5 Creative Onboarding Process Examples to Take Inspiration From

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As a business owner/manager, you want to create a good impression on your employees while setting them up for success in your organization during the onboarding phase. You understand how important it is to have a good onboarding process, not just for your future with the employee, but for your entire organization.

Unfortunately, it’s a task that’s much easier said than done and few businesses get it right. So what do you do if you want to create an onboarding process that’s reliable, efficient, and consistent?

The answer to that question is that you learn from the best. In this article, we’ve summed up some creative onboarding process examples from five well-known companies. You can go through them and decide for yourself if any of these onboarding process examples can help you achieve success in your onboarding journey.

What is Onboarding Process?

The onboarding process is the process of integrating new employees with your company and its culture. During this phase, they get to know your company and its values all while getting equipped with the tools and information needed to become a productive member of your team.

This can include a plethora of tasks, including learning the ropes of their expected tasks, getting to know their team members, and getting familiar with the work environment.

Companies focus a great deal on the onboarding process because they understand how crucial it is to ensure high retention. If handled properly, the onboarding process can be an invaluable asset to your business as it enables you to build the ideal team.

5 Creative Onboarding Process Examples

Now that we’ve taken a brief look at what the onboarding process is, let’s study some onboarding process examples from some of the top companies in the world.


Known for its self-titled web application that’s used all around the globe to use and automate workflows, Zapier has grown into a juggernaut since its founding in 2011. Today, the company is fully remote and its web application connects seamlessly to more than 5000 apps.

Zapier’s team is made up of people from over two dozen countries. And given that the company is fully remote, their onboarding process is crucial to ensuring a high engagement from their employees.

So what does Zapier do differently to have achieved such success? They allow their new employees to get used to the new workplace at their own pace.

For the first week, the new employees spend their time getting to know their company, as well as their team, helping ease their new job anxiety. They also learn about the tools and systems in place that they have to use to succeed in their roles.

In the second week, the new employees finally start working on individual small tasks to get familiar with the type of work they are expected to complete in the coming years.

And when the third week begins, they are introduced to Zapier’s true working style – to collaborate with other teams on cross-functional projects.


Valve is a well-known video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company that was established in 1996. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Valve has changed the world since its founding roughly 26 years ago.

Not only did they create titles such as Half Life, Portal 2, and Counter-Strike that ushered in new eras of digital entertainment, but they are also responsible for Steam, a software distribution platform that has over 120 million monthly active users.

So what’s so special about Valve’s onboarding process? The most notable one would be their new employee handbook that’s handed out to new employees as part of the welcoming process.

The handbook is created by taking inputs from existing employees and is full of funny figures, valuable information, and interesting tidbits about Valve.

Take for example, “A Timeline of Valve’s History” from the pictures below. They paint a picture of the company’s first major success, outlining the motivation for the employees back then was the company’s promise to take everyone on a vacation if their project Half-Life becomes the #1 selling game.

Valve's creative onboarding process

The timeline then shows how their game was deemed “not good enough to ship” after internal reviews and that the team had to start over again. However, this story has a happy ending – Half-Life is released the next year and becomes a massive success. Valve also takes all its employees on a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Valve's creative onboarding process

While this may just seem like a brief timeline of the company, it does an excellent job of introducing the company’s culture to its new employees. On one hand, it shows how much they prize excellence at Valve, refusing to release a product unless they deem it as close to perfect as can be. And on the other hand, it gives a glimpse into their policy of rewarding great results.

Here’s a complete look at what was in the first edition of Valve’s Handbook for New Employees that came out in 2012.

Valve's Handbook for New Employees

If you want to go through the entire thing, you can do so here.



Twitter is yet another company that does above and beyond when it comes to its onboarding process. Their ‘Yes to Desk’ new hire process ensures the new employees are ready to start working without overlooking any little details.

Twitter’s ‘Yes to Desk’ new hire process does this by creating a massive web of connections between new hires and their team. There are 75 distinct touch points between the new hire, the HR team, and the hiring manager.

On top of having all these touch points, their onboarding process also heavily emphasizes interactions between team members. For instance, on their first day at work, the new hires eat their breakfast with their manager and their lunch with their new team members.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you feel much more welcomed if you interacted with your team and your manager as if they were your friends right from the get-go? This is exactly what Twitter’s onboarding process helps them achieve, facilitating a seamless and faster integration of the new hires into their workplace.

Furthermore, Twitter ensures the new hires are ready to get started on working as soon as they walk in through the door. They do this by preparing all the equipment, accounts, documents, etc for the new employees on their first day of work.

To top it all off, the onboarding process doesn’t come to an end after the first week or month like in other places. The employees will continue receiving training Friday afternoon through 30-minute presentations done by the project leaders and managers.

Also Check Out  The Ultimate Guide to Client Onboarding for Small Businesses



Google has over 135,000 employees worldwide. Given the sheer number alone, you can probably imagine how difficult of a task onboarding and managing new hires every year is.

But despite the challenges, Google has produced great results through its onboarding process time and again. They do this by creating an amazing environment that rewards the new hires (Nooglers. Yes, that’s what new Google employees are called) for every step they take through the onboarding process.

How do they do this? By nudging the Nooglers through a combination of reminders to guide them towards the next step they should take.

These “nudges” are designed so that the Nooglers are able to smoothly adapt to the company through four kinds of nudges – gentle, timely, relevant, and easy to execute. This makes it so that Nooglers will be able to receive relevant information at the perfect moment.

Furthermore, the managers responsible for the Nooglers also do their best to ensure the new hires are adjusting well to the workplace. On top of informing the Nooglers about their job description, they set them up with a peer buddy, as well as help them interact with their co-workers.


Creative onboarding process - Apple

Apple has one of the most interesting onboarding processes out there. The new hires are welcomed with a brand new iMac. That’s cool and all, but what truly sets their onboarding process apart from the rest is that the iMac hasn’t been pre-set and they need to do so themselves. 

This is a difficult task, even for someone who has plenty of technical knowledge regarding computers. For many, without getting any external help, they are bound to fail the task.

So what’s the point of such a task that most people won’t be able to complete on their own? It might seem like a ridiculous task with no specific purpose but the answer to setting up their iMac is pretty simple – to ask your co-workers for help.

This encourages team members to rely on each other, all while fostering healthy and effective communication in the workspace.

To ensure the method’s effectiveness, Apple has implemented an iBuddy system. And as its name implies, it’s a system where the new hires are paired with a current employee so that the latter can guide the former regarding anything work-related.

Furthermore, this also makes it so that the new hires won’t have to feel too hesitant about asking any questions they have in their mind.

Streamline your Onboarding Process with Clustdoc

As you take inspiration from the onboarding process examples shown above, take a moment to consider using Clustdoc to streamline your onboarding process.

With Clustdoc, you will be able to collect, manage, and review new hires’ tasks, documents, certificates, and contracts in a central place. Furthermore, you will be able to easily guide your new hires through the onboarding process and track their progress, all while ensuring they have the best experience as they adjust to your company.

Now that you’re here

Clustdoc is a client onboarding orchestration platform used by modern teams around the world. With Clustdoc, you can run automated workflows for requesting, reviewing and verifying new customers’ data, documents and contracts – without juggling between tools. 

If your team is managing new customers using emails, spreadsheets and PDFs, you’ll probably love using Clustdoc.

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