11 Items To Include in Your New Hire Checklist

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 14, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

To onboard a new employee, many tasks must be completed by human resources before, during and after the employee arrives for their first day. Preparing a new hire checklist can make the entire onboarding process more efficient and productive. In this article, we explain what a new hire checklist is, why it's important and what you should include when building your own.

What is a new hire checklist?

A new hire checklist is a list of items an HR manager should complete right after a new employee is hired. They can begin crossing items off the list once the employee accepts the position. As they accomplish more tasks, they can continue marking the items as the new employee continues to onboard and settle into the workplace lifestyle.

A new hire checklist will often contain:

  • Communicating and reviewing job duties and responsibilities to the new employee

  • Introducing the new hire to team members

  • Providing a comfortable workspace

  • Making sure they feel welcomed throughout the onboarding process

  • Gathering personal information and onboarding materials from the new hire

Why are new hire checklists important?

A new hire checklist helps supervisors and HR managers ensure they have completed everything needed to successfully onboard a new employee. This checklist can save them time on remembering each individual task. With the checklist already prepared, supervisors can quickly complete a task and cross it off their list before moving on to the next one.

This can help supervisors and HR managers hire several new employees quickly and efficiently without falling behind on their routine. Creating a new hire checklist can ensure items are complete before the employee arrives.

This allows the new employee to spend more time undergoing on-the-job training and starting projects rather than waiting for someone to install their equipment or submit their paperwork.

A new hire checklist built ahead of time can also ensure all legal documents are submitted in a reasonable timeframe. 

Related: How to Succeed in Your New Job: The First Week, Month and 90 Days

New hire checklist

Below is an effective new hire checklist you can implement once a candidate is hired.

  1. Submit a hiring request and conduct a background check.

  2. Draft and send the employee's offer letter and contract.

  3. Gather legal employment forms.

  4. Request necessary information from the employee via email.

  5. Send an email preparing the new employee for their first day.

  6. Ensure all accounts and technology are working properly.

  7. Create their agenda and prepare their workspace.

  8. Invite staff members to welcome the new employee.

  9. Greet the new hire upon arrival by giving a tour, introductions and orientation.

  10. Hold a meeting to review policies, job responsibilities and compensation.

  11. Continue checking in with the new employee to review progress and address any issues.

1. Submit a hiring request and conduct a background check

As soon as you offer the position and the employee verbally accepts, you can begin the process to have them officially hired. This can be done by submitting a hiring request. You can then run a new hire background check to ensure the safety of your other employees.

2. Draft and send the employee's offer letter and contract

After discussing and agreeing upon the specific terms of their position, you can draft an offer letter and contract. Here is what you can include in these documents.

  • The agreed-upon salary

  • Benefits

  • Their new job title

  • Job description and responsibilities

  • Paid time off policy

  • Conditions of termination

  • Agreement of non-disclosure

  • How long they're employed (if applicable)

  • Work schedule

  • Deadline to accept the offer

Once this is drafted and approved by leadership, you can include it in an email sent to the new employee. Ask them to sign the form and email it back to you.

3. Gather legal employment forms

Once you've received their signed offer letter and contract, you can gather employment forms required by state or federal law. These employment documents can include:

  • Direct deposit documents

  • I-9 information and form

  • W-4 information and form

  • State tax withholding document

These can be sent to the new employee for them to view and sign digitally. Some forms may require completion in person. If this is the case, you can email each document's information to keep the process efficient. You can ask if they have questions about these forms once you meet with them in person.

4. Request necessary information from the employee via email

Tax forms such as the I-9 and W-4 documents often require the employee to present certain forms of identification. You can send the employee an email informing them of this ahead of time so they can arrive at work on their first day with the completed documents and required identification.

They can also send the numbers from their passport or identification card via email if they are comfortable with this request. Additionally, you can set up their direct deposit payment ahead of time by requesting their bank account number via email or over the phone if preferred.

5. Send an email preparing the new employee for their first day

You can let the new hire know what to expect when they first arrive by drafting an email describing what will occur on their first day of the job. The email can detail their schedule for the first day, including who they are meeting with and what they will train on. You can also give them information regarding the dress code and any other rules or announcements you believe will be beneficial to know.

6. Ensure all accounts and technology are working properly

Meet with the IT department to ensure the new hire has a functioning laptop, computer monitor and its essentials. Ensure they're logged into all the accounts needed. This can include email, the company messaging system and any other productivity tools or software the company uses regularly.

You can also take this time to prepare any additional accessories. This can include a name badge, identification card or a key to enter the building.

7. Create their agenda and prepare their workspace

Upon arrival, you will want the new hire to feel welcomed and enthusiastic about joining your team. Preparing their workspace ahead of time lets them know how excited you are to have them as a new team member.

When preparing their desk, you can give them materials that send a welcoming message. This can include:

  • Company branded presents like mugs, cups, T-shirts and notebooks

  • A welcome letter from a supervisor or CEO

  • A signed card from their team or the entire company

  • Their job description

  • The company's brand book, if available

  • A schedule of their first day or week

8. Invite staff members to welcome the new employee

Alert staff members beforehand that a new employee is joining the company. This can be announced a few days in advance to best prepare everyone for the employee's arrival. You can present a card for everyone to sign as a welcome gift on the first day.

When the new employee arrives, you can send another message via email or through the company messaging system. The message can invite staff members to welcome the employee or to introduce themselves.

9. Greet the new hire upon arrival by giving a tour, introductions and orientation

Once the new employee arrives, you can greet them at the door and give a tour of the office. Try to introduce them to essential workers in their department or coworkers they may regularly collaborate with. Introducing them to a smaller amount of people on their first day can help them feel less overwhelmed if there are a large amount of people in the office.

You can then give them a basic job orientation. This may include their supervisor explaining more of what their position entails and the goals of the department. It can also be the operations manager explaining company events and committees. The accounting department may meet with them as well to discuss payroll and how to submit expense reports. 

10. Hold a meeting to review policies, job responsibilities and compensation

Once they have met with other departments and employees, you can hold a meeting with the new employee to discuss the company's policies, code of conduct and more. If you already sent this via email and the employee read it, you can provide a brief overview of the policies.

You can then review their job roles and responsibilities as well as their agreed upon contract. Once this has all been discussed, you can address any questions they may have.

11. Continue checking in with the new employee to review progress and address any issues

As the days and weeks pass, you can stop by the new employee's workspace and ask how they're adapting. You can also hold meetings to discuss any progress they have made or explain what they can improve. Checking in on them regularly can help them feel more comfortable in the new workplace environment. It also reassures them that you value their wellbeing as an employee.

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