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New-Hire Orientation Checklist

Updated: Jul 5

The overall success of your new hires will likely be heavily dependent on their experiences during the onboarding process. As such, if the onboarding process of your company is incomplete or insufficient, it will show.

2 colleagues shaking hands across a desk in an office with a clipboard of papers on the desk

A low-quality onboarding process will also increase the chances of new hires leaving your company in favor of your competitors. In order for the onboarding process to positively impact your company, all steps of the onboarding process must be fine-tuned and effective.


Orientation is one of the onboarding steps, but before we focus on the orientation checklist, allow us to emphasize the differences between onboarding in general and orientation in particular. For starters, onboarding is a full-fledged, comprehensive process that involves multiple steps.


These steps typically include orientation, training and retaining new hires as well as long-term employees, which comes down to maintaining engagement and satisfaction levels. On the other hand, orientation is all about introductions between new hires and the rest of the company. This is also when new hires become acquainted with the company's administrative policies and procedures.


Alternatively, while orientation is a small step in the overall process, onboarding is the overall process. It's continuous, and most onboarding processes can last as long as one year, if not longer, but orientation is a singular event. Despite the short-lived nature of orientation, it is still very important to make sure that the orientation events are carried out properly.


If your onboarding process includes an unprofessional orientation experience, the event can derail the entire onboarding process and deter new hires from staying with your company. For these reasons and many others, FIC Human Resource Partners' Nuance Recruiting can help you establish a new-hire orientation checklist.


To help you and your company create a new-hire orientation checklist that is suitable for everyone involved, we have included some suggestions about what your company's orientation checklist could include.


Start by introducing your company

  • Overview of the company.

  • Company mission, philosophy and vision.

  • Workplace culture.

  • Company structure and hierarchy.

  • Warm welcome from team members.


If the position is on-site, give the new hires a tour of the office. For example, show them important locations, such as:

  • Parking areas.

  • Kitchen.

  • Restroom.

  • Mailroom.

  • News or bulletin board.

  • Emergency exits.

  • Relevant departments.


Hand out paperwork

  • Form W-4, for federal income tax withholding.

  • State and local tax withholding forms, if applicable.

  • Form I-9, to verify eligibility to work in the United States.

  • Direct deposit form.

  • Employee handbook.

  • Confidentiality agreements.

  • Acknowledgement and consent forms.


Explain the benefits program and the enrollment process


You'll need to let your new hires know about the benefits that they are eligible for and how to enroll in the benefits they would like to participate in through work, including:

  • Medical insurance.

  • Dental insurance.

  • Vision insurance.

  • Life insurance.

  • Disability insurance.

  • 401(k) plan.

  • Flexible spending accounts.

  • Employee assistance program.

  • Bonus programs.

  • Paid and unpaid leave.

  • Wellness benefits.

  • Workplace perks:

  • Free snacks.

  • Pet-friendly office.

  • In-office coffee bar.


Make sure to discuss the policies and procedures of your company

  • Code of conduct.

  • Regular work hours.

  • Overtime.

  • Anti-discrimination.

  • Anti-harassment.

  • Safety guidelines.

  • Break and lunch periods.

  • Timecard submission dates.

  • Payroll procedures.

  • Performance evaluations.

  • Disciplinary process.

  • Grievance procedures.

  • Injury reporting.

  • Emergency procedures.

  • Data security.


Give new hires access to relevant workstations and administrative support

  • ID badge.

  • Desk setup.

  • Workstation setup.

  • Stationery.

  • Computers.

  • Internet access.

  • Email access.

  • Employee self-service portal.

  • Messaging applications.

  • Videoconferencing tools.

  • Company directory.


Remember that these are only examples and suggestions of what your new-hire orientation checklist should include. The specifics will be driven by various factors that are peculiar to your company, such as the business structure, the requirements associated with the role, whether the job is on-site or remote, the benefits being offered and any legal requirements that apply to the position.


FIC Human Resource Partners' Nuance Workforce Solutions can help streamline your onboarding process so newly hired employees have the best possible experience.


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