The Essential New Hire Checklist

The Payroll Company Employee Retention, Training


the-essential-new-hire-checklistNew hire onboarding is one of, if not the most important part of the hiring process. A thorough and effective onboarding process sets the tone and expectations of a new hire, so it is important to make sure it is comprehensive and efficient.

Why is a new hire checklist important?

If you want to keep employees and create a lasting culture, the onboarding experience is key. In a Gallup study, only 12% of employees strongly agreed that their organization does a great job onboarding new employees. The checklist is crucial in creating a welcoming work environment. This keeps the onboarding process comprehensive and organized while making expectations clear.

There are three phases of our essential new hire onboarding checklist that makes sure no detail slips through the cracks.



During the preboarding phase, you must create an onboarding program that makes sure you’re able to track the progress and goals of your new hire. This program should have a detailed checklist for new employee engagement and acclimation to the company.

To begin this process, give the employee a warm welcome with a detailed, and personalized offer letter to the new hire. Once they have accepted, it’s time to collect the new hire’s personal information, including emergency contacts and home address.

This is also the time to disseminate new hire paperwork to give them time to gather everything and complete the paperwork in an environment they are comfortable with. Share relevant content about the company, including videos, blogs, or published materials about the company that can help the new employee become familiar with the company and the culture.

Before they come into the office, set up their computer, email, and workspace to demonstrate you have been anticipating their arrival and are happy they are part of the team.


On their first day, greet the new employee to make sure they feel welcome and appreciated. This is their first introduction to the culture, and it’s important the company makes just as much of an impression on the employee as the employee wants to make on the company.

A scheduled tour of the office should ensue. Make the proper introductions to the team and their mentor, if applicable. Direct them to a quiet area or back to HR, so they can finish any pending paperwork. This is when they should also be given information on compensation, benefits, and other relevant topics. Give them time to ask any questions.

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The new hire orientation should be scheduled for the same day or at the next available time. This is where the employee should be educated on the company culture and code of conduct. Taking time to review the role, responsibility, and expectation of the new hire is also an integral part of the checklist onboarding tasks.

The new hire should never have to eat lunch by themselves on the first day. Take them out to lunch – even better, organize a team lunch, so everyone can eat and enjoy the new hire in a comfortable setting.

Follow Up

Once the employee starts, it’s important to set up regular check-ins. The entire onboarding experience should be no shorter than 90 days. This gives the employee time to get situated and manage expectations. It also gives the company and manager time to assess any immediate strengths and weaknesses.

During this time review the new hire’s performance. It’s important to ask them how they feel about their role and the progress they have made. If they are having difficulties find out why and work as a team to adjust if needed.

Ask for feedback on the onboarding process. This is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked. Employee feedback is a good barometer of whether you have a great onboarding process, one that needs improvement, or one that is horrible all the way through. This feedback helps with making changes if needed.

Now that the employee has had time to figure things out and make some internal assessments, you can work together to set short and long-term goals. This gives the employee something to work toward and demonstrates you care about their overall success.


Bring the new hire into new or ongoing projects. Listen to their ideas and recommendations that can provide valuable feedback and see areas where the employee can shine. This should not be an opportunity to point out deficiencies, but rather an opportunity for the employee to showcase their skill set and knowledge, and how they can help move the company forward as part of the team.

Continue to facilitate constructive feedback with the new hire. This keeps the manager and HR in the loop on how employees engage at the company, whether there should be some tweaks in the company culture that are overlooked, and finding new ways to welcome new hires and support current employees for retention.

It’s important to make sure your new hire is set up for success. The last thing you want is for them to feel defeated at the onset of their employment. This process should start very early. From the moment you have the green light on hiring, everything should seamlessly flow. Communicating with the employee throughout the hiring process adds a layer of inclusivity to your company, and it shows the new employee their welcome starts from the moment they say “yes.”

A new employee checklist is beneficial to both the employee and the company, setting the standard for great candidates and high retention rates at your organization.

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