August 11, 2021 | 7 min reading time

Having a well-planned onboarding checklist for agencies is essential. 

Why?

Well, finding great talent for your PPC agency is just the first step in getting that dream collaboration. Onboarding your next PPC hero is the next step. In order for any new team member to be successful, it is important for him/her to receive all relevant information, training, and support from their fellow team members. 

That is why the onboarding process is crucial for how this relationship will develop. Especially if your agency works remotely (but not only in this scenario), you should get your onboarding process straight. This will help both your team and your new hires to get efficient early on. How do you go around onboarding new team members? Here is our onboarding checklist for PPC agencies: 

The A to Z Onboarding Checklist for Agencies 

  1. Get your paperwork in order

If you have an HR department (or HR person), the first thing on any onboarding checklist for agencies should be informing your HR people about the new hire. You should also ask them to get all the paperwork in order. Your collaboration will require a contract, but also some other documentation, depending on the legal requirements in your area. 

Getting your paperwork in perfect order is the first step towards a new successful collaboration. This applies no matter if you are hiring for an in-house team or you are planning to work with freelancers on a contract basis. 

  1. Make sure your new hire has all the “tools” needed for the job 

If you are working in a “real” office space, you should first make sure your new member has everything they need to get their job done - like a desk and a computer or laptop. In addition to this, is there anything that would make their first day nicer? Maybe you can also share some office supplies or some branded goodies, like a coffee mug or a notebook. Small things can make a big difference when you’re in a new environment. 

If you are hiring remotely, your new hires probably already have all they need at home. However, it won’t hurt to ask if there is anything they would need to make their work more pleasant.

No matter if your new hire will work in your office or remotely, you will have to make sure they have access to all the tools they will need to do their job. The tools of that will probably make the onboarding checklist for agencies are: 

  • Email address (needless to say, that is the main channel used for communication nowadays)
  • An account on your communication channel of choice (like Slack or Skype - depending at what you choose to use at a company level)
  • Access to project management tools (like Asana, Trello or whatever other tool your team is using)
  • Access to your Google Ads account(s)
  • Access to any digital marketing tools your team may be using: Google Analytics, keyword research tools, optimization tools, etc. 
  1. Review the new schedule and tasks

Especially if you are hiring remotely, don’t forget to check your new hire’s schedule and availability. Make sure work hours (or their flexibility) are communicated to all the team. 

At the same time, having a clear job description (JD) should be a priority on the onboarding checklist for agencies. This should be detailed and fitted both to the position and the new team member. 

Ideally, this has been shared with your new hire during the recruitment process. Make sure you go over the JD and everything matches. Make sure your new team member is on board with everything written in the job description.

  1. Give your new team member access to all the necessary resources

In addition to the tools your team will be using (Google Ads accounts, email, project management tools, digital marketing tools, etc.), don’t forget to also share any documentation and shared resources you are using. Depending on your activities and processes, this may include: 

  • Documentation about any processes you have set up (e.g. how to set up a campaign, how to set up URL tracking, how to create reports, etc. )
  • Customer and campaign details: buyer personas, marketing briefs, goals, branding guidelines, etc. 
  • Any campaign/ text/ design templates you may be using.
  • Shared resources such as texts and graphics (customer logos or other visual elements). 
  1. Prepare the training process

An onboarding checklist for agencies should include training. Any new addition to your team will need to go through training as part of the onboarding process. Make sure you have defined the entire training process before your hire actually begins her/her work. Set up a plan for training, but also some “milestones”:

  • Define what your new hire should learn.
  • Decide who will handle the training.
  • Define what your new hire should do in the first 1/2/3 months. 
  • Set up a timeline for gaining new skills and taking up more responsibilities. 
  1. Introduce your new hire to the rest of the team

Your new hire will have to meet his/ her peers and you have to set up the right context for that. You can make the announcement either via email or group chat. We do advise you to make an “official” announcement, no matter the channel you choose. If you are working with a small team that is located in the same time zone, maybe you can even set up a short video call for all the team members to introduce themselves. 

But even if you cannot schedule a meeting with the entire team, make sure your new team member is acquainted with the people he/she will be working with. Make sure he/she knows what every team member does and how to reach out for any issues. 

  1. Set up onboarding feedback

An onboarding checklist for a PPC agency should also include a feedback session. Decide when your onboarding process should be completed and schedule a formal feedback session. 

This should help both you, as an agency, and your new hire. You should evaluate how your new team member is doing, but he/she should also have the opportunity to share feedback, ideas, or requests. After the feedback session and after going through the onboarding process, you can set up new targets or goals for the upcoming months. 

  1. Schedule regular reviews

While you can define a fixed onboarding timeline, in reality, things won’t be as well defined. A new team member will learn some things more easily and have more difficulties with others. Questions will arise even a few months after the hire is done. That is only natural - no matter how much you will try to cover everything in your PPC agency’s onboarding checklist, the life of a PPC agency is dynamic and you won’t be able to foresee everything. 

That’s why you should make sure to check in on your team and set up regular reviews. For new hires, you can set them monthly for the next few months and then go for yearly or bi-yearly reviews. You can also increase the time between reviews gradually - set one at one month, another at three months, then at six, etc. No matter the timeline you decide on, having feedback on both sides is very important and will help in the long term. 

Finding and growing new talent for your PPC agency is no easy task, but having the right processes in order can make a difference. In terms of hiring, an onboarding checklist for agencies is vital to make sure your new PPC hero is independent and efficient as soon as possible. 

The onboarding checklist for your PPC agency could have more steps than those described here, depending on your activities and specific niche. However, this list is a good starting point for defining your onboarding process. You can take it from here and adapt it to your needs and experience with new hires. 

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.