Hiring and Onboarding: The Basic Process

By: Jenny Clark, SPHR

Whether you are just starting your career in human resources/recruiting or you’ve been doing it for many years it never hurts to re-evaluate the basics of your position.

Hiring Process

Hiring people into your company isn’t just about adding headcount. Without having the right talent in the right places organizations will struggle to succeed. That is one reason why having an organized approach to hiring is so important. Here is the basic process:

  • Requisition Approval — Get approval for the position.
  • Create a Job Description —The hiring manager and HR/Recruiting collaborate to clearly define the job and include requirements necessary for someone to be successful.
  • Benchmark the Position — Get internal and external compensation levels and ensure a salary range is approved for the position. (This may require partnering with Finance to ensure appropriate budgets are in place.)
  • Find Candidates — Notify internal employees, post the job , do LinkedIn searches, get referrals, etc. (HR/Recruiting does the first pass review of candidates and appropriate phone screening.)
  • Review Candidates — For some positions candidates may be assigned an exercise or project, e.g. coding for software engineers or presenting an idea for senior management. Ensure candidates interview with the supervisor and others (e.g. HR, peers, staff under candidate) to provide additional perspective to better ensure finding the right candidate; use the job description as a roadmap to determine the best fitting candidate.
  • Obtain Feedback — Utilize a standard process, such as Google Forms or your Applicant Tracking System, to get feedback from all involved in the interviewing/selection process.
  • Make a decision:
  • Gain Consensus — Discuss options and make a hiring decision.
  • Majority rule — Only use if consensus can’t be reached.
  • Executive Rule — Worst case scenario, consensus is not obtained and the CEO and/or hiring manager makes the final call.
  • Check References — At least 3 and 1 should be a former supervisor; clarify the nature and length of the working relationship and ask probing questions (e.g. what was a key accomplishment, what are the candidates strengths and areas of development, how do they manage conflict, how do they react during stressful situations).
  • Negotiate Offer — Work with the chosen candidate to come to agreeable compensation and start date.
  • Prepare and Present Offer Letter
  • Notify Candidates Not Selected — This step speaks volumes about how much (or little) a company cares about its workforce, even a quick email is appreciated by candidates.
(Photo By Tim Gouw https://unsplash.com/punttim)


The first weeks a new employee is on the job sets the tone for (at least) the entire first year of employment. After spending, likely a great deal, of resources to land the right candidate it’s important to not drop the ball when they actually join the company — roll out the red carpet! Here’s a quick run-down to make the first weeks successful:

A week (or two) before the a new employee starts do some prep work.

  • Announce the basics to employees internally (start date, position, etc.) so co-workers are expecting them.
  • Make sure the person has a desk, computer, phone, etc. ready for them on day 1.
  • Establish a proper start time for the new employee; NEVER have them start earlier than their manager and/or human resources.
  • Communicate to the new employee what to expect the first day — what time to arrive, what to bring, etc.
  • Partner with the manager to get introduction meetings set-up. The new employee should meet with anyone they will be working closely with (internally and externally) and include in the meeting notice what the person they are meeting does.

First Day

  • Ensure the manager and/or human resources is there to welcome them.
  • Don’t try to pack too much in. It is overwhelming learning the lay of the land and trying to remember names and positions of new people.
  • Make sure someone is taking them to lunch.

First Week (or two)

  • The new employee is having all their introduction meetings.
  • The manager sets-up a regular 1:1 meeting schedule and gets them in the loop with department meetings — remind new hire to write down questions for upcoming meetings to make the transition to the company smoother.
  • During the first (or second) 1:1 meeting the manager lays out what is expected during the first 30, 60, and 90 days. At 90 days they revisit where they are and establish longer term expectations.


With a few simple things you can make the first several weeks reinforce the decision the new employee made to join your company.

The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent company views.

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