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Onboarding at Otago

The University of Otago onboarding programme starts once an employee accepts their new role, and continues until 3 months after they formally start. The programme is made up of several key components, which each have an important role in the onboarding process.

Departmental Induction Facilitators (DIFs)

Each department has a DIF who is their 'go-to' person for coordinating and administering the onboarding of new staff. The DIF arranges and coordinates pre and post-start tasks for a new employee and provides a welcoming experience.

Managers, supervisors, DHSOs, IT support and others also play a key role in the onboarding of new staff, providing them with key information and tools to do their job.

Does your Department need a DIF? Download the DIF Staffroom advert
Download the DIF role outline

Onboarding System

The RedCarpet onboarding system provides the DIF, the new employee, the manager/supervisor, DHSO, IT Support, Payroll and others with a set of tailored tasks to complete. These tasks are based on induction checklists and ensure that all pertinent information is supplied to the appropriate people, as well as to the employee. Delivered through an online portal, the tasks need to be completed by specific dates. The portal also contains information and videos relevant to the employee's new role.

The system enables:

  • A framework and set of tasks for every onboarding process
  • A flow of information to other critical areas (e.g. Payroll, DHSO, ITS)
  • Easy monitoring of the onboarding process and clarity on who is responsible for what and when
  • Consistent welcoming information for new employees - delivered via personal interactions and online portals

HR Starting Essentials

Starting Essentials is a one-hour seminar run by Human Resources fortnightly on a Monday for new, permanent and fixed-term staff, both general and academic. All departments can register new employees to attend this seminar.

The seminar provides an opportunity for new staff to get together and hear about a range of topics, including:

  • the benefits of working for the University
  • where to find information
  • what support is available
  • what to expect during their onboarding and settlement

To register someone for Starting Essentials, email us at and provide the appointees full name, position, title, and date of preferred session (run fortnightly on Monday's except public holidays.)

Please note: Starting Essentials is only currently available on the Dunedin campus. Staff based in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Invercargill will be advised when this is available on their campus.

Human Resources support

The HR team will:

  • provide oversight of the University Onboarding Programme
  • provide support, training and guidance to DIFs, Managers/Supervisors etc
  • maintain the Onboarding System and website information/videos
  • run the HR Starting Essentials seminars