Employee Onboarding – What it means for you


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The onboarding process helps new hires wade through rioting emotions, confusion, and unfamiliarity, – and come to grips with his new job.

Read about the Recruitment Process

On the part of the employer – especially the new employee’s immediate boss – viewing onboarding as a distinct process gives you pause before you begin piling work onto your new employees. It helps new employees understand their new organization and new position, its demands, and the expectations of the various stakeholders. On the flip side, while the candidate is coming to grips, the employer can observe the candidate, his skills, knowledge about subject matter and more – giving his team leader tips on how to deal with the employee.

As a new employee, having transferrable skills such as having a Microsoft Teams background can help.

Depending upon the role in question, the organization size, team size, policies, and how much has been accomplished at the recruitment stage, it can be a month or more before you settle down. While there is no clearly defined framework, in general, the process of onboarding involves the following independent processes –

  1. The Offer
  2. Pay-Packet Negotiation
  3. Benefits Packet Negotiation
  4. Documentation
  5. Orientation
  6. Training
  7. Introductions

Let us look at these by turns –

The Offer Letter

As a first step, the fact that the hiring manager must communicate to the lucky candidate that he has been selected. This is usually done in the form of an offer letter email.

This communication begins by congratulating you – the candidate – followed by a brief about the organization. This has already been done during the selection process – but it is reiterated here so that you need not go back and refer to the earlier email. Along with a brief about the company, recruiters, employers, and hiring managers should also let new employees know about the role they will play within the organization, the team they will work with, and the tasks they will perform. The offer email should also contain details about the pay packet and the employee benefit program. From a hiring manager or employer’s perspective it is important to be crystal clear about the role and employment terms at this stage including what is negotiable and what is not. That way you can avoid disputes later and reduce onboarding time. You should also invite the candidate to share his questions, concerns, and counter offer.

The offer email – also called job offer email or job offer letter – ends with once again congratulating the candidate and inviting him or her for further discussions (read negotiation) regarding the pay-package, benefits, and other aspects of the job.

A LinkedIn survey revealed a popular demand that rejections be notified too.


Once the candidate accepts the offer it indicates that he is agreeable to the terms stated therein. In such a situation, employers might suggest skipping the negotiation stage proceeding directly to documentation to save time. As a candidate though, it is important to be absolutely clear about the terms of employment. So if you are in any doubt whatsoever, now is the time to ask.

Even if your offer letter does not contain an invitation to discuss, you can still request whoever initiated the process or communicated your selection to set up a discussion. Alternatively, you can reply to the offer email with your questions, request to meet up, or a counter offer email.

As a candidate, you must read the offer letter or email carefully – read each word – and understand the terms clearly. Look for discrepancies between the initial job description and job profile in the offer letter. Check also for terms of employment – salary is just one part – look for duration (of contract), conditions under which you may be terminated, probation, terms of NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), bar on future employment within the industry, and so on. Employers today are offering great benefits packages that include everything from Gym subscriptions to medical insurance cover and a whole lot more so it may be a good idea to check what’s trending.

If these are not mentioned in the offer letter, this is the time to ask if you are doubtful about or disagree with something –  including your salary and benefits.

Pre-Onboarding Discussion is an important & oft-ignored step in the recruitment & onboarding process.


Once both parties have agreed to the terms it is time to seal the deal. Before we do that, one thing that you should include in the discussion phase of the onboarding process is the office dress code. If you haven’t done so, \you can mention it to the candidate – at this stage it’s fair to call him employee – when he comes in to complete the paper work. It’s too soon – and perhaps unprofessional – to mention it in the offer letter and mentioning it at the orientation may be a tad too late – so recruiters pay attention to this small but important detail.

Documentation or paper work is an important stage in the onboarding process. It is generally the employer who drafts the employment contract so the onus of checking is on the newly hired employee although both parties must go over it several times – and carefully – before signing.

Considering the advancement of technology and the pandemic lockdown situation, the onboarding documentation may go completely online in the near future

The specific documents new hires may have to sign depends upon location, organization and a few other factors.

Having said that, here’s a list of documents that you – the new hire – may have to sign when you join as a new employee in an organization –

  1. Personal Details form – Including Aadhar/ Social Security Number and PAN or Taxation details
  2. The employment contract
  3. IT forms – such as W-4, I9, or Form 15G
  4. NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  5. Life Insurance application form
  6. Medical Insurance application form
  7. PPF / Gratuity / ESIS / or other retirement benefit details

The list is obviously not comprehensive as a lot depends upon the nature of your employment – temporary, contract, or permanent.

It is perhaps a good idea to ask for a list of documents during your discussion stage so that you can understand better what you are committing to – but be discreet.


Having completed the documentation, it’s time to come aboard. You will get your first impression about the office culture during your orientation. You will be shown around your workplace and you meet some of your future colleagues. You will also be told what to expect on the job and will meet your immediate boss or team leader – who may introduce you to the other team members. You will learn about corporate goals, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – both your own, and those of your team. Your team leader may spell out his expectations and introduce you to other teams that interact directly with yours – such as the finance and accounting team, the purchase team or the sales team.

As a new employee, it’s fine to come out with any leftover doubts or misgivings about your new role during orientation.

It is important to understand your own role and that of your team so that you can imbibe the training that follows in the right spirit. So go ahead and ask your future team lead any questions that come to mind about your role. This is the time for understanding and taking on responsibility. If your team lead is comfortable you may ask questions of the other team members too – or your mentor if one is assigned. You may also meet other stakeholders – people whom your role affects – such as the chief procurement officer or a visiting vendor or supplier.

As you are shown around the workplace, check out the coffee pot, canteen, recreation area – most offices have one – along with your workstation and the space where your team operates. This will give you a sense of the work-culture and – explicit or subtle – dress code.

The key takeaway from Orientation – for the new employee – is a sense of how the organization functions and what is expected of him.


Training gives you deeper insight into your new organization.

No matter what your role in the organization, you will likely undergo some training for your new job – even if you have some experience. Different organizations train new employees differently. You may be trained in separate and formal sessions – in batches if there are many new hires – before working hands on, or you may be trained parallel while you work. Or you may be a part of a mentor training program. During the training you will be told about the organization as a whole, how it functions, the different departments or teams and how they function together, and how all this relates to your role. You will also be told about tasks specific to your role in the organization. You will be told about organizational values, the USP (Unique Selling Point). You will learn about your obligations, responsibilities, and rights. Your trainer will tell you about your personal growth potential within the organization and what you need to do if you are planning to climb the proverbial totem pole – the corporate ladder.

Training will give you an opportunity to explore your current skills and acquire new ones. You will learn about the skills – both hard core and soft skills – you need to perform well and grow.

This is the time to show off your transferable skills and shine.


This is the last and final stage of onboarding. Having been trained for your new job, you will now be formally introduced to your team, assigned a desk along with your first assignment, and will meet those you haven’t met already.

So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and get started. If you are looking for skill development courses they’re right here. BYN is here to bring you information from the world of HR and Recruitment straight into your inbox. Just sign up for our newsletter.

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