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New Hire Checklist
Perform and Complete a Background Check
by next Wednesday
Create a Great Employment Contract
by next Thursday
Have Onboarding Employees Complete and Legally Required Forms
by next Thursday
Obtain Personal Data for Emergencies
by next Friday
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A new hire onboarding checklist is essential to HR departments across the country. They help managers and HR make sure they are covering all the necessary steps to prepare a new employee entering their company. They’re one of the most essential parts of ensuring that your employees are as productive as possible from day one. The checklist will help set the tone for the new employee’s future at the company and will help your HR department understand the new employee’s overall worth to the organization.

In other words, a new hire checklist will benefit both the employee and the employer. That’s why your new hire checklist must be up to best practice standards. Almost everyone has heard of Chick-Fil-A, and for good reason. They’re known for keeping their employees happy. Former Chick-Fil-A VP Dee Ann Turner speaks more on its importance here. Online, you’ll find plenty of templates. However, this one is a great one to use. Creating a great new hire checklist isn’t extremely difficult. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play.

Ensuring your new hire checklist is up to snuff will help you retain more employees. (Source)


Before Beginning with Your New Hire

Before diving into how to structure a new hire checklist, there’s some information that you should be aware of.

You should check local labor laws and regulations to ensure that your new hire checklist and general employee roles are within regulation. This can protect you from legal trouble and provide the employee with a defined set of roles within your company.

Secondly, you should collect all signed agreements that your employee makes. Store these documents somewhere safe and under restricted access. These can come in handy if any legal issues should arise in the future. Let’s begin taking a look at how to make a new hire checklist.


1. Perform and Complete a Background Check

A background check is recommended and essential for many different industries.

If this is required by your organization, it’s the first time when onboarding a new hire. If they fail to pass it, you won’t have wasted the time and resources of preparing the onboarding checklist beforehand.


2. Create a Great Employment Contract

The first step when onboarding a new employee is ensuring that they’re well aware of their responsibilities as well as any other pertinent information to their position.

Your employment contract should define their job information. This includes their title as well as a department they’ll be working in. Additionally, this can be a good place to add job responsibilities and duties so that there is no confusion on either end when making a new hire.

Other information that should be included:

  • Scheduling and when the employee is expected to be at work
  • The length of the employment and any deadlines if applicable
  • The pay and benefits that the employee will receive in return for their employment
  • Conditions that are required for termination. Your employee should be well informed on what will constitute a termination.


3. Have Onboarding Employees Complete and Legally Required Forms

While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how often vital paperwork slips through the cracks. This can cause massive headaches in the long term and your HR department will be thankful for having been diligent about new employees completing all forms.

These forms will often provide you with data that will make your life easier as well. The information will ensure that you can properly compensate the employee and protect them from any issues too.

The types of forms required will vary by state to state, so make sure you’re checking local and state regulations when providing new employees with legally-required forms.While they may vary, you’ll find that there are several types of documents that will commonly be required. These include

  • W-4/W-9 forms
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • Direct Deposit Form
  • State Tax Withholding Forms

Part of completing this task may be simply asking the new hire to send you the pertinent information. It’s completely normal to request personal data to be entered into your company’s HR department. Required information may be tax identification numbers, SSNs, and bank account information for direct deposit forms. This can also include copies of degrees to verify education levels and even food allergies.


4. Obtain Personal Data for Emergencies

This personal data can be life-saving, so ensure that you’re obtaining it from all new hires. This information includes emergency contacts, a brief medical history, and other medical issues that may arise during their time at work. This information is sensitive and should only be handled by those with access to the HR department. However, it can be extremely important if something happens to the employee.


5. Communicate Excellently

Excellent communication is integral to the new hire checklist. Generally, this refers to making sure new employees are receiving a welcome email or letter that provides all the information they may want to know. Some things to include in this email include:

  • A map of the office/general work area
  • Their expected arrival time on their first day
  • Information on dress codes or clothing expectations while at work
  • An agenda of their first day, or first week if the process may take longer
  • Invitations to messaging software, email accounts, software, and security details


After you’ve provided the employee with all the information you need, you should communicate with your other employees as well. Try sending a new hire announcement email to all the employees of your organization to help the new employee feel welcomed on their first day. In this announcement email it’s recommended to include their name and job title, what team they’ll be joining, a few interesting and human things about their background, and invite them to any upcoming work functions that have been planned. This first impression is crucial to defining the employee’s experience while at your organization. Having a positive one can increase the productivity and morale of new hires. Finally, send off all the employee’s information to the office manager, IT team, and accounting department to integrate them into the daily workflow of other departments as well. This entire step is dedicated to ensuring a smooth hiring process on all ends of the business. It can help everyone feel part of inclusive work culture.


6. Prepare and Utilize an Onboarding Kit

This onboarding kit is going to be the new employee’s guide as they navigate and adjust to your work environment and culture. This kit should include several things:

  • An employee handbook that will address most of the question the employee may have about your organization
  • A welcome letter from the CEO or direct supervisor/manager of the new hire to make them feel at home
  • Computer/software/technology setup instructions. Depending on the field, there may be new technology that your employee will have to learn to utilize. Including instructions can help them orientate themselves much quicker.
  • Any stationery materials that they may need in their day-to-day activities. This can be anything from pens and paper to staplers and printers.
  • Company merchandise! Everyone likes freebies and providing a mug or t-shirt that represents your organization can help new hires feel included and part of the group.
  • All the technology that they’ll be using in their role. This can range from keyboards, headsets, mouse, phones, laptops, or other devices that they’ll need in their role.
  • An ID card that the new hire can use to access restricted areas that they need to use.


