective employee onboarding strategy. You might want them to start the next day or in a few days, and that’s ok.

But in that short window of time it’s important you do your work, too. Confirm with the employee—in writing—the pay, the estimated hours per week, and the estimated schedule.

If you need to run an employment background check, you might not be able to get someone into the job as quickly as you’d like. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates a careful process with regard to when and how background checks Effective Onboarding The First 7 Days of Employment are run. Be sure to wait until after the candidate has accepted the offer in writing to run background checks.

Your company’s first impression of a new hire is critical. Research from the Council of Hotels and Restaurant Trainers showed that 27% of hourly employees in the hospitality industry will leave their job within the first 90 days. And 66% of all hourly employee terminations were within the first year of employment.

When you’ve got a good employee, you’ve got to make sure you do everything you can to hold on to them! An effective onboarding program includes four central components, (1) training and orientation, (2) instilling pride in work, (3) get to know yous, and (4) feedback.

Provide the necessary training and orientation for effective employee onboarding

Spend 5 minutes reviewing and updating your training checklist to ensure you’ve got an effective employee onboarding strategy. List out what your employees need to be able to know and to do by the end of the first day, week and month. How will the new employee learn everything they need to know?

Assign one of your veteran employees to mentor and train the new hire. That way, the new employee will learn the ropes quickly and correctly. Pick wisely. The veteran employee will likely teach the new employee more than just the basics of the job, but will also imprint cultural and other less tangible values on them.

Instill pride in a job well done

Managers who can communicate the value each and every one of their employees brings to the business get the most out of their employees. When an employee is reminded how the work they do helps the business succeed, they’ll be more motivated to do the job well.

Over time, without reminders of the contribution the employee has on the businesses’ success, employees lose pride in their work and performance slips. It is so simple that we often neglect to say it out loud. For example, communicate to cashiers, servers or sales staff the impact customer service has on overall success.

Remind back of the house employees that quality and efficiency helps the company run efficiently. This concept is why businesses continue with programs like “Employee of the Month.”

Get to know your employees as people

Have a conversation to get to know your employees on a personal level. This doesn’t have to be a formal process, just a casual conversation so they know you care about them as people, not just as employees. What challenges do they face? Do they have any upcoming celebrations? What are their families like?

Your employees will feel a deeper connection to the company and to you. In turn, they will treat the customers with the same level of care that you treat your employees. Set the tone of how you want your employees to treat customers by how you treat your employees at hire.

Beloved companies like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, and Nordstrom are leaders in formal employee morale programs but, more importantly, they focus on respecting their employees and treating them with dignity. This is perhaps the most important job perk, and it’s completely free.


Check in frequently with your new hire to uncover any confusion or anxiety the employee may be having. More than likely, you can alleviate any concerns through better training or clearer communication. Communicate their progress towards their training goals. Did they master the things you expected them to know and do by the end of the first day, week, and month? Why not? This initial feedback will help clearly communicate by example any job expectations that they may not have understood.



I learned the importance of an effective on-boarding process from one of my first jobs. During a summer off from college, I was hired as a server at a neighborhood restaurant. My manager, Fred, assigned a more senior server to teach me the ropes. Fred never had another individual conversation with me after that and I’m pretty sure that he did not even remember my name. My initial excitement quickly faded.

Turns out, this is a common phenomenon. According to The Council of Hotels and Restaurant Trainers, 27% of hourly employees in the Hospitality industry turnover within the first 90 days. 66% of all hourly employee terminations are within the first year of employment.

New-hire checklist

Click the image below to download a reusable new hire checklist. You download this form and other useful hiring forms in the complete Homebase Hiring Guide PDF.

new hire checklist

The Homebase Guide to Hiring

In the Homebase Guide to Hiring, we cover:​

1. Introduction
2. Writing a Job Post that Works
3. Acing the Interview as the Hiring Manager

4. Effective Employee Onboarding

5. Evaluating Candidates in a Competitive Job Market

Your business can use the tips and tricks in this guide to hire the employees you need, reduce turnover, and save a lot of time.

Need more help with hiring employees? Homebase Hiring makes it easy to find the perfect candidate and onboard them efficiently.

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