New employees? Here’s our free onboarding checklist


Jul 13, 2021

Hiring and onboarding employees is a continual task for companies of all sizes, so the more you’re able to automate the process, the better. Every business has its own specific needs when choosing new team members and bringing them into the fold, but there are certain boxes that need to be checked across the board. 

Good hiring and onboarding practices are crucial to company success for so many reasons. It costs an average of $1,286 per employee annually to train someone, so thoughtful hiring tools and practices that enable you to select the right candidate are worth investing in. And retention begins as soon as your new team member signs on—even before they’re in the office. Some 33% of new employees quit within the first 90 days of employment, so ensuring a smooth transition into your workplace saves you time and effort, too. 

Here’s our onboarding checklist of everything you need to integrate new employees successfully.

Prepare a job requisition form

A job requisition form is a template for what your future employee will be doing and why the role will contribute to company success. It’s both a formal request to create a new position and an at-a-glance handbook for internal stakeholders to learn everything they need to know about the role. The kind of information you might find in a job requisition form includes notes like whether the position is permanent or a contract, the budgeting for the role, and the reason for the hire. 

When it comes time to begin the process, the job requisition form is an important document in your new hire checklist. Having all that information laid out plainly will aid in your automated onboarding, where you can input pertinent details and the system does the rest depending on what type of employee you’re integrating. Automation also helps streamline approvals from multiple levels of stakeholder regarding details like salary and length of term.

Complete a background check

There are many reasons to complete a background check as part of your hiring and onboarding process. Global HR Research determined that 96% of employers surveyed “conduct at least one type of employment background screening.” The top reason given was safety, followed by improving the quality of hires, and complying with laws and regulations. 

Adding this step to your employee onboarding checklist ensures that all the paperwork related to hiring and onboarding remains in one place. Once automated, the opportunity to E-Verify important documents also provides peace of mind that the information in-hand is accurate.

Once you have this vital information, the true onboarding process can begin.

Send an offer letter

When all the details are squared away and you’re ready to bring your new hire on, sending an offer letter is the next step. The art of the offer letter relies on the ability to be clear and concise, while setting up expectations and providing the candidate with everything they need to make their decision. 

An effective offer letter should include the following:

  • Job title
  • Name and role of supervisor
  • Expected duties
  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Any other details relevant to your company culture

Refer back to your job requisition form, and the job description it supported, for the information most relevant to the new hire. Depending on the complexity of the hire, you might need to include information about relocation budget, or more detailed information about liability. The letter can also include some details about your company culture—a taste of what it will be like to work there. 

When your offer is accepted, the paperwork begins.

Fill out the necessary forms

Anyone who does a lot of hiring understands the level of paperwork that accompanies the role. Common forms that need filling out upon hiring and onboarding include contracts, agreements, tax documents, and any legal forms relating to things like confidentiality.

Internally, forms will need to be filled out to enroll new staff into any benefit or pension plans, then sent along for signature. Being able to digitally send, sign, and store these forms with an automated onboarding software saves back-and-forth and multiple email chains from stakeholders across the organization. Human Resources departments spend upwards of 40% of the day on non-revenue-generating activities, so getting through necessary paperwork as quickly and efficiently as possible is integral. 

Once all the forms are submitted and the wheels are in motion you can begin all the steps remaining on your employee onboarding checklist in advance of the new hire’s first day to enable a smooth transition.

Things to do before their first day

Since retention begins as soon as a new hire has signed on, there’s a lot you can do to demonstrate preparedness and make new team members feel welcomed and supported. Depending on the type of role, it can take anywhere from eight weeks for a clerical position to up to 20 weeks for professionals to achieve full productivity in a new job, so starting off on the right foot can make a huge difference. Here are some items on the new hire checklist you can complete before their first day. 

Confirm payroll and health benefits enrolment
Getting all your paperwork digitally signed and stored is a great first step to ensuring all systems have what they need to begin processing your employee right away. Confirming this information in advance means day one isn’t about waiting around, but getting started. 

Order and ship work computer
Depending on the role, and whether or not your new employee will be working remotely, different equipment will be required. This is the kind of task you can assign to the new hire’s manager, since they will know the team’s budget, as well as the technology required to do the job. Automated onboarding enables you to assign tasks to managers and employees and helps you keep track of what still needs to get done.

Set up G-Suite, Slack, Microsoft 365 and other external applications
No one wants to spend their first day attempting to log into various applications they need to get started. Setting up employees on everything they need access to for their role from a centralized dashboard is the simplest and most efficient way to connect them on every relevant channel. 

Verify I-9 information and review compliance
Since all of your documents are digitally stored in one place, ensuring compliance by verifying tax and other government documents should be a snap.

Prepare required literature
Having the employee handbook ready—even sent in advance so your new hire can get acquainted—will make it easy for you to go over company rules and regulations, as well as any compliance-related training such as health and safety.

Schedule an orientation and team lunch
Dashboard access and management of employee portals enables you to schedule an orientation at a relevant time, as well as any team bonding events like a lunch or an introduction session.

Each new hire requires a level of care and attention, so the more you’re able to automate and template the process for yourself, the more time you’ll save.

Make hiring new employees easy with Rippling

No matter the size of your company, hiring is an ongoing task that requires both expertise and efficient systems. Being able to complete and verify background checks, write and send offer letters, send, store, and sign digital documents, and complete necessary tasks prior to their first day all from one centralized location is the key to that efficiency. 

Automating tasks that can cause bottlenecks during the hiring and onboarding processes saves you and your colleagues time, and your company money. It can also help to avoid instances of human error that can come from repetitive tasks, making sure that nothing gets overlooked or creates a barrier to getting the job done. If you’re looking for an HR solution to help you effortlessly onboard and manage employees, learn more about Rippling’s employee management platform.

last edited: March 26, 2024

The Author

The Rippling Team

Global HR, IT, and Finance know-how directly from the Rippling team.