Finding the right candidate to fill an open position may seem like the most challenging part of a recruiter’s job, but this is actually where the real work is yet to begin. HR managers have to prepare newcomers for their future tasks but they also need to take care of administrative issues and fulfill internal procedures simultaneously.

It’s a critical step for new employees since almost 70% of workers are more likely to stay with a company longer if they experience great onboarding. The whole process requires a lot of planning and a step-by-step execution, so you need to prepare well and create a schedule of basic activities.

In this post, we will show you an essential hire checklist that you are probably not using even though you should be. Let’s take a look!

Onboarding experience is a critical step for new employees

Essential Hire Checklist: Things to Do Before Day One

A good onboarding program improves employee retention, but we need to divide it into several units to make the checklist more transparent. The first section is all about the things you ought to do before new employees start working. 

  1. Check the background information: Before you let a newbie join the team, you need to conduct a routine background check. This includes reviewing an employee’s criminal record and all other details that might make the candidate ineligible.
  2. Keep them informed: The next task is to contact the new members of your team and keep them informed about work hours, the first-day schedule, timesheets, and all other details that might seem relevant. For instance, these could be notifications about parking spaces or security procedures.
  3. Send a welcome email: A welcome email represents a convenient way to show appreciation and support the newcomer before day one. Although it is more or less a formal letter, it must contain information about the position and what makes it important to the success of the entire organization.
  4. Complete the paperwork: The hiring procedure always includes a whole bunch of paperwork, so you better take care of it on time. China-based HR managers need to prepare special application forms for foreign workers in order to obtain employment licenses.
  5. Introduce a new colleague to your team: To make onboarding easier, you should introduce new colleagues to your team before they even join the company officially. You can do it simply by sending an email containing basic information about the background, role, and duties of the new colleague.
  6. Prepare the office: Before day one, you also need to prepare the office for the employee and set up the necessary equipment. Don’t forget to check whether it all functions properly: laptops, phones, projectors, etc. 
  7. Plan training sessions:The last stage of the preparation process is to create a training plan. Your job is to schedule everything, from offices and equipment to dates and hours for onboarding staff. 
Have an on-boarding program that aims to improve employee retention.

Essential Hire Checklist: Day One Activities

The first visit to your company is always a critical moment for the new worker. For this reason, it is necessary to prepare well and ensure effortless landing. 

  1. Begin with a job orientation: The first thing you need to do is give newcomers a welcome tour and a job orientation. The new person in your team needs to see his/her office, get acquainted with the IT tools you’re using, learn more about the payment process, and so on. 
  2. Go through the first week’s activity plan: You can hardly ever find a job candidate who can start working with full capacity from day one. Instead, you need to take it slowly and present them with the first week’s schedule and activities.
  3. Code of conduct: This may seem like a boring task, but you absolutely have to get people acquainted with the code of conduct. It means telling them everything about the general rules of behavior in your organization, but you also have to emphasize any features specific to your company.
  4. Policy check: Each company must have a few basic policies related to workplace safety, emergency situations, etc. Your duty is to introduce new hires to those procedures and let them know how to act in every situation.
  5. Give them an employee handbook: Apart from organizational procedures, there is also an employee handbook. By definition, it’s a document that includes information that employees may need to refer too frequently in order to meet the terms and conditions of their employment. In other words, it’s a set of rules, policies, and internal processes that helps new employees to integrate faster, while it also prevents possible legal issues that might harm the company itself.

Essential Hire Checklist: Week One Activities

A lot of work is already behind you, but onboarding is a time-consuming process and you need to take into account new duties as well. Here is the checklist of things to do during the first week:

  1. Introduce new colleagues to each other: Now that you’ve covered the basics, it is time to introduce new colleagues to each other. It is particularly important to organize a meeting between key persons who are going to cooperate on a daily basis. 
  2. Invite them to join a company’s social pages: The year is 2019 and your company must be having some sort of social media account. Invite your staff to join the community and take part in online discussions.
  3. Show them employee evaluation forms: As an HR manager, you must have designed some sort of employee evaluation form to keep track of their progress. Tell new staff members what you expect from them and point out key performance indicators (KPIs).
  4. Start with the first tasks: It is time to let the newbie do his/her job. Discuss this issue with other members of the team and give the first assignments to your new colleague. Start slowly, but let him/her feel the atmosphere of the work process.
Ask for employee feedback every time.

Essential Hire Checklist: Things to Do After a Full Month

We hope the initial stage of onboarding ended smoothly, but you do need to check it out. There is the whole list of actions to take after the first 30 days. 

  1. Ask for employee feedback:A month is just about enough for a newbie to get used to the environment and give you the initial feedback. You should encourage your colleague to speak frankly and discuss the pros and cons of the position.
  2. Analyze achievements:Once again, a full month should be enough to notice the first results of someone’s work. You can analyze their achievements and try to make preliminary assessments. In case something bothers you, don’t hesitate to ask for explanations.
  3. Get ready for the coming tasks: You should also prepare the list of future tasks in cooperation with a newcomer’s superiors. This allows you to keep tracking the results and understand how your team members evolve over time.
  4. Check the training schedule:Quality onboarding requires a fair share of training, but you need to make sure that everything is going as planned here. Keep an eye on the schedule and don’t let anything interfere with your plans. 
  5. Think about the payroll system:A full month means that the new employee is about to receive the first monthly payment. It’s a technical aspect of the business, but you don’t want to allow any unpleasant surprises, so make sure that the payroll system has taken care of the salary.
  6. Keep asking for feedback and provide it yourself: It is very important to continue communicating with the employee, give him/her your remarks, and ask for additional information if necessary.

Essential Hire Half-Year Bucket Checklist:

We’ll take a leap to the candidate’s sixth month at your organization – it is time for a rock solid assessment. 

  1. Make a half-year review: Six months is already a nice period to spend with your organization, so you must complete a thorough performance analysis to learn how your employee is doing.Don’t forget to evaluate the current achievements, measure all KPIs, and compare them with the planned results. 
  2. Determine KPIs and objectives for the next period: The year is not over yet, which means you need to prepare the list of semi-annual KPIs to follow in the coming six months.
  3. Make sure that education and training are complete: By this point, all training sessions should be completed successfully. However, you do have to make it official.

Conduct the Annual Analysis

By the time your candidate finishes the first year, onboarding is definitely over. This is the perfect moment to conduct the annual analysis and rate the performance of your employee. Just follow the KPIs and see whether they fulfill the expected norms or not. If yes, don’t forget to reward your staff and acknowledge their success openly.


Hiring the right candidate to strengthen your team is always a difficult and time-consuming job, but it’s not over once you’ve made the final decision. This is where you have to take care of many other details onboarding-wise, so it’s necessary to prepare a plan of work and complete all tasks accordingly.

In this post, we showed you an essential hire checklist that you probably weren’t using even though you should have. It’s an all-encompassing list of actions, so now it’s your turn to make use of it and take onboarding to the whole new level.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this article and we what to provide a special thanks to Scott Mathews for providing an excellent tips and suggestions.

Scott Mathews

Scott Mathews is a recruiter and a part-time blogger at NinjaEssays. Scott is a passionate professional who can’t stop writing about topics like HR and talent acquisition, which is why he also contributes to blogs at NerdywritersGrademiners, Assignment Masters, and In his spare time, Scott plays basketball with his high school friends.