Once the signed offer letter is received, the preparations for the new worker and their onboarding process begin. There are items to cover prior to the worker’s first day, paperwork to complete, and schedule considerations as the individual gets up to speed. To help you start your preparations, review the following steps and download the Onboarding Checklist Tool to use the next time you onboard a new team member.

Onboarding Steps

Click the plus sign for more information about each step.

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1. Prepare for onboarding & 1st day

  • Create an onboarding checklist to ensure you cover the basics and legal requirements
  • Follow policies in your employee handbook
  • Set up a personnel file with limited access that ensures confidentiality
  • Order equipment and setup accounts
  • Schedule an orientation and key meetings
  • Send a welcome email with details like when and where to arrive, transportation options, who to report to, and attire (if applicable)

2. Shape the 1st day & week

  • Welcome the worker and share an overview of the coming days
  • Provide orientation that reviews employee handbook and covers expectations on conduct, schedules, and other aspects of team behavior and workplace culture
  • Provide a safety orientation – a checklist that the employee signs as documentation is recommended
  • Review job duties, responsibilities, and position expectations
  • Provide equipment, keys, account logins, etc.
  • Tour the workplace – bathrooms, fire exits and locations important to safety, and any other key spaces
  • Build in breaks and provide everything in writing (new hires have a lot to take in)

3. Complete new hire paperwork

  • Register new hire with Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
  • Update your worker’s compensation account
  • W-4 tax withholding form
  • I-9 form employment verification
  • Complete direct deposit form
  • Complete benefit enrollment forms
  • Provide written or electronic notification of paid sick leave rights (find more information on implementing a paid sick leave policy here)
  • Review and sign other paperwork your organization may have like confidentiality agreements, conflict of interest, and equipment agreements

Additional considerations

Here are a few other things to consider while preparing for your new hire.

  • Is the worker remote? If yes, make sure the necessary equipment and materials for their home office are received prior to their start date.
  • Does your organization have workers in multiple states? If yes, you must file the proper paperwork in each state workers are located.

Onboarding Checklist Tool

A checklist to help you plan you onboarding process


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