First day of employment checklist for managers

A smooth onboarding process is your best bet for productive personnel, improved employee satisfaction and lengthened talent retention. It all starts on day one. Here's our management checklist for new hires' first day of employment, to help things run more smoothly.

The best first day

What does a good first day look like? It involves some preparation to make sure the new recruit has all of the access, equipment and work space they need. Have logins and passwords ready, along with a starter stationery pack if they're going to need a pen and paper.

Onboarding is about making new starters feel welcome, instead of feeling like an outsider. While they will undoubtedly ask questions during their first few days, they shouldn't have to ask for the essentials.

If in doubt, provide more information rather than less. Try to recognise which of your policies and procedures are esoteric, and will not be immediately self-explanatory to people who have not worked in your organisation before.

The first day checklist

With those thoughts in mind, Michael Page Ireland created this management checklist for employees' first day, to help you prepare and to know what information to present to new starters.

Tech, access and connectivity

1. Get the employee's computer fully set up (complete with working peripherals!) along with any accounts and other resources they need:

  • Working keyboard and mouse
  • Authorised removable storage devices
  • User account login and password
  • Email account and company email signature
  • Licensed software (e.g. Microsoft Office 365)

2. Check that the computer is correctly connected to the server, internet and printer, and remember to tell the employee how to print documents when needed.

3. Provide contact details for technical support (direct phone number and IT helpdesk email) to avoid any first-day delays due to IT issues.

4. Have access control key cards and fobs ready and authorised; provide these in advance if the employee will need them to get on-site and/or to park on arrival.

Admin and paperwork

5. Make sure the new starter is aware of 'acceptable use' policies that apply to internet and email usage, work phones and removable storage devices.

6. Inform them of the procedure to claim allowable expenses, complete with copies of the claim form and how long it will usually take to be paid.

7. Confirm annual leave entitlement (including the number of days), how to request time off and any restrictions that may cause a request to be refused.

8. Supply copies (digital or printed) of any personnel forms that need completing, with contact details for the relevant HR team or person.


9. Provide your new employee with a phone (either an allocated smartphone, a direct line or a shared base unit per desk.

10. Give new recruits a list of important extension numbers and/or information about where to find the business directory online.

11. Create a simple hierarchy chart for the hire's own team and/or your entire organisation, so they can integrate more easily.

12. Supply a short printed document detailing where online resources can be found (e.g. on the company intranet, a secure online dashboard or a local hard drive).

13. Have a designated team member who will act as a mentor for the new hire's first few weeks - this is a great opportunity for existing employees to build management and leadership skills.

Tasks and duties

14. Confirm the employee's job description and duties, and provide a hard copy of this for reference. Be clear about how to query any disputes relating to assigned duties.

15. Create an onboarding plan for the first week. This should cover basic induction, health and safety, fire evacuation processes etc, but also some introductory example tasks to familiarise the recruit with their role going forward.

On day one

16. Have new hires start a little late, so teams can tackle any urgent issues before the new recruit arrives for induction.

17. Show new starters where they will be working and who will be working in their immediate team and management structure.

18. Give them the tour - make sure they know where the kitchen and bathroom are located, without having to ask.

19.  Show them where spare stationery is kept, and explain any process required to order additional supplies.

20. If possible, arrange for 1-2 colleagues to have lunch with the new starter and let them know of any popular local places to get food.

Some simple preparation can take the stress out of new starts, both for the new recruit and for their line manager - improving the chance of a smooth first day and accelerating the employee's integration as a committed and positive team member.

For more help taking candidates from initial application to first day on the job, contact Michael Page Ireland.

Get in touch

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