New hire checklist: A step-by-step guide to onboarding employees in Italy


Jul 20, 2023

Expanding your company's operations abroad and discovering new talent in Italy can be an exciting venture. When you begin to hire, it’s important to make sure that you have a well-planned and effective new hire onboarding process in place for your new Italian employees. 

A well-designed onboarding program can help new employees quickly adjust and feel like they’re part of the team—giving a positive first impression. This can result in higher productivity during their first few months of employment and increase retention.

Keep in mind: A successful onboarding process takes longer than just the first day. Our comprehensive onboarding checklist covers everything you need to know, including employment eligibility paperwork, compliance, device and apps access, and a 90-day plan to ensure new employees are set up for success in the longrun.

Before their first day

  • Complete an employment background check. In Italy, it’s legal to conduct background checks to determine if an individual is suitable for a particular role. However, consent from the candidate must be obtained beforehand if using a third party.
  • Confirm employee eligibility. Before sending the offer letter, human resources must confirm the candidate's employment eligibility in Italy and start any work permit paperwork needed for the company to sponsor them.
  • Send an offer letter. Written job offer letters in Italy aren’t mandatory for employment as oral contracts are also widely accepted. However, for the contract to be legally binding, specific clauses must be written down and provided to the employee within 30 days of their start date. Be sure to include key details such as the position, job title and description, start date, working hours, probation period, compensation, benefits, termination policy, time off, and other relevant information.
  • Complete the necessary paperwork. New hire paperwork may include legal agreements, non-disclosure agreements, or tax forms. You may need to exchange emails with various stakeholders from different teams to set up and sign the required documents, depending on the onboarding software you're using.
  • Benefits enrollment for the new hire. As an employer, you must offer an employee benefits package compliant with Italian labor laws under the European Union, the Italian Civil Code, and collective bargaining agreements. Statutory benefits include social security contributions, pension plans, vacation entitlements, paid holidays, overtime pay, sick leave, and parental leave. Work-related injury and illness insurance may be required depending on the industry.
  • Add them to payroll. Pay your Italian employees in euros (EUR) unless they agree to accept another currency in writing. You can use an employer of record (EOR) like Rippling to run payroll unless you already have an entity established in the country.
  • Schedule their orientation. To make sure your new employee starts on the right foot, schedule orientation events such as 1:1s with their manager, meetings with their team, and introductory events for their first day. Send out invites before the start date so attendees can mark their calendars and add the events to their weekly agenda.
  • Assign an onboarding buddy. It can be overwhelming for a new team member to navigate their way around and get to know everyone. That's why having an onboarding buddy is a great option to assist them in getting started, answer their questions, and help with introductions. Appoint someone before the new employee arrives to ensure they have enough time to connect and schedule a meeting that works well for both parties.
  • Prepare additional resources. These might include:
    • A copy of your organization's onboarding checklist
    • A copy of the employee handbook and copies of any other necessary company policies 
    • Your company's mission statement and information about your company's culture and values
    • A team directory
    • An overview of their first day
    • Their job description and top priorities
  • Order and prepare their devices. Whether your new Italian hire will work remotely or on site, providing them with the necessary tools and technology is essential. Before your new hire's first day, order and configure any devices they need, such as laptops or monitors, and troubleshoot them so they're good to go from day one. 
  • Set up their app accounts. Learning about all the apps required for a new job, such as Email, Slack, and Zoom, can slow a new employee down. To make things easier, set up their app accounts beforehand so they can log in on their start date and get rolling.
  • Send a welcome email. When a new employee joins your team, it's important to make them feel welcome and prepared for their first day and beyond. Send them a detailed welcome email with an agenda, company directory, FAQs, and other necessary information. Use it as an onboarding checklist template for future hires to help them feel welcome and prepared for their first day. 

