Everything You Need to Onboard a New Hire [Free Checklist]

3 minutes • Mar 2, 2020OnboardingCulture
Illustration of Onboarding Paperwork Checklist

How you onboard a new hire sets the tone for that employee’s experience at your company. A good employee onboarding experience is an opportunity to make team members feel comfortable and confident in their new position. A poorly organized orientation, on the other hand, can put the employee on unsure footing and make them question if they made the right decision in joining the company.

This comprehensive new hire checklist will help you conduct the smoothest orientation possible so your employees can immediately feel at home and excited to get to work. It includes all the activities and paperwork you should cover during the new hire’s first days, weeks, and months at the company. There’s even a downloadable checklist at the end so you can keep this essential info at your fingertips.

New Hire Orientation Checklist

Orientation isn’t a one-time experience for an employee, but a process to help them get up to speed over a period of days, weeks, and sometimes even months. A defined onboarding journey can prevent new employees from feeling overwhelmed while simultaneously offering them ongoing support.

Consider spreading orientation out over six months, as seen above, or have it encompass an entire year like the checklist outlined here.

Download New Hire Checklist
New Hire Checklist Template Free

Before day one

Sign essential paperwork.

There’s a substantial amount of paperwork new hires need to sign, much of which can be done before they arrive. Consider sending forms and paperwork (covered in the next section) for them to review, sign, and submit electronically or bring with them on their first day. This also gives new hires time to review the material in depth and ask questions.

Day one

Tour the premises

Take new hires on a quick tour of office spaces they’ll use daily, including:

  • Restrooms

  • The kitchen(s)

  • Parking

  • Employee mailboxes

  • Copy centers

  • Supply closets

  • Emergency exits

Make introductions

Take time to introduce new hires to other employees, either informally or via a special event like a grout lunch or happy hour—whatever fits well with your culture..

The first few days are great for scheduling meetings with key people, like a new hire’s supervisor or colleagues they’ll be working with on a daily basis.

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Review technology

Assign and provide login access to computers, phones, printers, software, and key card systems if you have them.

Review the employee handbook

Even if the employee received the handbook prior to their first day, it may be helpful to discuss the following:

  • Dress code

  • Paid time off, vacation, and sick leave policy

  • Personal conduct

  • Company culture and values

  • Working hours and arrival protocols

  • Organizational structure or hierarchy

Review paperwork

Answer any questions the employee may have about the paperwork they received before their first day, then ensure that they have signed all necessary forms.

Week one

In addition to checking that the employee is settling in, be sure to:

  • Assign first tasks

  • Schedule job-specific training

  • Set goals to be assessed during future evaluations

  • Review new employee evaluation period, which may include additional coaching or reassignment if necessary

Month one

  • Get feedback from the employee on the recruiting process, onboarding, and their experience so far

  • Give feedback to the employee on their work so far

  • Review the employee’s past and upcoming assignments

  • Check that payroll and reimbursements are working normally Check that job-specific training is underway

Month three

  • Review feedback from peers about employee performance

  • Review feedback from managers

  • Get the employee’s feedback about their experience with their manager

  • Give additional feedback to the employee as needed

Month six

  • Wrap up job-specific training

  • Conduct a six-month performance review

  • Set goals for the coming six months

  • Evaluation period check-in or wrap-up

Year one

  • Conduct annual performance review

  • Review feedback from the employee’s peers

  • Set goals for the coming year

  • Review and renew the employee’s contract if necessary

  • Discuss compensation and benefits

Download New Hire Checklist
New Hire Orientation Timeline

New Hire Forms and Paperwork Checklist

When it comes to onboarding new hires, there’s a lot of paperwork. With this list, you can make sure you don’t leave out the most important forms, although you may want to check with legal counsel about additional forms required by your state or local government.

W-4 2020


Company employment forms

  • Job application

    • While a new hire likely submitted a resume during the application process, having them fill out a job application standardizes the information if needed for later reference.

  • Offer letter

  • Contract

    • Job description and responsibilities

    • Salary and benefits

    • Work schedule

    • Contract duration

    • Termination conditions

Employment forms required by law

  • An acceptable form of ID, such as a driver’s license or passport

  • W-4 or W-9

  • I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification

  • State tax forms

  • Anti-harassment documentation

  • Direct deposit form

Internal forms

  • Non-compete agreement

  • Non-disclosure agreement

  • Employee handbook

  • Drug- and alcohol-testing permission

  • Background check Inventory checklists

Employee benefits forms

  • Health and life insurance packages

  • Retirement plan

  • Reimbursement policies for cell phone plans, vehicle use, etc.

Personal information

  • Emergency contact information

  • Health history, pre-existing conditions, allergies, and medications

Downloadable New Hire Checklist

Given all the ground there is to cover, onboarding a new hire might seem like an overwhelming process for those involved. Having a comprehensive checklist on hand eliminates the guesswork and helps you deliver the most seamless orientation experience possible to your employees, which is vital for their future success at the company. This new hire checklist includes everything discussed here on one easypro-reference page. Consider printing out two copies—one for you and one for the employee—so that everyone is literally on the same page about what to expect during onboarding.

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