How to Create a New Hire Checklist in 11 Simple Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 7, 2022

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, current team members, like HR managers, complete many tasks. This occurs 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 to include when building your own.

What is a new hire checklist?

A new hire checklist is a list of items an HR manager or another employee can complete right after your team hires a new employee. 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 when recalling 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.

How to create a new hire checklist

Here is an effective new hire checklist you can implement with your team:

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. In some organizations, you can do this by submitting a hiring request to your team or by contacting a manager. You can then run a new hire background check to ensure the safety of your team and customers and to follow protocols for certain types of positions. For example, teachers complete several background checks before working in a classroom with children.

Related: A Detailed Guide on Employee Development (With Benefits)

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

After discussing and agreeing on 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 you draft this and leadership approves it, you can include it in an email sent to the new employee. Ask them to sign the form and email it back to you.

Related: A Guide to Employee Rating (With Benefits and Tips)

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

  • tax withholding document

You can send these 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.

Related: 9 Ways to Make Employees Feel Valued at Work (With Benefit)

4. Request necessary information from the employee via email

Tax forms 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.

In Canada, employers have employees fill out and submit the following forms or provide the following pieces of documentation:

  • personal tax credits return

  • employee's social insurance number

  • federal form TD1

  • provincial or territorial form TD1

Related: 20 Strategies for Employee Retention in the Workplace

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

Once you finish the background check and you have all the necessary employment documents, you may send an email or call the employee with the following detail about the employee's first day:

  • Establish an arrival time to let them know where and who to report to when they arrive. This reporting employee may be different from their direct manager, but may also be the same person.

  • Include information about the dress code, if there is one. This can include suggesting specific types of clothing or using general terms like "business casual" or "business formal".

  • Send the contact information for important departments, such as security, human resources, and management.

6. Ensure all accounts and technology are working properly

Now, you can ensure that the employee is able to create accounts on all platforms or websites your organization uses. For example, you may set up an email account and an instant messaging account for the new employee. You may also install pieces of software on company computers and ensure hardware, like computers, mouses, and keyboards are functional before the employee arrives for their first day.

Related: How to Choose the Right Marketing Training Program

7. Create their agenda and prepare their workspace

You may even have a welcome packet with the employee's agenda included. This agenda can include meeting times with different departments, such as IT, training, and HR. It can also include the time they should be expected to tell you their availability for each of these meetings.

You can prepare their workspace based on the job description and responsibilities in the contract and offer letter. You may also purchase any items required for their role before they start work, such as specific software or hardware needed for their position or office materials, such as pens and paper.

Related: Applying Cognitive Learning Theory to Corporate Training

8. Invite staff members to welcome the new employee

If possible, you can plan a welcome celebration for the new employee. You may email current employees to inform them of the new hire and ask them to participate in welcoming them. This welcome event can include:

  • a short speech welcoming the new employee to the company

  • a tour of the office and a brief overview of how work gets done there

  • an introduction to any other employees in your organization with information about their roles and personal interests

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

To get more specific about the tour you can provide, it is typical to include the following areas:

  • showing them where they can place their personal belongings such as bags, coats, laptops, and similar items

  • bringing them to their workspace

  • presenting their area where they can use the restroom or wash their hands

  • showing them the area where they can store food or drinks

  • explaining any areas of your office for collaborative meetings or any prohibited areas

Related: 20 Example Questions for an Interviewer to Help You Prepare

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

On the employee's first day, you may want to have a meeting with them to review policies, job responsibilities, and compensation. This meeting can include:

  • reviewing their contract and offer letter

  • asking the employee if they are comfortable with their job duties, level of pay, schedule, and benefits

  • discussing any other details about their position during the next few weeks

  • establishing a training process and explaining the steps involved in the process

  • conducting basic training on how to clock in, manage payments, and request time-off

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

Once you've discussed the employee's first few weeks and have given them their schedule, you can continue checking in with them to review progress and address any issues. You can ask questions about how they are getting along with co-workers, supervisors, or customers. You can also discuss their performance during training and your expectations for continuing work during this time.

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