Job Orientation Process: Definition and How to Prepare

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published January 13, 2021

Updated February 22, 2021

Published January 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: First Impressions: Prepare for Your First Day

In this video, Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, explains how to prepare for your first day, and provides 4 DO’s and DON’Ts when starting a new job.

Having a strong job orientation in place helps increase employees' familiarity with a company. This can result in enhanced productivity levels, more collaborative team members and increased retention rates. As a manager, it's important for you to lay out a clear job orientation process for new-hires to follow to help them feel comfortable, confident and ready to contribute valuable work. In this article, we'll cover what a job orientation is, the benefits of it, what to include in it and how to prepare for a job orientation.

What is a job orientation?

A job orientation occurs on the first few days of a new hire's employment. It involves introducing them to their team, showing them their workspace and administering new hire paperwork. Employees will usually spend a portion of their job orientation reviewing onboarding information like dress code, benefits and salary.

A new hire will also spend their job orientation process within the department they'll be working in. You can spend this time explaining their daily tasks, familiarizing them with the software or equipment they'll be using and getting them acquainted with the team members they'll be collaborating with. The job orientation process should be comfortable and inviting for new employees by making them feel welcome and excited to get started on their tasks.

Benefits of implementing a job orientation process

Giving employees the opportunity to get acclimated with the role and company through the job orientation process can increase their comfort level and encourage them to submit quality work. Common benefits of implementing a job orientation process include:

  • Provides a clear understanding of company standards and role responsibilities: Employees can better follow the rules of the organization or complete their tasks more clearly if they receive detailed information regarding policies, standards and responsibilities during the orientation process.

  • Improves productivity and efficiency levels: Providing employees with a clear and detailed job orientation process can increase their confidence in their skills and abilities to contribute quality work that meets the organization's goals. It also helps them feel more relaxed and confident, resulting in fewer on-the-job mistakes and higher productivity levels.

  • Encourages a more collaborative environment: When you implement an orientation process that invites and welcomes new employees onto their teams, they feel closer to employees and more encouraged to collaborate with team members and supervisors.

What to include in the job orientation process

Gather the materials needed for an informed and prepared job orientation for new employees. Elements to include in your job orientation process include:

  • Background of the company, including its vision and mission statement, objectives, goals and history

  • Overview of company standards, procedures and policies

  • Details on payments and benefits

  • Discussion on the expectations and responsibilities of the role

  • Tour of the office and the employee's work area

  • Introduction to coworkers and departments

Related: Orientation Training: Definition and Checklist Example and Template

Related: First Impressions: Show Your Eagerness to Succeed

In this video, Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, explains how to prepare for your first day, and shares why you should show your eagerness to succeed.

How to prepare for a job orientation

To keep the job orientation process organized and productive for the company and the new hire, try to have a clear plan for the job orientation process detailed from start to finish. Follow these steps to prepare for new employees' job orientations:

1. Build an agenda that documents the orientation process

To keep yourself and the employee ready for the events of the next few days, you should build a detailed agenda. This agenda can act as a guide for you, the new hire and any other employees involved in the process to ensure everyone remains efficient and productive throughout the next few days.

Determine who the employee should meet during their orientation. This could include employees from the information technology department to get the new hire's email address set up or marketing department employees to discuss the brand's image and voice. Establish a time and date for them to meet with the new hire during orientation and add this to the agenda.

Related: Guide to Employee Training and Development: Types, Benefits and How to Do It Effectively

2. Reach out to the employee before orientation

The new hire will feel more prepared and comfortable if they know what to expect before their first day. Send them the agenda over the next few days and tell them to reach out if they have any questions. Inform them of any items they need to bring on their first day. For instance, if lunch won't be provided, let them know that they should bring their own.

They may be unaware of your dress code policy, so send this over to them as well. Try to provide them with as many details as possible to help them feel more prepared on their first day.

3. Gather all of the paperwork beforehand

You should create a list of all the paperwork needed for the employee to fill out or review. This way, you can have it prepared when the new hire arrives. On their first day, the employee can easily read, complete and submit any forms or documents without waiting for you to prepare them. Have the onboarding and new hire documents ready a few days in advance to easily present them to the employee when they start.

You can even plan out any simple assignments for the employee to start and work on when they have any downtime throughout the next few days of orientation. This helps you look more prepared when the new hire arrives, which tells them you've been anticipating their start date. Employees can also feel more productive and efficient on their first few days if they have assignments to complete.

Related: The 16 Essential HR Documents Every Human Resources Department Needs

4. Create a welcoming work environment

A great way to keep a new employee from feeling overwhelmed on their first day is to encourage their coworkers to welcome them. Send a message a day or two before to all employees encouraging them to come visit and greet the new employee. You could also distribute a card for employees to sign or have employees welcome them on a whiteboard or notebook you can gift them.

Encourage team members within the new hire's department to personally greet the employee and introduce themselves, since they'll be interacting with one another typically every day. This increases the employee's familiarity with everyone and establishes a more collaborative and team-building environment.

5. Schedule trainings on their specific role

After the employee completes their new hire documents, consider creating a schedule that entails training them on their role. You should also schedule time to explain the company's goals, vision and mission and how their role in particular aligns with and contributes to these objectives. This helps the employee feel more confident in their skill set and more motivated to submit quality work that benefits the company.

You should also take time to train new hires on their ongoing tasks to increase their familiarity with them. If the employee will be using any software or tools on the job, provide training sessions on these as well.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Workplace Training?

6. Plan for a lunch outing

Make plans to take the employee out to lunch. Invite employees who will collaborate with the employee on projects daily. Notify the team members of this upcoming outing so they can adjust their work schedules accordingly. This is a great way for you and other team members to get to know the new hire and to help them feel comfortable to ask questions.

7. Ask the employee for feedback

The final section of your job orientation should include a request for feedback from the employee regarding their entire orientation process. Set aside at least 30-minutes on the final day of their orientation to ask what they enjoyed about the process, what they'd improve, how prepared they feel for the role and if they have any final questions about the role or company. Use this feedback to help you prepare for the next orientation.

Tips for preparing for a job orientation

Use these tips to prepare for a successful and productive job orientation:

Delegate a mentor to show the employee around

To help the employee feel more comfortable in the role and the company, ask an employee to spend 30-minutes to an hour showing the employee around and answering any questions they may have. This is a great way for the current employee to get to know the new hire and for the employee to make their first friend at work. It can also feel less intimidating for the new hire if an employee of their rank spends some time with them, rather than a supervisor.

Provide detailed instructions and samples for how to complete forms

Filling out forms on the first day can feel stressful to new hires. To reduce this stress, provide clear instructions on how to complete these forms. You can also give them samples of already completed forms to easily reference. Consider sending new employees their forms before their first day or tell them they can fill them out at home. This allows the new hire's orientation process to consist of more hands-on activities rather than continuous documents.

Engage in games or team-building activities

To better acclimate the employee to the role and company, find fun ways to introduce them to employees and to educate them on company information. You can administer an interactive quiz regarding the company's policies or standards to help them better remember these rules and regulations. The first day or two can also consist of team-building exercises to help other employees bond with the new hire. This can make the employee feel more relaxed, comfortable and excited about the role.

Related: First Impressions Mistake: Being Overly Pleasing

In this video, Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, explains how to prepare for your first day, and explains the common first impression mistake that people make at a new job by trying to be overly pleasing.


Explore more articles