New Hires First Day Checklist - for HR & Hiring Managers

In this article we’ll provide two separate checklists to help you have a positive onboarding experience for your new hires. First, we’ll cover the HR team’s to-do list, then we’ll discuss the hiring manager’s to-do list.

When you bring on a new hire it is important to set the tone for a successful collaboration on the first day. Both your HR team and hiring manager should be well prepared for your new hire’s arrival to make them feel comfortable and help them quickly adjust to their role.

In this article we’ll provide two separate checklists to help you have a positive onboarding experience for your new hires. First, we’ll cover the HR team’s to-do list (anchor), then we’ll discuss the hiring manager’s to-do list (anchor).

Tasks to complete: HR Team

  • Get your new hire’s workstation ready before they show up. Here are some things to consider setting out on their desk:
    • Your employee handbook
    • An onboarding kit or welcome gift
    • A welcome letter from their manager or the CEO
    • An agenda for their first day
    • An employee ID or name tag
    • Business Cards
    • Any office equipment they need
      • i.e. computer, phone, etc.
  • Make sure someone from your team greets the new hire when they arrive and makes them feel welcome. This person should also then walk them to their desk. This person could be:
    • A member of the HR team (i.e. the recruiter that already knows them)
    • Your office manager
    • New hire’s manager
  • Make sure to give your new hire a tour of the office/building/premises
  • Help the new hire fill out any HR paperwork. With this you will also want to:
    • Provide them with a copy of the forms (digitally or physically)
    • Explain the terms of agreement (e.g. on health insurance and benefits documents)
    • Answer any questions the new hire might have
  • Make sure the new hire is aware of key company policies
  • At the end of the day, check back with new hires to learn about how their first day went. Here are some questions you can ask them:
    • How did your first day go?
    • What do you think of the company and your team so far?
    • Do you need any clarification on our policies?
    • Do you have everything you need? (i.e. stationary, hardware, etc.)
    • How has the first day lined up with your expectations of the job?
    • Do you have any questions I can answer for you right now?

Tasks to complete: Hiring Manager

  • Make sure to introduce the new hire to your team members in-person, and to the company via email and/or messaging software.
  • Make sure the new hire’s computer station is up and running. Check whether the IT team (or whoever is responsible) has:
    • Set up the accounts for the new hire (i.e. email, CRM, etc.)
    • Installed software and applications, including anti-virus systems
    • Shared necessary manuals/resources
  • Send an email or message to the entire company to introduce the newest team member.
  • Run role-specific training. You should train the new hires on:
    • Their main responsibilities
    • The team structure (names, roles, duties, and organizational structure)
    • Job-specific tools
    • The objectives of the team
  • Schedule meetings for your new hire with team leaders they’ll be working closely with.
  • Assign first tasks to your new hire. Be sure to:
    • Offer guidance, as needed
    • Provide resources that your new hire is likely to use (i.e. reports, spreadsheets, and glossaries)
    • Clarify questions that may arise
  • Invite your new hire to a group lunch to help them get to know other employees.
  • Give your new hire an overview of the first week and the first month on the job.
  • Set aside some time to meet with the new hire so they can ask any questions they may have.