New hire first day checklist

Give new hires a warm welcome on their first day at work to set the tone for a successful collaboration. 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.

The following checklists will help you kick off a positive onboarding experience for your new hires:

New hire first day checklist

HR team: tasks to do on a new hire’s first day

  • Prepare your new hire’s workstation before they arrive. Consider decorating their desk with:
    • Your employee handbook
    • An onboarding kit or a welcome gift
    • A welcome letter from their manager or the CEO
    • An agenda for their first day
    • A nameplate or employee ID
    • A set of business cards
    • Necessary office equipment, including a computer and a phone
  • Make sure someone from your team enthusiastically greets your new hire when they arrive and walks them to their desk. This person could be:
    • A member of the HR team (e.g the recruiter that new hires already know)
    • Your office manager
    • New hire’s manager
  • Give new hires a tour of your office.
  • Help new hires fill out HR paperwork:
    • Provide digital or physical copies of forms
    • Explain terms of agreement (e.g. on health insurance and benefits documents)
    • Answer any questions your new hires may have
  • Present your key company policies.
  • At the end of the day, check back with new hires to learn how their first day went. Ask them:
    • How did your first day go?
    • What do you think of the company and your team?
    • Do you need any clarity on our policies?
    • Do you have everything you need? (e.g. hardware, stationery, etc)
    • How has the first day lined up with your expectations of the job?
    • Do you have any questions?

Hiring manager: tasks to do on a new hire’s first day

  • Introduce your new hire to your team members in-person and to the company via email or company messaging software.
  • Make sure your new hire’s computer station is up and running. Check whether the IT team has:
    • Set up new hire’s accounts (e.g. email)
    • Installed software and applications, including anti-virus systems
    • Shared necessary manuals
    • Their main responsibilities
    • The team structure (names, roles, duties and organizational chart)
    • Job-specific tools
    • The team’s objectives
  • Schedule meetings for your new hire with team leaders they will collaborate with.
  • Assign first tasks to your new hire. Make sure to:
    • Offer guidance, as needed
    • Provide resources that your new hire is likely to use (e.g. reports, spreadsheets and glossaries)
    • Clarify questions that may arise
  • Assign your new hire a work buddy to help them adjust to their new workplace.
  • 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.
  • Make sure to set aside time for new hires to ask any questions they might have.
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