How to Create a Structured IT Onboarding Process (Checklist & Flowchart Included)
Have you ever shown up to a first day at a job only to find out your equipment is nowhere to be found? Your tool access won't work?
IT readiness may be THE most common way to destroy the first impression at a company.
Obviously, the more complex the job role, the more comprehensive your IT onboarding must be. Nail your IT onboarding process with our tips and best practices, and our IT onboarding checklist.
💻 What is IT onboarding?
The IT onboarding process is an essential part of your overall onboarding program.
In essence, this one is all about:
- creating corporate accounts;
- setting up new employees with new tech and hardware;
- training them on how to use these tools;
- ensuring they know the security guidelines for these accounts and devices.
❗ Why is IT onboarding important?
Companies with a solid IT onboarding checklist generate a 50% increase in productivity, whereas companies that delay giving their new hires the essentials (a laptop, email address, or Slack username) could face weeks of lost productivity.
Nothing is more frustrating than starting a new job with no laptop, no access to email, and no clue where your login information is for necessary sites.
So, onboarding is important. Can we say the same about IT onboarding? Undoubtedly so. After all, if your new employee can't work, then what are they doing? They probably feel uncomfortable, pressured by the lack of productivity, and frustrated because you did not offer the needed support.
Statistics show that nearly a third of employees quit within the first 90 days due to a poor onboarding experience.
Your onboarding experience should be well-rounded, and IT onboarding is undeniably a critical piece of the puzzle.
Your new employee wants to feel welcome, but they also want to feel useful, and if you don't give them the correct tools, they will feel like an afterthought.
And an airtight onboarding process goes a long way to improving employee retention.
💡 IT onboarding best practices
First of all, the best onboarding process for IT is a consistent, structured approach that functions across teams.
All employees involved in the process should have access to a checklist or template of what is needed and when. This transparency should also extend to your new hire. They should know from the get-go which training sessions they will be attending.
Another key piece for IT onboarding is to start the moment the new teammate is hired. Any delay in setting them up can cost productivity, slow their ramp time, and lead to turnover rates as high as 50% in the first 18 months.
Setting automated onboarding systems in motion from the day your new employee signs the contract is the best way to avoid delays.
Use an IT onboarding checklist
An IT onboarding checklist is a definitive list of every action necessary to get your new hire set up with the tools they will use in their position.
The checklist should be available at all times for all parties involved.
Tip: Ensure that everyone can update the checklist so that each stakeholder can see completed and pending actions.
➡️ Get your free & editable copy of our complete onboarding checklist here
Create an email template to introduce IT systems
A dedicated email template can introduce new hires to the technology and devices they need for the job. The email should list all devices and logins they should receive.
With an automated IT onboarding process, this is easily enforced.
Tip: Every position will require different platforms and logins, so we recommend having a specific IT onboarding email template for each department or team.
Here is an example we have created for our own IT onboarding process for a marketing team member:
IT Onboarding Email Template
Welcome [insert name],
We're excited to have you on board with [insert company name]! We hope your first day goes smoothly. Below you can find all the access information you need to get started.
First, please set up your accounts and passwords. All account names should be your new work email (email@example.com).
Most of the invites to create an account will be in your email - but here is an overview of what you'll receive. If anything is missing, let us know!
- We manage projects through Notion - please accept the team invite we sent to set up your account.
- Communication within the company is through Slack.
- Our email platform is Outlook. Please follow our emailed instructions to set up your signature.
- Join our team on Canva to quickly make drafts and templates for brand assets and deliverables.
- We also have Adobe Suite (Adobe Stock Photos, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.). We have already set up the account for you. You only need to set a password.
- You will receive emails to set passwords for Salesforce, Pardot, and WordPress.
Please let us know if you have any difficulties with accessing any tool. I'll be checking in at [insert time here] to help you through any barriers you may be having.
Have a great first day,
[insert your name]
Schedule live onboarding meetings for your new hire
Digital or in-person events are still important - especially for one-off trainings. Especially once you're onboarding new hires in cohorts, you'll set up recurring orientation events that take them through the basics of IT security etc. This is a great time to answer questions and reinforce the content of your written documentations.
💡 On Zavvy, you can set up meetings throughout the onboarding experience automatically. No extra steps are needed, helping you minimize manual scheduling and get back to work.
✅ Create an IT onboarding checklist as a template for your process
Having an IT onboarding checklist that is easily accessible and visible to all key stakeholders simplifies IT onboarding.
All stakeholders can check what stage your new hire is at. For example, have they already received the equipment?
Tip: Hitting all these steps will create a snag-free IT onboarding process for you and your new employee.
Coordinate with the hiring manager to see what software/devices the new hire will need
Every new team member will need access to different tools and platforms, so ask their hiring manager which tools are necessary.
