A Guide to IT Onboarding

Implementing a smooth and effective IT onboarding process is vital if you want to maintain a happy and productive workforce. When new starters show up on their first day, they will expect instant access to a collection of SaaS accounts. If they cannot access vital platforms, they will not be able to do their jobs effectively, and productivity will suffer. In a worst-case scenario, they may wait so long for IT access that they get frustrated and start looking for employment elsewhere. 

So, how can you ensure all employees make the most of your tech stack? We’ve put together a helpful IT onboarding checklist to help you out. 

Providing immediate access to relevant hardware is by far the most important part of the IT onboarding process. After all, if you leave an employee without a PC, keyboard or working mouse, they won’t have any option but to wait for assistance. Having access to vital tools is the least that employees expect when joining an organization, so don’t let them down at the first hurdle. 

Most office-based employees require access to a working PC, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and telephone. However, depending on their role, they may also require access to specialist equipment such as a camera, scanner, copier, or voice recorder. The following steps will help ensure the correct equipment is in place when your new hire arrives:

1. Review your inventory

Providing immediate access to relevant hardware is by far the most important part of the IT onboarding process. After all, if you leave an employee without a PC, keyboard or working mouse, they won’t have any option but to wait for assistance. Having access to vital tools is the least that employees expect when joining an organization, so don’t let them down at the first hurdle. 

Most office-based employees require access to a working PC, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and telephone. However, depending on their role, they may also require access to specialist equipment such as a camera, scanner, copier, or voice recorder. The following steps will help ensure the correct equipment is in place when your new hire arrives:

2. Purchase new hardware (if necessary)

Sometimes, hiring someone new represents the perfect opportunity to replace a piece of equipment nearing the end of its life. Welcoming an employee with a shiny set of equipment is sure to make them feel valued and ready to work hard, after all. 

3. Ensure hardware is in good working order and ready to use

Try out each piece of equipment before handing it to an employee and ensure it is ready to use. For example, if employees need a keycard to access printers, remember to add their credentials to the system. 

4. Review your inventory and IT vendors regularly

If you’re in charge of maintaining and purchasing IT equipment for a large company with many employees, it is vital that you review your inventory every month or so. If you’re running low on peripherals such as keyboards or mouses, for example, an inventory audit will prompt you to purchase more. A well-stocked IT department will never fall short of new employees’ expectations. 

To ensure you’re getting a good deal on new devices, it is worth striking up a deal with a vendor. As a regular client, you may receive special offers on the latest models and updates.  

Software onboarding

As soon as all relevant hardware is in place, you can go about installing software and granting employees access to relevant platforms. You can split the process into the following steps:

1. Identify the employee’s needs

The new starter will have their own unique software needs depending on their role and level. Don’t simply guess what kinds of platforms and programs they will need access to – as their supervisor for a clear checklist of all required software elements. If the new employee is taking on a novel role in the company or is occupying a high-level position, it is also worth asking them to draw up their checklist before their first day. As well as ensuring they’re able to work productively, this will demonstrate that your company invests in its workers. 

2. Install relevant software

If the new starter is working with a new PC or software systems, it may take a long time to complete relevant installations. In this way, it is important not to leave the job until the last minute. You or one of your team members should complete all the installations at the employee’s workstation at least a week before they arrive, if possible. It may be a little tedious and time-consuming, but it has to be done!

3. Organize access credentials

There’s no point in purchasing new hardware and software if the new starter is unable to log in to your company IT systems. After ascertaining which cloud-based software programs and cloud-based subscription services your employee needs access to, make sure their accounts are set up and ready to go. Usually, you will need to provide them with a default password that should be changed as soon as they log in for the first time. 

One of the most important accounts to set up is an email account, so make sure you do this first. It is also vital that their email address contains at least part of their name and is easy to remember, otherwise important clients and stakeholders may send emails to an incorrect address.

IT orientation sessions

IT orientation is all about ensuring new employees are equipped with useful knowledge related to your company’s IT systems. On top of teaching them how to use relevant hardware and software tools, you must give them an overview of your organization’s IT and data protection policies. 

Of course, the level and type of IT orientation program you implement will depend on the size of your business and the sector in which it operates. Small tech companies, for example, are likely to hire technologically savvy individuals who won’t require training about how to use basic hardware. Large companies advertising a large number of entry-level positions, however, may need to offer more comprehensive training packages. 

A typical orientation program might look something like this: 

1. Verify that employee has access to relevant IT infrastructure and software

While you must try and complete all access-related tasks before the employee arrives, occasional slip-ups may occur. Asking the employee to check all access credentials are set up and functional is a quick way to spot errors. 

2. Give an overview of your organization’s data privacy and security policies

One of the best ways to prevent data breaches and security scandals is to ensure your employees are well-versed in your privacy policies. If your employee is not particularly tech-savvy, it may be worth arranging a training session covering topics such as how to store customer information or how to spot a phishing scam.

3. Provide necessary training covering how to use company hardware

You must train employees how to use devices such as printers, telecommunications systems, or cameras.  Here it is advisable to host a detailed onboarding guide in your organization’s intranet.

4. Provide a list of support resources

Most employees are likely to run into IT problems at some point. To combat this, provide them with an overview of the support systems they can reach for troubleshooting information. This list could include your key IT team members or a remote IT helpdesk. 

Using software for automated onboarding

As your company grows and more people come to work with you, software onboarding may become increasingly complicated. While maintaining a sharp and intuitive IT team will certainly speed up the process, manual onboarding is rarely foolproof. The likelihood that certain employees will fall through the gaps and experience productivity issues is relatively high, particularly if you hire several people at once across many departments. 

So, what can be done to avoid mistakes and polish your onboarding strategy? Your best bet is to invest in a user provisioning solution such as that offered by onetool. Its centralized dashboard allows IT professionals to provision and de-provision users while managing active SaaS licenses. Try it today to ease pressure on your IT staff and give new employees the seamless onboarding experience they deserve. 

Your ultimate onboarding checklist

Businesses must focus on rolling out excellent IT onboarding strategies if they want to thrive and grow. Every business will have slightly different needs and approaches. However, we’ve put together a basic checklist if you’re wondering where to start:

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