New Hire Checklist: How to Onboard New Employees Seamlessly

new hire checklist element
Created by CakeResume

A successful onboarding process is a win-win for the company and the new employee. 

The onboarding process may bring a lot of challenges to both the new hire and the HR department. As a result, how to onboard new hires effectively becomes the question.

Enters the new hire checklist.

A new hire checklist, or also called new employee checklist and employee onboarding checklist, is a to-do list of essential tasks that can help a company welcome and manage new employees. It might include forms for the new hire to fill out, introductory details, and key materials to hand over to the new employee. 

With the help of a new hire checklist template, you won’t find yourself panic, worrying that you miss something important, when onboarding a new hire. Most importantly, getting your employee onboarding checklist done right saves you a lot of time, thus helping your company cut costs all in all. Better still, a new hire onboarding checklist doesn't just help you as an HR, but also improves the experience of the new employee.

Let’s explore how to create your own new employee checklist and make the most of a new hire onboarding template!

Why Is a New Hire Checklist Important?

It is obvious that a new hire checklist is helpful when big corporations are onboarding new employees. But is new hire checklist necessary or small businesses or companies that hiring remote workers? 

The answer is absolutely YES! An employee onboarding checklist is beneficial since it can help save time, increase motivation, and establish effective communication for both big and small companies. Here are the benefits of using a comprehensive employee onboarding checklist:

💡 Helps a new hire become part of a team sooner

​​A fruitful new hire onboarding checklist will help your new employee understand what’s up next and what to expect, shortening their time to get used to the company.

💡 Motivates a new hire to be more committed to the job

A welcoming new hire checklist can help the new employee be more engaged and committed to their new company. A smoother onboarding experience also increases their trust in your company.

💡 Establishes good communication between the manager and the employee

An open new hire checklist helps convey expectations from the manager. The new hire onboarding checklist help organize the must-know information into a short package, ensuring good communication. 

💡 Make sure legal bases are covered

Organizing new employee starter forms altogether will help you clarify the legal documents that need to be covered or remind you about safety training. Potentially, the new hire checklist might help you avoid legal issues.

What to Include in a New Hire Checklist

To help your talented new employee unleash their potential sooner, make sure you complete the items on the new hire checklist.

✅ Confirm first-day details with the new hire.

List thorough detail for the employee’s first day on your employee onboarding checklist. It’ll help you and the new hire greatly.

Obtain a signed job acceptance letter from the new hire. Set up a meeting with key members of the department in advance. Send forms, questionnaires, and emergency contact forms in advance so they can complete them in advance.

✅ Confirm with HR to make the hire official.

Submit a job requisition document to officially inform HR. After completing a background check and drug test, if needed, the HR team can close the open position or remove job posting information online.

✅ Complete new hire paperwork.

New hires need to fill out tons of documents. If you include all the forms: W-4 documents, I-9 verification, State Tax Withholding forms, deposit payroll information, or non-disclosure agreements together in the new employee checklist, things will be easier. 

Also, there might be security and confidentiality, alcohol and/or drug contracts, emergency contact details, or medical history documentation. 

✅ Send an informative welcome email to the new hire.

An informative email should inform the new hire about their first-day date, start time, and workplace location. Attire-related information will also be helpful to decide what to wear. You should ask for required ID documents or banking information if you need the employees to carry it on their first day. 

✅ Inform them of company policies and company culture.

Add sending out a copy of the employee handbook to your new employee checklist. This is a great chance for the new hire to learn about the company culture and organizational structure. Review the company’s policies, professional ethics, and code of conduct.

✅ Set up work area for the new hire. 

First, setting up their designated workplace should also be included in your new hire checklist. Make sure they have clean desks, chairs, office supplies, and other essential items at hand. For instance, you should check IT equipment such as computers, phones, or other electronic devices. 

Also, it’s time to hand over their business card, name tags, uniforms, and other essential materials. You should contact the IT team or facility manager for key copies and valid access badges. If your new hire is working remotely, send them an office starter’s kit to increase engagement.

✅ Set up accounts and create logins.

Next, you should add on your new hire checklist to set up an email for the new employee. Make sure that their system access is working, and all software is installed properly. If necessary, you should conduct a training program for learning work-related software.

✅ Organize an orientation and prepare team introductions.

On their first day, conduct a job orientation for the new hire. Help them get familiar with the company with a simple tour. Introduce the team to the new employee and make sure it’s meaningful. For example, help their team set up new meetings and arrange casual lunches or coffee chats.

