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Digital guide with checklist

By Mathilde Van Vaerenbergh
21 Feb 2024

The checklist for optimising your onboarding process. A smooth start: what’s the best way to onboard a new employee? Make sure to include every step and you’re sure to make a great first impression.

Onboarding in the War of Talent

More and more vacancies aren’t being filled. At the same time, the number of job seekers is falling: for example, in Flanders there are fewer than two applicants per vacancy, and in the Nether­lands there are even more open vacancies than job seekers. With the current economic climate, the search for the ideal candidate was already a challenge, and unfor­tu­nate­ly it doesn’t look like things are going to improve any time soon. 

So to attract the right talent to your organ­i­sa­tion, you need to stand out from the crowd. And in a good way. All those big promises and inspiring stories shouldn’t just evaporate once your new team member has signed on the dotted line. This explains the increased focus on good onboarding – but there’s always room for improve­ment. In around 40% of cases, Belgian employees still receive too little infor­ma­tion and support when they join a new company. And in the Nether­lands too, onboarding isn’t always sunshine and roses: only 29% of the new starters there would recommend their new employer during this phase. 

The conclusion? The earlier, more strategic and more personal your onboarding, the more successful your new employee will be at your organ­i­sa­tion.

CHECKLIST: Optimising your onboarding process

We’ve made a handy checklist of tips and tricks so that you can find the best way to help new employees become part of your story.

Step 1: Preboarding

Your new employee accepted your offer. You’re allowed a little pat on the back, but don’t get too carried away: your new recruit hasn’t actually started yet. They might have questions or doubts about their decision. That’s only human after all. The worst thing you can do right now is forget about them until their first day. A new employee is often really interested in learning more about their future employer and wants to share that knowledge with family and friends. So be sure to take the time to go through the following step.


  • Get the contract signed
  • Agree on a start date
  • Organise a way to introduce them to the company (a virtual tour, welcome videos from the management team,…)
  • Designate an onboarding buddy to act as their first point of contact for questions. They will guide the new joiner and are always on hand as a sounding board
  • Already provide some key bits of info (values, mission, how the company started,…)
  • Invite the employee to an after-work/­com­pa­ny party if there’s one coming up before their start date
  • Send a (per­son­alised) welcome gift. This could be, for example, an apéritif box (to celebrate their new job with friends), a postcard or a bunch of flowers

Step 2: Right before they start

As an employer, it’s best to clear up as many uncer­tain­ties as possible to ensure that the first day goes smoothly. This is where you need a detailed plan because you’re often dependent on others to get everything sorted out.


  • Provide the practical infor­ma­tion upfront (parking, start time, any dress code,…)
  • Also give them an idea of how their diary will look for the first day or two – this will reduce those firstday nerves
  • Make sure all the equipment they need is ready (activate their e‑mail address, give them access to internal com­mu­ni­ca­tion platforms, activate their badge, set up their laptop and activate their phone provider,…)
  • Agree with the new starter which private infor­ma­tion may be shared internally and already announce their arrival within your company
  • Plan an intro­duc­tion to the management team and the people they’ll be working closest with before their diaries get filled up
  • Sort out any additional documents that need to be signed (non-disclosure agreement, GDPR policy, portrait right and copyright,…)
  • Check that any extra benefits they might be entitled to are ready (company car, insurances, meal vouchers,…)

Step 3: First working day(s)

First impres­sions last forever.

You’ve been busy getting your new recruit ready for an exciting first day at work, but the real first impression is yet to come. Make their first day memorable and personal,
because this imme­di­ate­ly sets the tone for the rest of their career at your organ­i­sa­tion. There really is no better feeling than your new joiner heading home brimming with enthusiasm at the end of their first day. And as a bonus: you’ve just got yourself a new company ambassador!


  • Get any remaining paperwork signed
  • Give the new team member a warm welcome on the internal com­mu­ni­ca­tion platform – it’s a great feeling to log in for the first time and already receive some virtual welcomes
  • Give them a tour of the company
  • Connect on LinkedIn (and ask your colleagues to do the same)
  • Ensure that the management team gives them a personal welcome
  • Plan an informal meet and greet with the team (a team lunch or after-work occasion)
  • Take them by surprise with a welcome gift of flowers, a card or a gift (voucher) at their (home) office
  • Together with the new starter, set short- and long-term goals so they feel like they’re imme­di­ate­ly delivering value. This can also be done with their line manager
  • Make sure that the new joiner gets to know their direct colleagues and plan meetings for this if necessary
  • Give the new employee the time to settle into their new envi­ron­ment. There are internal com­mu­ni­ca­tion platforms to learn, new names to remember,… so don’t plan their diary too full

End of their first day?

Don’t forget to ask about their first impression. What was their experience? Anything that could be improved, or questions that have not yet been answered? Provide a short moment to reflect to give your new colleague peace of mind. This will also allow you to quickly detect any problems. The interest you show in them will certainly not go unnoticed.

Step 4: The following weeks and months

On average it takes about six months for someone to really settle in, so take your time to proac­tive­ly follow up with the new starter. Perhaps there are other new recruits you need to take care of, but remember that onboarding doesn’t stop after the first week. In this phase it’s time to deliver on your promises and build the rela­tion­ship between the new employee and the company.


  • Let the employee also develop contacts with people they work less closely with
  • If you’re using a buddy system, catch up with the buddy and get their take on how the onboarding has gone
  • Informal how are you?’ con­ver­sa­tions are so important. But a word of warning: only ask these questions if you actually have time for a proper con­ver­sa­tion
  • Run short surveys/​happiness checks after 30/60/90 days
  • Birthday coming up? Give them a nice gift!
  • Ask for feedback on the onboarding process (and do something with those insights)
  • Are you getting positive feedback from other team members about the new employee? Then pass that recog­ni­tion on!
  • Provide info about oppor­tu­ni­ties for training and devel­op­ment
  • Schedule a mini photo shoot so you can also share the arrival of the new team member via social media or the internal newsletter. If you have a team page on your website, make sure the new starter also gets a place
  • Is all of their equipment (like their laptop) working properly?
  • Review the first milestones and set new goals for both the short and long term

Celebrate special occasions together to increase motivation and job sat­is­fac­tion, and before you know it, your new employee will be cel­e­brat­ing their one year anniver­sary. Expressing appre­ci­a­tion is really rewarding, but on an anniver­sary you can do a little more. How about a surprise in the form of a nice gift or gift card they can spend in various places?

KADONATION SELECT: Give the right gift at the right time, as simple as can be.

An original, per­son­alised employee gift in just one click: that’s what Kadonation Select is all about. That frus­trat­ing search, the organ­i­sa­tion of it all, and then the follow-up admin too? Let us take care of that. And best of all? Kadonation Select is completely free.

Discover Kadonation Select

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