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Onboarding Roles and Responsibilities

Successful comprehensive onboarding processes are a partnership between new employees, managers, and HR. The goal of this partnership is to establish the foundation for an effective long-term working relationship with the employee and the organization.  The following roles should be established for onboarding programs.

​​Hiring Supervisor

The onboarding process is the primary responsibility of hiring supervisor. The hiring supervisor must be proactive and engaged in facilitating the employee’s successful integration into the organization from start to finish.  Prior to arrival of the new employee and throughout the first year, the supervisor’s responsibility is to:

  • Establish regular communication with the new employee.
  • Use supporting tools and resources, such as the Onboarding Checklist | PDF​ to encourage a smooth transition.
  • Provide a department-specific comprehensive training plan to ensure proficiency in job tasks and organizational norms.
  • ​Provide clear expectations, direction, coaching, and performance feedback.
  • Connect the new employee with key information, resources, and people within the organization.

​Onboarding Sponsor

The onboarding sponsor should help establish a sense of belonging for the new employee.  An onboarding sponsor is not necessarily a manager or supervisor and will not be held responsible for the new employee's performance, nor asked to evaluate the new employee in any way. The onboarding sponsor is selected by the manager or supervisor.  Any performance issues, concerns, or questions should be directed to the hiring supervisor. Use the Selecting an Onboarding Sponsor | Text Only (RTF) and the Onboarding Sponsor's Roles and Responsibilities Text Only (RTF) to help support this role.​

​New Employee

The new employee is responsible for their own career development and must take initiative to assimilate into the environment of the hiring organization. The new employee is encouraged to review the onboarding checklist and ensure that all items are addressed. Additionally, the new employee is responsible for attending and actively participating in all scheduled onboarding or training activities.

​Human Resources

Human Resources oversees or facilitates completion of official and required documents related to pay and benefits, wellness, rules, and policies, as well as completion of new hire paperwork. They may also manage new hire orientation programs and other resources in support of the onboarding process.


Managers ensure first line supervisors are using methods and tools for successful onboarding of new employees. Managers should be approachable and open to addressing questions from new staff.

​Executive Management

Department executives communicate the mission and vision of the organization to new employees.  Executives serve as role models and communicate their expectation that onboarding processes will be followed within the organization. 

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