✅ Assign a mentor for the new hire.

A friendly mentor can be extremely helpful to help the new employee perform well. A mentor will be available for questions and provide professional training during the first few weeks. Make sure that the mentor is friendly and willing to help.

✅ Inform the new hire of job expectations.

Be sure to introduce expectations and objectives. During their first month of work, setting clear requirements are essential. Outlining expectations is especially important for remote workers and hybrid working environments.

✅ Schedule time for onboarding feedback.

After a week or two, schedule a time to meet with new hires. Learn about how they’re doing with the environment. Ask them about the onboarding plan and whether there are items particularly useful. Communicate about whether the new hire onboarding checklist is helpful, or if there are other items to add.

✅ Plan regularly check-in.

Regular check-ins will help you learn about how the new employees are adapting to the new job role. You can schedule a short coffee chat at the end of their first, second month, and first quarter. Allow them to voice and share concerns regarding the training program and onboarding progress.

New Hire Checklist for the Manager for the First Year

Not just the HR, a manager can benefit from having a new hire checklist that help the manager and the new employee to understand each other’s expectations and performance better. A new hire checklist for the manager can create an open environment for conversation and improve the work efficiency on both sides.   

The following is examples of different types of new hire checklists a manager can try out:

📍 Day One

The first day of work is about introduction, not only to the job role but also to the workplace environment. Make sure your employee onboarding checklist can help create a sense of community for the new employee.

  1. Arrange office tour - restrooms, offices, recreation areas, storage rooms, and any other place they should know.)
  2. Review work hours and first-week schedule (What to work on today or over the week).
  3. Review all policies, the company’s code of conduct, and ethics.
  4. Schedule team meetup and introduce the mentor. 
  5. Ensure workplace setup is completed. Make sure all pieces of equipment or gadgets are functioning.
  6. Allow Q&A and answer questions thoroughly.

📍 Week One

A week goes by, and they are more used to the workplace. However, your new hire checklist is far from over. As questions start to accumulate, you can help them ease their mind.

  1. Ask their team members or mentor to check-in and provide essential support.
  2. Set short-term goals and performance evaluations.
  3. Ensure documents are completed and signed.
  4. Schedule weekly one-on-one to answer questions and receive onboarding status update.

📍 Month One

They finally made it to the first month. Here are the things you should do and include on your employee onboarding checklist.

  1. Complete policies and procedure training.
  2. Provide actionable feedback or coaching.
  3. Ask for feedback.
  4. Review assignments and assess the first-month performance.
  5. Set clear goals to help them stay in progress.
  6. Make sure payroll is working smoothly.

📍 3-Month Check-in

The training period is over, and it’s time to assess what’s working well. Add these items to your employee onboarding checklist:

  1. Review key metrics, tasks, and goal progress.
  2. Check training program milestones.
  3. Set new goals for the upcoming quarter.
  4. Discuss the end of the probationary period.
  5. Switch to quarterly check-in.

📍 6-Month Check-in

On your new hire checklist, check if these “new” hires need essential resources to work better.

  1. Review quarterly performance and provide coaching sessions.
  2. Assign or adjust responsibilities if necessary.
  3. Set new goals for the next quarter.

📍 9-Month Check-in

Similar to the 6-month check-in, the 9-month to-do items include preparation for the annual review on the new employee onboarding checklist.

  1. Review quarterly performance and provide coaching sessions.
  2. Set annual review goals and success criteria.

📍 Annual Review

Congratulate your employees on their anniversary. Looking back at the previous year and helping them identify their accomplishments. In addition, help them get ready for the upcoming year.

  1. Retrospect on lessons learned and key achievements.
  2. Discuss strengths, skills, and future career plans.
  3. Assess if additional compensation is possible or if potential promotion opportunities.

New Hire Checklist Template

We’ve provided a new hire onboarding documentation template. Feel free to adjust according to your needs!

new hire checklist template
Created by CakeResume

🔑 Key Takeaways:

Remote workforce is increasingly popular, so the onboarding experience may differ. However, a new hire onboarding template will help you stay on top of the HR management. A well-crafted new employee onboarding checklist will be the best tool to keep track of talented employees and ensure the company runs smoothly.

With CakeResume, you can easily create a resume online, free download your resume’s PDF formats, and utilize ATS-compliant templates to create a resume. Land your dream job, create your resume online (free download) now!

--- Originally written by Wu Chao Min ---

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