Image of professionals discussing a new hire checklist

When you’re hiring a new employee, it’s easy to create a detailed description of exactly what you’re looking for. But it’s also important to leave room for: 

  • What you’re not looking for

  • What you don’t even know you should be looking for
  • Ways your new hire can learn and grow over time

This is why your new hire checklist should include a skills plan. It’s a document that shows how your new hire meets your current needs, what additional skills they have, what gaps they need to fill, and a long-term plan for future growth.

Here’s how to create a skills plan that can help each new hire develop into a long-term fixture for your organization.


Is your hiring process eliminating good candidates?

  • It’s estimated that 75% of resumes are never seen by a human. 

  • An average of 250 candidates apply for any open job listing.

  • Only 4–5 candidates get a face-to-face interview. 

  • Prioritizing a smaller set of skills can surface more high-quality candidates

Sources: Preptel survey, Top Interview

Inventory your new employee’s current skills

You can start a new employee on their growth journey before their first day of work even begins. In fact, according to Enboarder, best-in-class companies are 53% more likely to undertake a pre-boarding process, preparing employees for their first day and well beyond.

Begin by working with your new hire to list the skills they bring to the position. Don’t limit yourself to the skills in the job description — give them space to expand your list. You may discover hidden talents that will make them more effective at the job.

At this stage, you can identify skill gaps that need to be filled in the short-term.


Is your onboarding process supporting future growth?

  • Only 12% of companies have an adequate onboarding process. 

  • After a strong onboarding process, new employees are 2.8x more likely to say they have the best job.

  • Over half of onboarding processes focus on procedure and paperwork.

Sources: Gallup, Kallidus

eLearning can be a powerful tool for filling in skills gaps in the short term. But don’t expect your new hire to seek out the right courses on their own. In a recent survey, 78% of employees said they needed recommendations for courses to aid in career development and close skill gaps. 

Develop a plan for continuing education during the first 90 days, including courses to take, goals, objectives, and KPIs.

Are you investing in ongoing learning?

According to the 2022 Skills Advantage Report:

  • Companies that excel in internal mobility have nearly 2x the retention span of others.

  • Employees who have the opportunity to learn are 3.5x more likely to believe their company can help them meet career goals.
  • 91% of employees say it’s important for managers to inspire learning and experimentation.

Your ongoing learning plan should include:

  • Goals co-created with the employee

  • Incremental steps towards each goal

  • Concrete evaluation of progress

  • Milestones at regular intervals

  • Work time set aside for learning

  • Ways to recognize progress

Explore the links below for more advice on the onboarding process.