New Hire Onboarding and Orientation

Purpose of Process (also see how HRnetSource can help):

New hire onboarding and orientation provides newly hired employees the opportunity to:

  1. Complete required forms and receive information which employers are required to disseminate,
  2. Learn of the benefits available and obtain assistance in completing enrollment forms,
  3. Obtain necessary information on company policies, practices, and rules.
  4. Receive the necessary information, acclimation, connections, and tools to become successful contributors to the organization.

Recommended Steps in the Process:

  1. Advise the new employee of the new hire orientation before their hire date. Schedule the orientation meeting on the new employee's first day.

  2. Inform others (e.g. Facilities and IS, etc.) of the new employee's imminent hire, so that they can set-up necessary services, such as office space, telephone, computer, network log-in permissions, office supplies etc.

  3. Email orientation information to the employee in advance of their hire to allow them time to familiarize themselves with it and generate questions. Information includes:
  4. Advise the hiring manager of the time, date and length of the new hire orientation, so he/she knows when the new employee will be available. Provide the hiring manager with the New Hire Checklist to facilitate the preparation for newly hired employees in order to minimize their transition time.

  5. Advise other parties who may be involved with new hire orientation (e.g. Security to issue a badge, etc.)

  6. Coordinate all logistics, including scheduling a conference room and ensuring that needed audio-visual equipment is available. Providing refreshments is a nice touch.

  7. During the new hire orientation, provide information on how the employee can access the Employee Handbook (see sample outline of an employee handbook). Instruct employees to review the handbook and sign the Handbook Acknowledgment form.

    Employee Handbook are typically placed on the HR Intranet. This has several advantages over providing paper copies of the employee handbook including:
    • Saves paper, copying and distribution costs
    • Updating the handbook is fast and easy
    • Eliminates the possibility of old versions of the handbook being in circulation

    Even if the handbook is available to all employees on the HR Intranet, for legal reasons (defense against possible lawsuits) it's a good idea to provide employees with the following items in printed form:
  8. Use a checklist to ensure that all topics are covered and all paperwork is completed (sample attached).
    The Immigration and Naturalization (INS) form I-9 forms must be collected from all newly hired employees. This form is used to verify the new employees employment eligibility. The back of the form describes which documents can be used to verify employment. The form must be completed within three business days of the beginning of the job.

    An employer has conducted a good-faith effort to verify employment eligibility if the employer cannot tell that a document is fake and there is no reason to believe it is forged.

    One document that can be used (in conjunction with a second document) is the Social Security Card. If you use the Social Security card, note the legend on the card. If it says "NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT" then the employee is only a visitor to the U.S. and does not have permission to work in the U.S. Also, a laminated Social Security card is not legal.

  9. Other topics to cover during orientation include:
    • Safety, Health and Environmental Program (emergency extension, accident reporting)
    • Security Education and Awareness
    • Timecard Procedures (paydays, timecard completion requirements)
    • Company Recreation Activities
    • Facility Familiarization (work areas, parking, smoke-free workplace)
    • Quality Program - ISO 9001

  10. At the end of Orientation, provide an Orientation Evaluation form for the new hire to complete and return.

  11. Enter the employee data into the Human Resources Information System .  Generate a Personnel Change Notice form (see sample form) or electronically transmit the new hire data to payroll (see below how HRnetSource can help).

  12. Collect all the forms completed by the new employee to be entered into the Human Resources data base and/or stored in a paper file (see Maintaining Personnel Files process).


Item

File Location

Other Needs

Personnel Change Notice form

Personnel file

Payroll - for miscellaneous employee information

Immigration (I9) form

Separate I9 form folder


Heath Insurance Enrollment

Medical file

Payroll - for employee premium deductions

W4 and State Tax forms


Payroll - income tax withholding

EEO Self Identification form

Shadow file


Emergency Contact form

Personnel file


  1. Instruct the new employee to meet with his/her new manager to complete the orientation/onboarding process. Provide the new employee with the "New Employee Orientation - Checklist for Manager" attached to the Performance Management form. Both these documents are to be completed jointly by the new employee and his/her manager. 

  2. Follow up the new hire orientation by sending an email to the new employee, copying the manager.  Provide the employee with a summary of the orientation and onboarding process including a link to the HR Intranet.

  3. Periodically submit the Report of New Hires form to the state government as required (see the Regulatory Reporting process for more information). Often this function is performed by your payroll provider.


Process Tips:

Typically a large volume of information is provided to the new hire on their first day, much of which will not be retained. Therefore, continue the orientation process by encouraging regular meetings between the employee and manager. Also, an HR Intranet can provide valuable information for the new employee.

Consider a re-orientation meeting four to six months after the hire date to reinforce the information provided during orientation. This can be an excellent method to collect feedback on the company's orientation/assimilation process and it can help with employee retention.

How HRnetSource Can Help:

Rather than manually enter new hire data into HRSource, this data can flow automatically from the Online Employment Application Module or the employee can enter their new hire data themselves into SelfSource.

The Hire Letters function in HRSource will automatically generate needed communication to relevant parties.  This can include a welcome on-board letter to the employee (the orientation follow-up letter), notice to others in the department, new hire checklist to the manager, and an email to IT asking to set up a network log-in name and password.

HRSource includes a Checklist module to create and track any type of checklist, including the new hire checklist.

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