The First Few Months Matter the Most

Consistently meeting with a new employee in a one-on-one scenario can help them feel like they’re heard within the organization. (Source)


It’s been found that employees who end up quitting their position will almost always do it within the first six months. Overall, 86 percent of employees who quit will do it in the first six months of being hired. To avoid this, keep in constant contact with your new hire and meet with them regularly. In these meetings, talk with your new employees about their experiences and what they’re struggling with. By being open with them, you can remedy and issues they may be experiencing.

This will also help your new employee feel valuable and worth something to the organization. Employees will suffer through a lot for the employers, but only if they feel like their value is known.

New Hire Checklist and Employee Onboarding 

The process of bringing a new employee into a company is going to require a new hire checklist. The process of onboarding new employees is going to differ immensely depending on the role they will be undertaking. A new hire checklist will ensure that a hire is a great culture fit and will uphold the values the company stands for. The following are important aspects to include on your new hire checklist: 

  • A background check being done can reduce the work needed by HR. If an arrest for a violent offense is found the new hire can be eliminated from contention. This step reduces time wasted if a new hire simply has too much of a checkered past to ignore. 
  • Putting together a thorough employment contract is imperative. Listing responsibilities and tasks required will reduce confusion as to what a new hire’s role is with the company. Expected hours, required travel, compensation, and grounds for termination should all be outlined in this contract. 
  • Legal and tax forms need to be a part of the new hire checklist. The last thing an HR professional wants is to waste time on an individual not even eligible to work in the country. Degrees and licenses being presented if required would also pertain to documents that need to be gathered. 
  • Emergency contact information along with notification of potential health complications should be requested. HIPPA restrictions do apply so only HR professionals should have access to these documents. 
  • Welcome emails with information on state date, dress code, and other pertinent information should be sent. Email access and other communication/project management accounts should also be included in this email. 

Progress Reports and Employee Onboarding 

Progress reports can allow a company to see how efficient the new hire onboarding process becomes. Employees struggling during the first 6 months of employment are far more likely to seek employment elsewhere. Identifying where a new hire is struggling can help solve the issues they are having. A team that is welcoming and willing to help a need hire will be evident in progress reports.

The reports can also be used as an indication a particular hire is not working out. Far too many people inflate their previous experience to look better during their job search. A new hire could feel like they are struggling due to a lack of understanding of production levels. The progress report could be encouraging if they see they are outperforming others on the team that have been with the company for a longer period of time. 

Gap Analysis with New Hires 

A gap analysis can provide clarity for a new hire as it identifies the gap between current performance and desired performance. Clear expectations can drive productivity while unclear goals can lead to confusing/time wasted. A manager can provide extra training or provide a new hire with resources in order to close that gap. 

Setting small goals and establishing milestones for improvement can provide a map for improvement. Demanding improvement without a plan can seem more than daunting for a new hire. A company can find additional value in an employee that helps struggling new hires close the gap on a regular basis.

Process Optimization and New Hire Checklists

Process optimization occurs when a process has been changed to become more efficient. Not only can process optimization cut costs and save time, but optimization can also save a business money. Optimizing the hiring process can lead to improved quality of hire and a reduced time looking for employees. Data collected from previous hires and feedback can play a huge role in optimizing processes for new hires. 

The following are ways the new hire process can be optimized:

  • Background checks can eliminate applicants and new hires. This reduces the time wasted of training, giving credentials, and other parts of the new hire checklist if a person has a disqualifying arrest.
  • A template should be created for contracts so there is a standard contract for specific positions. The contract should include payment details, expectations, and what actions will result in termination. 
  • A project management platform can allow the employee to go through the checklist of forms that they need and the accounts they need to create. 
  • The creation of an onboarding packet or online process will save time with each new employee that is hired!

The hiring process and checklist for new hires need to be optimized. Do not underestimate how the first few days at a company will impact a new hire’s attitude towards the company permanently. 

Porter’s Five Forces and New Hire Checklists

Porter’s Five Forces help identify competition in nearly all facets of a business. These include direct rivals, the threat of a product/service being replaced, and even suppliers negotiating for higher costs. New hire checklists can incorporate the forces as hiring a particular person could be to simply keep them from working at a competitor. A new company hiring top talent entering the market can spell disaster for businesses with average staff. 

The following ways these forces can be identified in the new hire checklist:

  • Asking about other companies applied to can allow you to know whether a new hire wanted to work for a competitor.
  • Identifying rivals can lead to hiring employees from a rival. Nobody knows the competition better than those that have worked there in the past.

Porter’s Five Forces are important in terms of hiring. The last thing anyone wants at a company is to taint the image of the business to a new employee that otherwise would have been valuable. First impressions are important in business whether it is a new client or a new hire being onboarded. 


Process, Procedure, and New Hires

The difference between process and procedure can be difficult to comprehend for some. Management dictates processes while those in production usually look to modify procedural details. New hires go through an onboarding process while a team lead might take them through the way things are done rather than immediately diving into the entire process. The following are ways to improve both processes and procedures when it comes to new hires:

  • The process needs to be organized and implemented in a welcoming way.
  • Training should be done clearly with a manual or online test. Engaging new hires can lead to excitement about a new position. 
  • Asking about how processes worked at a former place of employment can allow for easier training if similar project management tools or software was used. 

Take the time to look at the new hire onboarding process and how this process can be improved immediately!

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