This downloadable and free employee onboarding checklist template is designed to help employers get prepared in the lead up to an employee’s first day at work. It includes many of the key tasks to complete and documents to prepare before their arrival.

However, being a manual checklist it doesn’t include any of the really cool technology features that are designed to save you time, ensure compliance and create an ‘instagrammable’ first impression. In order to do that you’ll need to check out Worknice’s employee onboarding software.

Much of the template is listed below, but to take it with you, download your free template now:

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Why is an employee onboarding checklist important?

To be organised. With average employee lifecycles on the decline, a well-structured onboarding program that showcases your company culture is more essential than ever.  By being proactive, your employee onboarding will help to:

  • Reducing the compliance headache and legal risks.
  • Getting all the busy work out the way so your new starter can focus on the important things, like meeting the team, setting goals and beginning their journey in your business.
  • Make new hires feel at home with a ready to go workspace complete with everything they need to work.
  • Get a headstart on culture by creating a friendly, collaborative environment.

You can use the following free employee onboarding checklist template as a guide to remind yourself of tasks to do before your new employee’s first day.

Free employee onboarding checklist template

New hire employment contract and information to collect

  • Prepare an employment contract to be signed and accepted by your new hire. Using onboarding software, this can be done digitally and in a way that avoids the back and forth. Plus, you’ll receive access to a library of compliant contracts to use as a template. If you are writing one from scratch, here are some sections you need to consider:
    • Job information (location, job title, department, manager)
    • Work schedule
    • Length of employment
    • Compensation and benefits
    • Employee responsibilities
    • Non-disclosure agreement
    • Non-compete agreement
    • Time off policy
    • Termination conditions
  • Send a letter of offer to your new hire. This is a document that provides an overview of the job being offered and the type of relationship that will be expected. Unlike the employment contract, this document does not need to consider compliance with national or state regulations.In your job offer letter or email, include:
    • Job title
    • Department
    • Name and position of direct report
    • Work schedule
    • Start date
    • Compensation
    • Benefits (brief mention)
    • Length of employment
    • The deadline date the candidate needs to respond to your offer.

You could also attach the employment contract, where you describe terms of employment in detail.

  • Complete employment forms required by your country or state law. The most common types of forms new hires fill out are:
    • W-4 form (North America)
    • I-9 form (North America)
    • State tax withholding form
    • Tax file declaration form
    • Employee invention agreement form
    • Direct deposit form
    • Superannuation form

Employee onboarding tasks for your new hire to do:

  • Ask new hires to send you:
    • Personal data to enter into company HRIS (e.g. ID or passport number, contact details, SSN number, tax identification number)
    • Bank account information, if you’re using direct deposit to pay employees
    • Copies of certificates and diplomas that are necessary to perform the job (e.g. for nursing or accounting positions)
    • Any food allergies or preferences they may have (e.g. vegetarian or gluten-free)
    • Ask for new hire’s T-shirt size and place an order for a work uniform and/or a company T-shirt as a welcome gift.

Employee onboarding tasks for manager to do:

  • Remind new hire’s manager to send a chat message announcing the new employee on their start date (e.g. on Slack, Workplace.) Make sure to mention:
    • New hire’s name and job title
    • Department/team they’ll be joining
    • A few things about their professional or academic background
    • Welcome events you may have organized (e.g. an after-work dinner)
  • Send a reminder to hiring managers to make sure they prepare new employee’s first-day tasks.

Employee onboarding tasks for everyone else:

  • Send new hires a welcome email that includes:
    • Arrival time on their first day
    • A copy of your office map
    • A rundown of the dress code, if you have one
    • Finally, a first day or first week agenda
  • Invite new hires to join corporate accounts, including:
    • Email
    • Messaging software (e.g. Slack)
    • HRIS
    • Productivity tools (e.g. Trello, ToDoist)
    • Password security (e.g. LastPass)
  • Send a new hire announcement email or message to all employees to make sure they give a warm welcome to their new colleague.
  • Send new hire’s data to your:
    • Accounting department, so that they add new employee to payroll
    • IT team, so that they can help them set up accounts for corporate software
    • Office Manager, so that they can set up their workstation
  • Prepare your new hire’s tech, including:
    • Laptop
    • Monitor
    • Phone
    • Mouse
    • Keyboard
    • Headset
  • Arrange for new hire’s ID card, building access fob and personal locker.
  • Lastly order your new employee’s business cards and/or name plates.

Employee onboarding tasks to encourage engagement

  • Prepare and send an onboarding kit. Here’s what you could include:
    • Employee handbook
    • A welcome letter from their manager or CEO
    • Computer setup instructions
    • Stationery (e.g. notebook, pens, stickers)
    • A company t-shirt
    • A company mug
    • A copy of your organizational chart
    • A copy of a book relevant to your company or its culture
    • A guide of local points of interest (e.g. nearby cafes and restaurants)
  • Prepare a tentative first day and first week agenda that covers:
    • A company overview, including mission, teams and policies
    • 1:1 meetings with manager and team members
    • Completing HR paperwork
    • Role-specific trainings
    • Product-related demos
    • Finally, team-building activities (e.g. a group lunch)
  • Assign a buddy to help new hire through first few weeks or months in the role.

That’s it folks – now you can onboard like you have never onboarded before!

We hope you get some use from our free employee onboarding checklist template, however to really level up your onboarding – check out Worknice’s employee onboarding software.

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