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


Jun 16, 2023

Congratulations on hiring your first employee in the Republic of Poland! Now, it's time to focus on the onboarding process, which significantly impacts their transition into the new role. 

Getting the onboarding process right helps your new employee integrate smoothly into your company–and it’s good for business. In 2015, the cost of recruiting a single worker was PLN 2500 ($602, €557). Those costs can add up fast if you’re constantly rehiring. Global numbers show that effective onboarding experiences increase employee retention by 69% for up to three years–saving you a lot of money and time. 

To help you create a top-tier onboarding experience that’ll serve your new hires throughout the months-long process, check out our comprehensive onboarding checklist. It includes everything from handling paperwork and ensuring compliance to providing devices, granting access to apps, conducting training, and implementing a 90-day plan to help your employees find long-term success.

Before their first day

  • Complete an employment background check. While background checks are legal in Poland, the job applicant must give their consent. Employers should collect only the minimum amount of data to ensure the worker is who they say they are and are suitable for the position. You must comply with Polish and EU data protection regulations. Learn more in our guide to employment background checks in Poland.
  • Send an offer letter. An offer letter, known as an employment contract in Poland, is a legal agreement between the worker and the employer. It must contain the correct information to be considered valid under Polish labor law. Essential information includes: contact information for all parties, contract term (a separate contract is required for a probationary period), contingencies (medical exam, health and safety training), position (job title), job description, start date, hours, compensation, benefits, termination policy, and other relevant details. Our guide to creating offer letters for employees in Poland can help you navigate this task.
  • Complete the required paperwork. In addition to the employment contract, there are other forms and documentation to deal with. These include: income tax documents, legal agreements, and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). For foreign nationals, ensure they have the proper work permits and visas (for example, a Schengen visa or a Type D national visa) to be able to live and work in Poland. The ease of this process depends on your onboarding software and may include phone calls and email exchanges with signatories and stakeholders in different departments of the company. 
  • Enroll them in benefits. There are a number of mandatory benefits for employees in Poland. These include: pension insurance, disability insurance, work accident insurance, enrollment in the Employee Capital Plan (PPK, which is a retirement savings plan), health insurance, occupational health and safety training, sick leave, and holidays. The Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) collects contributions and ensures that benefits are paid out. Find out more about employee benefits in Poland with our handy guide. 
  • Add them to payroll. Most employees in Poland are paid in Polish zloty (PLN). However, if both parties agree, salaries can be paid in other currencies. Many Polish IT workers prefer to be paid in either euros (EUR) or US dollars (USD). As the employer, you are responsible for calculating and withholding the worker’s taxes and for paying your taxes to Poland’s National Revenue Administration (KAS). Our guide to running payroll for employees in Poland is filled with practical advice.
  • Order and configure their devices. Regardless of whether your new employee will be working on-site or remotely, it's essential to equip them with the necessary tools. Prior to their first day, make sure to order and configure any devices they will require, so they can start their job without any delays.
  • Set up their app accounts. We all know how frustrating it is to start a new job and not have access to email, Slack, Zoom, and other work-related software and platforms. You can assist your new hire by setting up their app accounts before they start. That way, everything will be ready to go when they arrive on day one.
  • Prepare any resources they'll need. These can include:
    • A copy of your onboarding checklist
    • An employee handbook and copies of important company policies and procedures
    • Your company's mission statement and a brief about your company culture and values
    • A team directory
    • An overview or agenda covering their first day
    • Their job description and top priorities
    • Employee ID and swipe card, if needed
    • Any other role-specific resources and additional documents they may require
  • Schedule their orientation. To give your new employee an idea of what to expect on day one and beyond, put together an agenda of their orientation events. Include things like 1:1s with their manager or supervisor and meetings with the rest of the team so everyone has a chance to get acquainted.
  • Assign them an onboarding buddy. To ensure a seamless onboarding experience, designate a single point of contact for your new hire. This person will guide them through the onboarding process, address questions they may have, and introduce them to the other members of the team. Be sure to assign that person well before the new employee’s first day, so they have time to prepare. 
  • Send a welcome email. To help reduce any uncertainty around what your new hire can expect, create a welcome email to send them before their first day. You can include things like an agenda for their first day, details on the dress code (business casual is standard in Poland, but this depends on the employer), and an FAQ section. Knowing these details before they walk in the front door will help make them feel comfortable and excited about starting their new job.

