The Perfect New Hire Checklist – Use this Free Template


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The long, arduous hiring process is finally over. You’ve whittled down the many qualified candidates to that one individual who checks all the boxes on your list. They’re going to be a great addition to the team. So, now you can get back to business as usual, right?

Wrong. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, between 16-17 percent of new hires leave their position between the first week and the third month of starting their job. It’s true what they say about the revolving door, so it’s important to think of hiring and onboarding as a process.

Any good process is made up of steps, which is why we’ve created a new hire checklist to make it simple and easy for managers to help new employees settle into the job and hopefully put down solid roots.

Administrative Structure for New Hires

It’s key to have clear guidelines for onboarding new employees that are aligned with the needs of your organization. This is the best way to ensure retention. The manner in which you onboard new employees will be their first real impression of the company, and it will resonate over the long or short life they have there.


Start with an orientation. No matter how experienced or skilled they might be, you’re going to want to give them a tour of how this organization operates. Introduce them to other employees, and provide a general idea of the structure and function of the organization.

Let them know the day-to-day routine, such as what the guidelines are for using computers, copiers and other office equipment. Be sure to get the logins to any tools like company email, project management software or other online resources.

This is also a good time to explicitly explain their responsibilities and expectations in the position. You can also go over the benefits, who they immediately report to, who they work with and, if applicable, who they will supervise.

If your organization trains new employees, then this too must be addressed with the new hire onboarding. Perhaps the company is more of the philosophy that education is an ongoing endeavor and not a one-time exercise. Be clear about this distinction if it applies.

Share Your Company Culture

Don’t forget to discuss what the corporate culture is and how they are expected to act, as well as how those around them should behave. Some businesses want employees to work long hours, for example, while others have a more regular work schedule.

Then there are expectations for things like company dress code, normal working hours, arrival protocol and communications. These can be detailed in your welcome package cover letter, but it never hurts to reiterate. Don’t forget to show them their workstation, too.

The First Day

The handling of new hires and how much freedom they have on their first day is not governed solely by company policy. There are often state and even country regulations that need to be followed. These, of course, differ regionally but need to be researched and applied as required.

If you plan to go through this procedure on the first day, which is often recommended, it will take time. Leave room for a lunch break and, if possible, take the whole team out for lunch. This provides an opportunity for people to get to know the new hire and vice versa.

By the end of the first day, the new employee can be given some easy tasks to get themselves to feel part of the team and feeling productive. It might be helpful to have them shadow another employee, who can help them get their sea legs on the job.


Complete New Hire Checklist

The faster you can get a new hire acclimated to their new environment, the faster they’ll become a productive member of the team. And that’ll keep your new hire happily employed, and not secretly searching the job boards. Those first days are critical to this process. To make sure your investment in the new employee returns dividends, the following is a general new hire checklist.

Orientation Outline

Most of these topics will fall under a general orientation, but the following are unique and are important not to neglect:

  • Introduction to team
  • Job assignment and training
  • Job description and expectations

Employment Contract

The employment contract should have been sent with the job offer, and you’ll want to make sure it’s been signed. A normal employment contract will include:

  • Job title
  • Schedule
  • Duration of employment
  • Salary
  • Benefits package
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Termination conditions

Legal Requirements

These differ slightly state-to-state, more substantially country-to-country, and become more complex if the company is in one state or country and the employee works remotely:

  • W-4 form (W-9 form for contractors)
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form
  • State Tax Withholding form
  • Direct Deposit form
  • E-Verify system
  • Anti-harassment documentation

Company Requirements

Generally, these documents are required to be signed by new employees; some might be applicable, while others might be more niche and are therefore not included below:

  • Non-compete agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Employee invention forms
  • Employee handbook signature page
  • Drug/alcohol test consent agreement
  • Job analysis forms
  • Employee equipment inventory
  • Confidentially and security agreements
  • Leave of absence
  • Overtime policy
  • Performance reviews
  • Dress code
  • Personal conduct code
  • Disciplinary actions policy
  • Emergency procedures
  • Visitors policy
  • Email and internet use
  • Safety policy

General Info

Here’s where you can address issues that don’t fit under any other topics, such as where things are and their normal procedure. Mention these general things:

  • Restroom
  • Mailroom
  • Copy center
  • Supplies
  • Parking
  • Office supplies
  • Kitchen, coffee, food
  • Cafeteria
  • Emergency exits

Benefits Package

This will have been hashed out in the hiring process, but now it needs to have clear documentation that will be signed off on to avoid any confusion about what is and is not covered. Discuss the following benefits for clarification:

  • Life and health insurance
  • Mobile plan
  • Company car plan
  • Stock option forms
  • Retirement plan
  • Disability insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Sick time
  • Vacation time
  • Wellness benefits
  • Tuition reimbursement

Personal Info

It’s important to have contacts in case of an emergency, and it’s nice to inquire about any food allergies, dietary preferences and birthdays to add a personal touch to the professional relationship. Feel free to discuss the following:

  • Medical history
  • Allergies and food preferences
  • Birthday
  • Emergency contacts

Once you got that new hire checklist all checked off, you’ll want to make sure that new employee has the tools they need to do the best job they can do. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that has real-time data and a collaborative platform to ensure that everyone is working as effectively and productively as possible. See for yourself by taking this free 30-day trial.

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