Who is an onboarding specialist? Onboarding is one of the instruments of human resource management. It is the final stage of the recruitment and concerns the adaptation of newly hired people in the workplace. It’s a significant stage, however, it’s often overlooked by companies. The first days of work play a key role in the proper formation of employee attitudes and habits, on which the efficiency of work and reduction of staff turnover will depend. Therefore, the onboarding specialist has a special responsibility to properly introduce, implement and adapt new employees.

Who is an onboarding specialist? – table of contents:

  1. The role of the onboarding specialist in personnel management
  2. Responsibilities of an onboarding specialist
  3. Competencies and requirements
  4. Summary

The role of the onboarding specialist in personnel management

Onboarding is a complex process that requires the cooperation of various departments and organizational units. The role of the onboarding specialist is to coordinate all these activities and to develop a transparent channel of communication as part of a consistent and planned implementation of this process. In organizing a proper onboarding system, it is necessary to reconcile functional control and the role of providing services such as support and guidance to the direct superiors of newly hired people, without giving orders or taking over their duties.

Sometimes it is difficult for a specialist to keep a professional distance when giving advice or assisting. The most appropriate line for onboarding specialists is to emphasize that they are responsible for coordinating and properly implementing the process, in cooperation with line managers, whom they always assist.

>The key to success is the cooperation and involvement of all participants in the onboarding process,with the due balance between guiding and creating a culture of dependency. When performed correctly, the proper functioning of the onboarding specialist translates into an increase in the commitment of new employees to the main goals of the company and pride that their contributions are appreciated and taken into account.

Responsibilities of an onboarding specialist

The responsibilities of onboarding specialists vary and depend on the size and structure of the company. Often, recruiters take on onboarding as their duty. The basic tasks in this area include:

  • developing, implementing and coordinating the process of adaptation of newly hired people,
  • organizing, directing as well as conducting onboarding activities,
  • development of HR procedures and selection of tools,
  • participating in the development of development and training plans and training policies,
  • creating job descriptions and competency profiles,
  • carrying out employee evaluations and examining the degree of involvement of new employees in their tasks,
  • preparing reports, analyses and ongoing monitoring of key HR indicators, e.g. turnover levels.

Competencies and requirements

Onboarding specialists are usually sought among graduates of human resource management, psychology or sociology. Admittedly, graduation from one of the above majors is not always a requirement, but the knowledge gained from these studies can prove very useful in the implementation of the onboarding process. No less important are soft skills such as communicativeness, ability to work in a team and build interpersonal relations, good organization of work, openness as well as empathy.

In carrying out the tasks of this position, an observational sense is also useful, as this is a job based on interpersonal contacts. When organizing training, high personal culture, a positive disposition, distance from one’s person and a sense of humor are also indispensable.

What is an onboarding specialist? Onboarding specialist job description


Responsibility for onboarding depends on the size and structure of the organization. In large companies, a position of onboarding specialist is created within the structure of the HR department. In smaller companies, this position is combined with other functions or is not created at all, and a supervisor or specialist of a particular department is responsible for adaptation. However, the common denominator for the implementation of a proper adaptation process should be good organization and implementation of onboarding activities. And this, in turn, is possible only if this function is entrusted to a person with the appropriate qualifications and competencies, who is aware of the significance of introducing newly hired people to the organization.

Read also: Effective onboarding strategies

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What is an onboarding specialist? Key roles and responsibilities nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.