20+ Onboarding Tasks That Help New Hires Feel Welcome [Free Onboarding Checklist]
When a new employee joins your team, their first impressions of the company can color their perception of everything that follows.
Yet too many companies waste hundreds of hours on paperwork and other manual tasks — while also losing focus on critical onboarding tasks that help new hires feel welcomed and supported.
We recently interviewed more than 75 hiring managers and human resources leaders who cited unclear expectations, technical stumbles, and information overload as the most common pitfalls.
Developing an onboarding checklist can help you avoid these types of oversights altogether. An onboarding checklist documents essential tasks ranging from collecting tax forms to scheduling intro meetings. Not only will your organization align around best practices—but you'll also provide a consistent, thoughtful experience for all new hires.
In 2022 alone, BambooHR helped companies onboard more than 735,000 new hires. Our award-winning HR software makes it simple to customize onboarding checklists, gather e-signatures, and offer self-service options that streamline the onboarding process. Learn more with a free demo today!
Onboarding Checklist Template [Free Download]
From new hire packets to onboarding checklists, BambooHR makes onboarding simple. Our expert-approved templates will save time while still giving you plenty of room to personalize each new hire's experience.
Onboarding Checklist: 22 Essential Tasks
Tasks for Managers
- Share the good news! Send a welcome email introducing your new hire.
- Assign your new hire a mentor and/or onboarding buddy.
- Invite your new employee to recurring one-on-one meetings to provide regular check-ins.
- Schedule your new hire’s first day meetings, prioritizing intro calls with colleagues who will work closely with the new hire.
- Coordinate a welcome meeting or phone call to kick off your new hire's first day.
- Set up a welcome lunch with the new hire’s team, if appropriate.
- Give the new employee an introduction to the business, including how their roles fits in and any performance expectations you'll have for their onboarding.
- Take your new hire on a tour of the office.
Tasks for Human Resources
- Send out a new hire welcome packet that includes the forms and documents new hires must complete.
- Document the new hire's role and compensation information in your HRIS system or records.
- Add the new employee to the payroll.
- Share essential company policies, including:
- Hours of operation
- Dress code
- Directions and parking information
- Reminders of what to bring on the first day (e.g., I9 documentation, direct deposit information, etc.)
- Schedule intro meetings to go over paperwork, including benefits, direct deposit, and company policies.
- If your organization conducts periodic reviews (such as after a 90-day probationary period), schedule these and other important milestones.
- Ask new hires to complete a background check (if applicable).
- Send the new hire to complete a drug screen (if applicable).
IT Onboarding Checklist
- Create an email address for the new hire.
- Set up account permissions for any platforms or software the role requires.
- Prepare a computer and any phone equipment or tech accessories a new hire may need.
Mentor or Onboarding Buddy Checklist
- Schedule regular check-ins throughout the first two weeks.
- Invite new hires to shadow relevant meetings or projects.
- Be responsive to ad hoc questions throughout the day!
Required Onboarding Documents for New Hires
- Benefits enrollment paperwork
- Emergency contact information
- Employee handbook featuring all company policies
- Direct deposit and payroll information
- I-9 form (employment eligibility verification)
- Non-disclosure agreement, non-compete, or confidentiality agreement (if applicable)
- State tax withholding form (varies by location)
- W-4 form (employee's withholding certificate for federal taxes)
- Note: If your employee is a contractor, you'll use a W-9 form instead.
Spend Less Time on Paperwork and More Time on People
Companies that switch to e-signatures can save 30 hours and $300 per new employee.
New Hire Orientation Checklist
While onboarding is a continuous process, orientation applies to a new hire's first day on the job. You can adapt orientation best practices to remote and on-site employees—the key is to make all new hires feel immediately welcomed, included, and supported.
- Show new hires their new office space, including important areas such as a mail room, break room, or kitchen.
- Create and assign a key or fob so new hires can access the building.
- Set up the new hire's work space, including any equipment they may need (e.g., computer, phone, business cards, office supplies, etc.).
- Place a welcome gift on the new hire’s desk (typically company swag such as a mug, t-shirt, or stationery).
- Provide a uniform (if applicable).
- Make sure new hires have access to all communication platforms, including email, video calls, and instant messaging.
- Consider providing a work from home stipend so new hires can purchase any office furniture or supplies they may need.
- Mail a welcome gift to your new hire (typically company swag such as a mug, t-shirt, or stationery).
- Communicate your security expectations for devices.