On Day 1

  • Set up their workspace before their start date. Creating a welcoming work environment is crucial for making new hires feel valued from the beginning. Confirm their workstation is equipped with all the necessary devices, login information, and employee handbook on their first day. Adding decorations and having their onboarding buddy greet them can also make them feel more welcomed and appreciated.
  • Send a "welcome to the team" reminder email. Send a company-wide reminder email to greet and welcome the new coworker on their first day. Learn how to craft the perfect "welcome to the team" email with our guide.
  • Share the weekly agenda or plan to help them get started. A weekly agenda for their first week will help your new employee feel more comfortable and prepared for their start date. The weekly agenda will have a schedule of meetings, training, and lunches with the team to help them understand what to expect.
  • Provide them with a list of contacts. To help your new team member settle in quickly on their first day of work, provide a 'cheat sheet' that lists co-workers, their roles, and their contact information for assistance. This can include their phone numbers, email addresses, Slack handles, and any other relevant information that would be helpful. 
  • A 1:1 meeting with their onboarding buddy or mentor.  On their first day, the new team member will meet with their onboarding buddy, who will guide them through the onboarding experience, sharing insights about the company and other key information. 
  • Give an office tour. If the new team member works on-site, their onboarding buddy can give them an office tour on their first day. The tour should include the location of bathrooms, break areas, office supplies storage, and so on.  
  • A 1:1 meeting with their hiring manager. Make sure your new hire has time for a 1:1 meeting with their hiring manager. The meeting gives them space to discuss their tasks for the first week, understand expectations about the job description, and address any immediate questions they may have as they begin their new role.
  • Schedule a team activity. As a part of the onboarding checklist, schedule a team activity for the new hire to get to know the rest of their coworkers. It can be as easy as a team business lunch at a local cafe. Keep in mind, lunchtime in Italy typically lasts two to three hours—and if you’re planning on having coffee, only order an espresso after your meal is done.

During their first 90 days

  • Schedule organizational and role-specific training. In the first 30 days, your new hire aims to learn about the company and their role. Start with organizational training to teach them about the company's goals and values. Then, provide role-specific training for the necessary skills and information. Don't forget to include any collective bargaining agreement training requirements.
  • Assign work and set OKR goals. Be mindful not to overload them with too much work at first, but do set one to two individual OKR goals for the quarter. A helpful framework for this is SMART goals—setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. Clear targets for your new hire will help them know exactly what to do in their first few months at the company.
  • Allow time for cultural adjustment. When working in Italy, it’s essential to understand the unique nuances of their workplace culture and to have clear expectations. Decision-making processes can be slow, and attempting to speed them up may not be effective. Additionally, August is commonly a vacation month for many people, so it’s important to plan accordingly. Finally, be sure to prioritize close relationships and respect hierarchy when conducting business in Italy.
  • Keep the probation period in mind. Although not mandatory in Italy, probationary periods are widespread. The collective bargaining agreement and employment contract usually determine the duration, lasting up to six months.
  • Schedule bi-weekly check-ins with the hiring manager to stay on track. It’s important to track progress and review goals together to ensure a smooth transition into the new role. Schedule check-ins at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, but also be open to quick bi-weekly meetings if needed.
  • Seek their onboarding experience feedback. It's essential to get feedback from new hires regarding their onboarding experience. Encourage them to share their perspective with human resources to improve the experience for future hires.

Onboarding new employees in Italy is easy—and fast—with Rippling

If you're going to hire employees, contractors, or remote workers in Italy, you need more than just a new hire checklist: you need Rippling. 

Rippling makes it easy to onboard and manage employees and contractors around the world—in one system that helps keep you compliant with local employment laws and regulations.

And with Rippling, onboarding new employees is a breeze. Complete and verify background checks, write and send offer letters, send, sign, and store digital documents, and localize onboarding materials to your new hire's home country—all from one centralized location.

Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions. 

last edited: July 21, 2023

The Author

Muriel Vega

A freelance tech and B2B writer based in Atlanta, Muriel focuses her work on human resources and workplace trends and creating engaging content for SaaS companies. She has traveled the world, but her favorite place to work is Mexico City.