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New Hire Onboarding Checklist

A thorough onboarding process helps new hires acclimate to their role and team, better understand the expectations of the job and sets them up for success.

Successful new hire onboarding also leads to better job performance, increased efficiency and higher employee satisfaction — which contributes to higher engagement and employee retention rates. In other words, a comprehensive onboarding process is a win-win for everyone involved.

Since there are many steps to successfully preparing a new hire for their job, using an onboarding checklist can help make sure you don’t miss any crucial items during these busy first few days, weeks and months.

Here are 12 steps you should consider including as part of your onboarding checklist.

Hands checking a box on an illustrated checklist. Text reads: "New hire onboarding checklist:Prepare new hire paperwork,Set up accounts & create logins,Conduct employee training & orientation,Schedule checkin plan"

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1. Make it official with HR

If your company has a human resources department, submit a job requisition document for approval before making a hiring decision. The HR team may also require a completed background check and drug test before a new employee can be officially hired.

Close the open position and don’t forget to remove any job postings that are still live.

2. Prepare new hire paperwork

Gather all of the documents the new hire has to fill out on their first day, such as tax documents, various contracts or agreements, payroll information and other new employee forms. Print off the employee handbook and provide information about the benefits package for your new employee to review. Make sure to include a point of contact in case the new hire has questions about their benefits or pay. It can also be helpful to print off the job description as a reminder of the company’s expectations for the role.

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*Indeed provides these examples as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your HR or legal adviser, and none of these documents reflect current labor or employment regulations.

3. Procure devices and equipment

Request all devices and equipment several days in advance to ensure everything is ready to go on the new hire’s first day. Everything from the employee’s computer and phone to their keyboard and mouse should be hooked up and ready to use from the moment they arrive.

4. Set up accounts and create logins

Contact your IT team, facilities manager and accounting department to make sure the employee is set up in all relevant systems and has all of the required assets to enter the building. Make sure their company email is set up and gather their login credentials for various tools and platforms so they won’t have any trouble accessing the applications and software they need to do their job.

Related: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies: Pros and Cons

5. Set up the workspace

Make sure your new employee has a clean desk and chair, and any other items they need at their workstation. If possible, gather company branded swag, office supplies or a simple gift like a mug or small plant for their desk to create a welcome kit for their workspace. If the employee will be working remotely, consider sending them a box of swag to their home address.

6. Schedule new hire orientation

Set aside time during the employee’s first day for a new hire orientation. Ideally, this will not only give the employee time to sign paperwork, but also give them the chance to learn about the company culture, review the organizational chart and learn how various departments interact.

7. Send a welcome email to your new employee

Prior to your new hire’s first day, send them an email to welcome them to the company and provide them with important details about what they can expect when they arrive (e.g., start date reminder, dress code, first day schedule, parking information).

Here are four new employee welcome email examples to help you create your own.

8. Perform a building tour

If your business has a physical location, give your new employee a tour of the workplace and introduce them to key personnel within each department. Provide them with a map of the building so they’ll feel comfortable finding their way around. Make sure to point out where bathrooms, break rooms and other common areas are.

This may also be a good time to provide your new hire with their access key or code and explain any security protocols.

9. Assign a peer mentor

Introduce your new hire to a peer, or buddy, within their department who can act as a mentor during their first few weeks on the job. This person will be available for questions, introduce the employee to others within the department and can even help train them on certain aspects of the role. Having a mentor is crucial to the new hire’s success because it can prevent them from feeling alone as they navigate their new role in an unfamiliar environment

10. Send a new employee announcement

Welcome the new hire to the team by sending a new employee announcement email or by sharing the news of their arrival during a company meeting (or both).

Let your current employees know what the new hire will be doing and share a few interesting facts to help break the ice. For example, you can share the employees’ hobbies, interests and a brief professional background. This announcement should encourage other team members to say hello and extend a personal welcome when they see the new hire around the office.

Invite the new hire out to lunch with their team on the first day to help them start building personal connections, acclimate to the company and feel welcomed and valued from day one.

11. Schedule time for onboarding feedback

Arrange for a time to meet with the new employee, after their first week or two, to learn how they’re adjusting and whether they have any input about the onboarding plan. This conversation could expose areas of opportunity within your onboarding process or additional items you can add to the new employee onboarding checklist.

12. Set up a 30, 60 and 90-day check-in plan

Schedule time to touch base with the new hire at regular intervals, including after their first month, second month and first quarter. These meetings should offer the employee an opportunity to share concerns or feedback about their training and discuss how well they’re adapting to the role.

Download Checklist

*Indeed provides these examples as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your HR or legal adviser, and none of these documents reflect current labor or employment regulations.

There are many other items you may want to add to your new hire checklist depending on your objectives. You may decide to update and revise your onboarding checklist based on changing needs or employee feedback.

While it may be a living document, creating a well-organized new employee checklist can ensure a smooth and seamless experience for your new team member, their manager and their coworkers.

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*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.

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