On Day 1

  • Make sure their workspace is ready to go. For employees who work in-person, ensure that their workspace is organized in advance. All of their devices should be set up and for some extra flare, you can add decorations to welcome them to the team. While this isn’t a tradition in Poland, it can be a nice touch and will create a great first impression. 
  • Give them a plan to get started. If the new hire’s welcome email didn't include a plan or agenda for their first couple of days, have one on hand when they first arrive. They'll feel much more confident joining the team if they know what to expect. Be careful not to overwhelm them though, as 15% of new hires in Poland said information overload was a significant problem on their first day. 
  • Schedule a meeting their manager. One of the most important agenda items for a new hire on their first day is a 1:1 meeting with their manager or supervisor. This provides an opportunity for them to be welcomed to the company, as well as get immediate answers to any questions they may have.
  • Schedule a 1:1 with their onboarding buddy. The next item on their agenda should be a 1:1 with the person who will be guiding your new hire through their onboarding. Schedule time for them to get acquainted.
  • Have a get-to-know-you event with their team or closest peers. If time allows, schedule a get-to-know-you event for the new hire and their team members. Business lunches are common in Poland, so a casual team lunch is a great idea. A local cafe or restaurant is perfect for this, especially in Warsaw’s trendy Mokotów district. Note that in Poland, drinking alcohol during working hours is frowned upon and the person in a higher position initiates handshakes. 
  • Give an office tour. If your new employee will be working in the office, be sure to give them a tour on their first day. Show them where the bathrooms and break areas are and include important safety information like where the fire extinguishers and emergency exits are located.
  • Provide them with a list of contacts. Lastly, have a "cheat sheet" ready for your new hire. On it, list the team members they can contact if they have questions about the job, the company or human resources issues. Include each person’s department, role, and contact information (phone number, email, and Slack handle). With this, they’ll be able to find the right person to answer questions quickly.

During their first 90 days

  • Schedule general and role-specific training. Your new hire’s main goal during their first few months should be to learn about the company and how they fit into the organization. Begin with corporate training, where they learn about the company, its purpose, goals, and values. Then, move on to job-specific training that will help them learn skills and information they'll need to succeed in their new role.
  • Assign work and help them set goals. You should expect that your new hire will take some time to get rolling. In the first few months of their job, they’re still learning and you should avoid overloading them with too much work and information. Goal setting and guidance are common in the Polish workplace and using a framework like SMART goals—setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound—can help with this process. Giving your new employee defined targets to achieve will prevent them from losing focus and wondering what they should be doing in their new job. 
  • Schedule regular check-ins to track progress. Schedule time with your new employee to discuss their progress on their goals and answer any new questions that have popped up. A check-in at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days is a great place to start, but stay flexible and ask if they would like to schedule more frequent meetings.
  • Offer regular feedback as they get settled in. Be proactive with your feedback. Your new employee shouldn’t be wondering how they’re doing. Regular feedback lets them know if they’re doing a good job or if they need to make changes to meet their goals.
  • Seek their feedback on how you can improve the onboarding experience. Remember that feedback is a two-way street. Reach out to new employees about their experiences during onboarding and ask what you can do to make it better going forward.

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

If you're going to hire employees, contractors, or remote workers in Poland, 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 19, 2023

The Author

Doug Murray

A Vancouver-based B2B and business trends writer, Doug is a charter member of the global workforce, having lived and worked out of Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, Guatemala, Ghana and, of course, Canada.