5 Original Onboarding Ideas for Your New Hires
(+ Checklist)

Catherine Maheux-Rochette
February 1 2021

You are now aware of the benefits of a good onboarding plan for your company, you have covered the basics and you now want to impress your new employees? Here are 5 original onboarding ideas to make you stand out and impress them!

Pssst… All great onboardings have something in common: they cover the essential points, the must-haves. This is what you will find in our interactive checklist The essentials for a successful onboarding, which you can download for free right here!

Onboarding Idea #1

Internal Newsletter

It all started when I first started working at Folks. In an interview, I had mentioned to the guy who is now my boss that I was a shy and rather introverted person. A few days before my first day at work, partly to help me and partly to challenge me, he told me that my first project would be to write a newsletter for… my future team! My only constraint? I had to be the subject of the newsletter. The verdict? The whole team loved the concept, so much so that we decided to integrate it into our onboarding plan.

Why is it a good idea?

First of all, the newsletter, sent to all staff, serves as an official announcement of the new employee’s arrival. This way, the entire team is informed of the date of arrival, first name, etc. The newsletter is also an excellent way to introduce yourself to everyone at the same time while simultaneously opening the door to future discussions.

Onboarding Idea #2


While mentorship in itself is not a revolutionary idea, it is a good practice with which there is always room to be creative!

Basically, it is important to choose a mentor who :

  • Is a good employee;
  • Has interpersonal skills;
  • Wants to play this role;
  • Has the time to play the role.

Concretely, the mentor becomes the contact person for the new employee so that the new employee will know who to turn to if they encounter a problem or has questions. The mentor will also be able to talk to the new employee about the company’s story and organizational chart, introduce them to the team, help them integrate into it, show them around the office, etc.

This is where your creativity comes in! Why not give special assignments to your mentors? For example, write a personalized welcome note to their mentee, or introduce them to their favourite restaurant during their first month on the job. The possibilities are endless! This program encourages communication, helps new employees build relationships, and is always highly appreciated by employees, both mentors and mentees. Indeed, mentoring is a good way to involve employees in the company’s life and, at the same time, strengthen your employer brand.

Why is it a good idea?

This type of program encourages communication, helps new employees build relationships, and is always highly appreciated by employees, both mentors and mentees. Indeed, mentoring is a good way to involve employees in the life of the company and, at the same time, strengthen your employer brand.

Would you like to see how an HR software could help you structure a unique onboarding process for your new hires?

Our team of experts will show you!

Request your free demo

Onboarding Idea #3

Scavenger Hunt / Mystery Questions

Surprise your new employees with a scavenger hunt that they can complete during their first few weeks with you to familiarize themselves with your organization!

What is it? A series of tasks and questions that the employee will have to solve by walking around the office and talking to his or her co-workers.

Be creative! Do we need to repeat it? In any good onboarding process, creativity is the key

Idea #3

Scavenger Hunt / Mystery Questions

Some ideas

Ask each employee to create a scavenger hunt question about themselves. This way, the new employee will learn a little bit about all his or her colleagues. Examples of such questions include:

  1. Who has the most pets among all employees?
  2. Who in the marketing team collects corks?
  3. Who always wears a minimum of 2 pairs of stockings in winter?
  4. Who has a special talent for creating balloon decorations?

Give the employee a deadline to solve the treasure hunt and promise a surprise if he or she succeeds.

Compose questions about the company: when was it founded, anecdotes about its evolution. For example:

  1. Why are the company colors blue and yellow?
  2. In what year was Folks founded?
  3. What crucial decision did Sylvain (president) have to make when developing the HR software?

Why is it a good idea?

The scavenger hunt is an excellent alternative to the typical—and necessary—presentation of the company to new employees. I guarantee that they will have much more fun participating in this activity and will retain much more information this way! Not to mention the fact that the many interactions they will have with their employees to complete the hunt will facilitate their integration into the team.

Onboarding Idea #4

Decorate the new employee's office

Decorate your new employee’s office for their first day with you! Do you know his or her interests? If so, you can use them to choose personalized elements. You could also write them a welcome note that they will see when they arrive, or give them a small gift such as a box of chocolates or a beautiful green plant!

We stole Etsy’s good idea! They’re offering $150 to their new employees to decorate their office to their liking.

Why is it a good idea?

It’s a well-known fact: a healthy and comfortable work environment promotes productivity. A well-decorated office, either by you or by your employees, will make them feel good about their workplace and motivate them to stay there.

Onboarding Idea #5

Lunch roulette

This concept is quite simple and can be declined in several ways! The exercise consists of randomly selecting employees who will go to lunch together, at the company’s expense. This could be a monthly draw among all staff, but you could also integrate it into your onboarding process by assigning your new recruit to one or more other randomly selected employees. Does your organization have several divisions? Don’t hesitate to pair employees from different departments!

Why is it a good idea?

Who doesn’t appreciate an invitation to lunch? It’s a great way to warmly welcome your new employees and help them quickly break the ice with their colleagues!

Now that your head is full of ideas, it’s time to implement them! Since any good process needs to be structured, we suggest the use of an HRIS for this purpose. Folks HR’s Onboarding module allows you to define tasks, assign them to different people and receive automated reminders, ensuring that they are completed on schedule.


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