What is a new hire checklist?

Photo of two people looking at a computer screen near a shelf with plants

A new hire checklist is a document that helps you keep track of all the tasks that need to be done after a candidate has accepted an offer and leading up to their start date. Depending on how long onboarding lasts at your company (and who is involved in the various tasks), your new hire checklist might extend through the new hire’s first month, first three months or even their first six months on the job.

You can also create different versions of your new hire checklist for the different teams or people who will be involved in onboarding such as your IT team, HR or people team, the new hire’s direct manager and even their onboarding buddy.

Why is a new hire checklist important?

Having a new hire checklist (or several versions of a new hire checklist for different people or teams) is the foundation of a structured onboarding process. This is important because it:

  • Creates structure and consistency in the new hire experience so all new hires start with the same information and resources. And this pays off in the long run – employees are 58% more likely to still be at a company three years later if they’ve participated in a structured onboarding process.
  • Ensures nothing and no one gets forgotten. There are countless horror stories of new hires showing up for their first day when no one was expecting them and not having the tools or resources they need to do their jobs. This is even more challenging in a remote setting, where all communication relies on having access to company email and other software. A positive new hire experience, on the other hand, leads to happier employees in the early days and down the line. Research shows that 54% of companies with structured onboarding enjoy higher levels of employee engagement.
  • Reduces fear and uncertainty for new hires. If candidates don’t hear anything after they’ve signed an offer letter, they can begin to worry about whether they’ve made the right decision to join your company. But if you’re communicating with them regularly – whether it’s to ask them about their ideal workstation setup or schedule their welcome lunch – you’re sending the message that you’re genuinely looking forward to having them join your team.

How does Greenhouse use new hire checklists?

Greenhouse uses new hire checklists as part of our highly structured onboarding program for new employees, their managers and anyone else who’s involved in the onboarding process. The engineering team at Greenhouse redesigned their onboarding process to make it more repeatable and scalable, relying on checklists in Greenhouse Onboarding to keep track of tasks and their owners. “We codified everything we could within Greenhouse Onboarding,” says former Director of Engineering Aaron Gibralter. For each piece of the puzzle, they figured out the ideal person to own responsibility for the new hire and then built that into the Greenhouse Onboarding plan for new hires in the engineering department.

And we’re not the only ones! Greenhouse customers Cheetah Digital implemented Greenhouse Onboarding to create a defined framework, allocate responsibilities and automate tasks and email reminders for new hires – all while strengthening the company brand and getting employees up to speed. The results were pretty eye-opening. In the first 30 days, the team was able to seamlessly onboard 54 new hires, complete 526 tasks and save 12 hours in HR coordination, plus they received 100% positive new hire feedback.

Our essential checklists for new hires include:

  • A pre-boarding checklist to reference post-offer acceptance
  • A timeline of tasks to complete in the week leading up to your new hire’s first day
  • A first-day checklist to ensure the teams involved are prepared and ready to go
  • Checklists for week one and beyond, including ideas to keep new hires engaged all the way through to month six

Candidate experience, Onboarding

Essential onboarding checklists

Everyone wants to make a good first impression. But why do so many companies drop the ball when it…

Company culture, Onboarding

Ensure your new hire’s first six months are as successful as possible with these checklists

You did everything you could to create a perfect first day and first week for your new hire. Great…

View all guidance

Ready to become great at hiring?

Request a demo