For some positions, like sales or customer support and customer service, having a specific checklist of items they will need and access levels is essential.
Set up user accounts and software licenses
After coordinating with the hiring manager, begin setting up the new hire's accounts and logins.
Every single person usually needs at least a business email address, phone and/or phone number, and a Teams/Slack user.
Tip: You can even put these in a list and automate Slack messages to your new hire with their login details and access on their first day.
Any delay on your part is lost productivity on their part. Lost productivity is critical, especially when you look at how long it takes the average employee to begin functioning at 100% capacity.
Tip: If your new employee works remotely, ensure their equipment gets to them before their start date. If not, set up their desk for them and test their computer and phone before they come into the office.
Schedule meetings to assist in the setup of new accounts
On your new hire's first day, schedule meetings with the relevant teammates to help them set up and use new accounts and software. One of them can be with the IT administrator responsible for troubleshooting or security.
Plus, ensure new hires have received all the needed equipment.
Tip: You can use these to gauge how much they know about the tools they will use. Make a note to schedule follow-up meetings for any pain points.
Provide any in-company training documents or manuals for software and programs
As part of your new hires' IT onboarding process, give them access to any training documents for the systems they will use.
For example, many companies have training manuals or videos for software. So if you have them too, set a reminder to share them with your new hire at the appropriate time.
Instruct new hires on security guidelines and IT compliance
Security and compliance are essential. However, these training topics are usually detailed and can be complex. Automate sending bite-sized sessions on security and compliance to your new hire so they can absorb the information.
Tip: You can also use a gamified training strategy for training on complex issues like compliance and security.
Check in at the end of the first week to make sure they understand how to use the relevant software
All your onboarding efforts getting your new employee set up with logins, tech, and software mean nothing if they don't understand how to use the tools.
📋 See how you could set up your IT onboarding process with this flowchart
- Coordinate with the hiring manager to see what software/devices the new hire will need.
- Set up user accounts and software licenses.
- Order materials (laptop, monitor, cables, phone).
- Send materials if the new employee is a remote worker.
- Provide passwords & login details for all accounts.
- Have new hire's desk set up with their technology and devices (if in the office).
- Schedule meetings to assist in the setup of new accounts.
- Provide any in-company training documents or manuals for software and programs.
- Explain how to use office equipment (if in the office).
- Give the new hire the contact of the IT person responsible for troubleshooting.
Weeks 1 - 4:
- Instruct new hires on security guidelines.
- Check in at the end of every week to ensure they understand how to use each software.
- If necessary, set up training sessions for additional guidance.
⚙️ IT Onboarding automation
The combination of having to set up multiple accounts for your new hire and the need to check off a security and compliance checklist leaves a lot of room for human error.
In a manual onboarding process, you might overlook steps. For example, your employee might miss essential logins for the first day at work.
An inconsistent onboarding experience can leave your new hire without access to a program they might need to complete a task, contributing to decreased engagement.
Automating your onboarding process builds a structured and transparent process for your new hires. For each box on your IT onboarding checklist, you or the responsible team member will receive a notification when they need to send an email or set up an account.
For example, Zavvy integrates into Slack or MS Teams to send automated messages to your new hire on specific days. These can be reminders to attend an information session or complete a security training video.
☑️ Don't forget your IT offboarding checklist
Offboarding is almost as important as onboarding.
A thorough offboarding process is critical for ensuring the security of your company's data and equipment recovery and preventing data breaches.
So, you need an IT offboarding process, not just an IT onboarding process.
Maintaining a good relationship with a former employee, canceling account licenses you might be paying for, and maintaining company security are a few reasons to make sure your IT offboarding checklist is as good as your onboarding checklist.
Cancel all accounts, logins, etc
Put a reminder for yourself to cancel all licenses for your soon-to-be ex-employee and revoke all accounts and logins on the day that employee leaves. Almost 50% of employees still have some access to their old company's data, which does not bode well for compliance.
Recover all devices
Make a plan to have your ex-employee send back their laptop, monitor, phone, etc. (if they are remote) or leave them at the office. If you used an IT onboarding checklist, you already have documented what you gave them, so it should be easy to tick off the return list.
➡️ Automate your IT onboarding process and tasks with Zavvy
The right platform can help you minimize manual work and errors, which results in increased employee productivity from their first week. The onboarding experience is complex and multi-faceted, but with Zavvy, you can create an onboarding experience that essentially runs itself. This leads to a better and more structured experience for your new hire and yourself.
Zavvy gives you an in-depth view of your new hires' onboarding process and their progress in that process.
Each stakeholder can see what their new hire has learned and the training they have yet to do from within the platform. It's also great at reducing human error – automating the process and increasing transparency lowers the probability of mistakes.
See how Zavvy reduces manual tasks while creating an engaging and consistent onboarding experience for new hires with a free 30 minutes demo.