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HR Guide: New Employee's First Day Checklist

Nikki Blog
by Nikki Blog
Jul 17, 2020 at 3:19 PM

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Remember your first day at work? It can be a terrifying experience for new employees. It's very important for HR to prepare for the new employee's first day on the job. Why? Because an appreciated new recruit is more likely to continue working in a company for an extended amount of time. 

Here is the 10-point checklist to welcome new employees in the best way possible:


1. Create a schedule

Nothing is more helpful than a schedule for the new employee. A helpful schedule should strike a balance between the onboarding process and the actual work of the employee's position.

This will help the new employee to steadily integrate into their new environment while also feeling productive in their new workspace. This schedule should also be shared with the departments and supervisors who would be a part of the new employee's first day.


2. Prepare the desk

A clean and clear desk would be helpful for the new employee. But you know what would be better? A desk ready with an onboarding kit or a welcome gift as well as a personalised welcome letter from the manager. That is one of the best ways to welcome new employees on their first day.

To make sure they have everything they need, you may also add:

  • A nameplate or an employee ID
  • An agenda for their first day
  • Set of business cards


3. Help the new employee fill out the HR paperwork

An employee's first day can be overwhelming. Provide the new hire with necessary forms either in digital or physical format and explain the terms of the agreement, such as health insurance and benefit documents in great detail.

Put all your information into one unified system and your team can spend a lot less time on routine data entry. Most importantly, always answer whatever questions your new employees' have to the best of your abilities. They will feel they are being attended to, which will increase chances of retention.


4. Schedule meetings with team leaders

What a new hire will also need is a simple introductory meeting with their collaborative team leader. This will help the team leader to understand the new employees' beliefs and behaviours.

Keep it short and informal. Try to communicate the organisation's values and what you are trying to achieve. Explain what's behind the organisation's decisions, its priorities, and how you will evaluate the team's performance as individuals and collectives.

Two women standing by the door
The first day is the most important day for the new hire

5. Assign the new employee a work partner

The new hire will need a partner to help them adjust to their new workplace. Here's a list of responsibilities of the partner:

  • Teaching, such as explaining unfamiliar tasks;
  • Explaining how to use office equipment, obtain office supplies, make travel arrangements, and the like;
  • Socialising the new employee on the company’s guidelines, norms, culture, and unwritten guidelines;
  • Sharing insights on how things are done in the organization;


6. Invite the new employee for company activities

Don't forget to involve the new hire in company activities, such as lunch, coffee and team-building exercises to help them familiarise with other employees and to show them you're happy they are a part of the organisation.

Having a familiar face around while they meet new coworkers and learn more about the organisation can put the new employee at ease.


7. Assign first tasks to your new hire

Assign a task which will help them monitor trends of your organisation. The early win will give the new employee a feeling of purpose and confidence. 

As they feel like they know what they are doing and they are doing it well, they will settle into their new role faster and easier. Make sure to:

  • Provide guidance, as needed
  • Provide resources that your new hire is likely to use (e.g. reports, spreadsheets and glossaries)
  • Clarify questions that may arise


8. Explain your organisation's key policies

Present the company's policies beforehand so they understand what's expected of them and the rules they must abide. Give them enough details to make the organisation's position clear while keeping the communications process short and simple.

At the end of the onboarding, your employees must see eye to eye with your company's vision. This will help in fully harnessing their potential thus increasing your success rate. 


9. Give the new hire a recap

A review of the new employee's work of the first week and the first month on the job will help them know their performance and help them to improve it. 

Show the new employee that you really care about how they're settling in for week one. You can check on them by sending an email or popping in at the new employee's desk to discuss their progress so far.


10. Check with the new employee at the end of the day

At the end of the day, check up on the new hire to know how their first day went. Take feedback and work on them. Cross-check if they understand the company policies or if their expectations were met. This will make them feel secure and boost their confidence in you and your organisation.


In summary, hiring and taking care of the technical aspect of things is not enough for onboarding. It's important to extended the courtesies, especially with proper planning for the employee's first day.

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HR Guide: Evaluating Candidates with Employment Gaps 
The Guide to Create a Great Internship Program
What to do if You're the Only One Handling the HR Department


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