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

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:

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.

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:

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:

Month one

Month three

Month six

Year one

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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

Employment forms required by law

Internal forms

Employee benefits forms

Personal information

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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