13 tasks to include in a new employee checklist (With tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 September 2022 | Published 30 November 2021

Updated 28 September 2022

Published 30 November 2021

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.

Onboarding new people is an important process that allows you to support new employees during their first weeks at the company. Preparing a dedicated checklist can make this process easier, more efficient and organised. A well-crafted employee checklist typically includes tasks that the employer requires you to do and additional tasks that you can perform to help the new employee adjust. In this article, we explore what's a new employee checklist, explain why it's important to have one and list 13 items that you may consider including in your checklist.

What is a new employee checklist?

A new employee checklist, also called a new hire checklist, is an HR and onboarding tool that employers or managers complete when a new employee arrives at the office. This checklist may include things related to the employee's responsibilities, but it's also common that it includes things that help give the new person a warm welcome. For instance, preparing their desk, officially introducing them to the team or giving them a tour of the office space.

Related: How To Welcome New Employees (With Steps and Examples)

Why are new employee checklists important?

New employee checklists help supervisors ensure they've done everything to welcome their new employees in accordance with the company policy. The checklist helps them save valuable time, organise onboarding and keep track of the process. Although every company can benefit from introducing new employee checklists, it's especially important to use them if you're responsible for onboarding multiple employees at the same time.

Checklists are also critical for the new employee's wellbeing. They help them better understand their responsibilities by clearly explaining all the things the manager expects them to complete in the first few weeks at the office. As a result, the new employee can spend more time training and improving their knowledge of the specifics of their job or even start some projects rather than just wait for someone to tell them what to do.

Related: How to train new employees (with instructions and examples)

Elements of a new hire checklist

Here are some example items that you may consider including in your checklist:

HR's tasks

Typically, HR managers are the first ones to welcome a new employee while completing their checklist. Here are some example items that an HR manager may want to include in their checklist:

Draft and send the employee an offer letter and contract

Sending an offer letter is usually the first thing that an HR representative does after deciding whom to hire. A standard offer letter notifies the candidate about the company's decision and confirms everything that you discussed with them during recruitment. At the end of the letter, you may consider asking the candidate to confirm acceptance. Their acceptance is typically a sign you can present them an employment contract and move on to completing other things from your new hire checklist. A standard contract mentions information such as:

  • The official job title

  • The agreed salary

  • Starting date

  • Work schedule

  • Job description and responsibilities

  • Agreement of non-disclosure

Related: How To Write a Formal Email (With Template and Example)

Perform a background check

An employment background check is a standard procedure that companies run to get insight into how the individuals they want to hire have performed in previous roles. Typically, once a candidate accepts the offer and gives the company their written consent, HR representatives begin collecting information from the candidate's former employees or referees. If you're responsible for performing screening and running background checks, it's important that you include this item at the top of your list, as it's typically one of the first things you'd want to do.

Related: Q&A: Should You Include References on a CV? (With Example)

Gather all relevant employment forms

Upon successful completion of a background check, when you've confirmed a candidate's qualifications, it's typically time to gather all relevant employment forms and send them to the new employee. Some forms may be the same for all companies, for example, those that employers use to inform HMRC about new employees. It's also possible for companies to introduce additional forms, which may include forms that allow the employee to share details about how their identity or which pronouns they use.

Send a welcome email

A welcome email is an important recruitment tool that allows you to share critical information that the employee can use to prepare for their first day at work. For instance, in a welcome email, you may give them access to the company's internal systems, share their login information and attach the company's employee handbook. Here are other important information and elements to include in a welcome email:

  • Start date reminder

  • Dress code

  • What to bring (ID, paperwork)

  • Arrival instructions

  • Parking information

  • First day schedule

  • Upcoming company events

Related: Guide to Smart Casual Dress Code

Ensure the technology is working properly

It's typical for companies to prepare the new employee's workstation before they arrive. This typically includes a laptop or desktop, monitor, an office chair and other essentials that they might need in their day-to-day work. You may consider helping the new employee adjust to the new work environment by reaching out to the IT department and ensuring their new accounts and devices are working properly.

Manager's tasks

Once a new employee submits all paperwork, it's typically time for an HR manager to introduce them to their new supervisor or manager. Here are common manager's checklist tasks:

Hold a one-on-one meeting

If you're a manager and about to welcome a new employee, it's important that you take the time to welcome them and explain the essentials to them. You may consider scheduling a one-on-one meeting on their first day of work to explain responsibilities and present key company policies to them. Be sure to answer any questions that the new hire might have. Being approachable is a sign of support that may help them feel less stressed in the first days at the company.

Create an employee's welcome package

Preparing the new employee desks before their arrival can make them more enthusiastic about working at the company. You may also consider giving them a welcome package to show how excited you are to have them join your department. Here are some example materials and items that you may consider including in the package:

  • A welcome letter from the CEO

  • Company merchandise, for example, a branded USB stick, T-shirt or mug

  • Office supplies

  • A printed version of the company's employee handbook

  • A schedule for their first days on the job

Notify current employees

Consider notifying current employees that someone may be joining their team. You can do this a few days or a week before the new hire arrives to give everyone enough time to prepare. On their first day of work, it's good to invite everyone to introduce themselves to the new employee. You can encourage the team and participate in organising a group lunch so that the new person can get to know everyone in a more relaxing setting.

Conduct a role-specific training

Training the new employee is a critical thing for a manager to do. This helps them ensure that the new hire understands the job requirements and their responsibilities. On-the-job training may involve observing more experienced employees and completing role-specific tasks under supervision.

Check-in with the employee after a few days

Consider reaching out to a new employee a few weeks into their employment to see how they're adapting. If you find out that they're struggling with adjusting to the workload, you may propose working out a schedule and holding additional one-on-one meetings to go over the company's standards again. It's also important to make sure that they feel other employees' support.

Team member's tasks

Team members' participation in welcoming a new employee is important because it makes the new hire more comfortable and allows them to quickly adjust to working with the new team. Here are some things that you could include in your checklist if you're welcoming a new co-worker:

Give them a tour of the office

If your supervisor has informed you that a new employee is joining the company, it's important that you participate in offering them a warm welcome at the office. One of the first things you can do to ensure they can quickly adapt is to give them a tour of the space. This may also involve explaining any office policies that the employer may have established, for example, regarding dress code or work schedules.

Explain what your team has been working on

An essential part of supporting a new hire during their first weeks is explaining to them what your team has been working on. This allows them to review what you've been working on and quickly catch up. Remember to offer them your help if they find some tasks complicated at first, as this makes you appear easily approachable and friendly.

Invite the new co-worker to a group lunch

If you're building your new co-worker checklist, you may consider including in it items that are related to building a healthy professional relationship between you, your team and the new hire. For example, you may consider asking everyone for a group lunch to get to know the new person better. Employees who know each other better are typically more productive and efficient during group activities.

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