Essential checklists to ensure your new hire has a smooth first day

Young black man holding a notebook

There’s a lot of work that goes into onboarding new hires – and not just for members of the Human Resources or People Ops Team. If you have a new employee who’ll be reporting to you, you’ll want to be sure your newest team member understands their role and how best to work within your team. And all employees can get involved in onboarding – not just those in People Ops or management. Anyone can take on some of the social responsibilities to make sure new hires feel welcomed and integrated into the office culture.

Remember that prepping for a perfect first day is a team effort. The following checklists will help you coordinate with multiple people and departments to ensure nothing falls through the cracks on your new hire’s first day.


Human Resources

  • Arrange facility tour and building access

  • Set up computer, email, any work accounts they need (e.g. chat, apps)

  • Assist with benefits log-in

  • Assist with payroll log-in, set up direct deposit

  • Verify work eligibility

  • Have employee fill out W-4 tax form

  • Have employee sign NDA, Inventions Agreement, and any other legal documents

  • Give access to employee handbook

  • Go through company policies and procedures (everything from dog policy to dishwasher etiquette)


Direct manager

  • Explain why the role was created/why this hire was made

  • Outline company mission and values

  • Review job description and responsibilities

  • Create an employee development plan

  • Introduce new hire to other department leads

  • Go over company structure and organizational chart

  • Set expectations and communication preferences


Workplace buddy

  • Review office layout and building access

  • Go over how to work coffee machine, dishwasher, photocopier, and any other essential equipment

  • Discuss what people usually do for lunch, coffee, breaks, etc.

  • Go on a quick tour of the neighborhood—point out the nearest pharmacy, bank, post office, coffee shop, supermarket, park, etc.

  • Talk about office social activities like happy hour, trivia night, and volunteer work


Want all these checklists and more (think: first week, first few months, etc.) to help you organize and streamline new hire onboarding? Download the Essential Onboarding Checklists eBook.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.