“She accepted our job offer! Now what?”

The process of recruiting and hiring new employees is complicated. Agencies invest countless hours compiling job requirements, posting help wanted ads on sites like TalentZoo, even e-mailing industry contacts seeking the “right person” for their team. Far less time is dedicated to an employee’s actual orientation once they’re on board.

Below is a Critical Path highlighting several important steps in the new hire orientation process. It includes estimated turnaround times — leading up to and after his/her first day — and recommendations regarding which existing team members should be involved.

Rather than re-inventing the wheel each time an employee joins your team, create a template within your project management system; open a “job” bearing the name of the new Employee (e.g. “Employee Orientation: Dawn Travelstead”). As each step in the process is accomplished, mark it complete and move on to the next one.

By outlining key orientation steps and involving multiple team members in the process, you’ll find new employees become acclimated (and billable) much more quickly than when “baptized by fire.”

Create training schedule >2 days HR Manager
Add employee to accounting program >1 day HR Manager
Prepare all tax and insurance forms >1 day HR Manager
Activate e-mail address >1 day IT Manager
Distribute training schedule Day 1 HR Manager
Print and distribute Employee Handbook Day 1 HR Manager
Set up voicemail and computer Day 1 New hire
Order office supplies Day 1 Office Manager, New hire
Return all signed tax and insurance forms Day 2 New hire
Project management system training Day 2 Traffic Manager, New hire
Gather business card information Day 3 Copywriter
Layout (business card) Day 4 Art Director
Layout approval (business card) Day 4 Creative Director, New hire
Artwork to printer (business card) Day 5 Production Manager
Introductory e-mail to Clients and Vendors Day 6 Supervisor, New hire
Write bio and press release Day 6 Copywriter
Post bio to agency web site Day 7 IT Manager
Distribute press release Day 7 Media Director
Order company credit card (if applicable) Day 14 HR Manager
Employee evaluation Day 30 Supervisor, New hire
Employee evaluation Day 60 Supervisor, New hire
Employee evaluation Day 90 Supervisor, New hire

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