Onboarding new employees is a critical function of the HR department, and one that must be taken seriously. When done correctly, effective onboarding may lead to 62% greater new hire productivity and 50% greater new hire retention according to Harvard Business Review. Creating a new hire onboarding packet is an effective way to ensure that your new employees have what they need to succeed, and helps your HR team stay organized.
What is an Onboarding Packet?
A new hire onboarding packet is typically made up of the documents an employee must sign, the tasks they must complete, and any remaining work they must do in order to begin working for an employer.
The onboarding packet may come in the form of a physical packet or folder, or it might be a digital compilation of documents, tasks, and assignments to be completed online. The physical or digital nature of the onboarding packet does not matter as much as what’s included within.
The term “onboarding packet” can be used loosely to describe the totality of tasks that need to be completed in order for a new hire to complete the onboarding process.
How to Create a New Hire Onboarding Packet
When creating your new employee onboarding packet, you can split up the packet into three distinct categories.
First, what documents you need the employee to sign.
Second, what non-signature tasks the employee needs to complete.
Third, what tasks your internal team needs to complete before the employee’s first day.
Let’s dive into each one of these individually and review them in more detail.
When it comes to creating your new hire onboarding packet, one of the most critical aspects of the process will be assigning the correct documents to the employee and ensuring that those documents are signed.
While these documents may vary slightly from company to company, there are certain documents that every employee needs to sign in order to legally work in the United States. There are other documents that will need to be signed in order for the employee to receive a paycheck and pay taxes.
Below is a list of common documents that you may include in your onboarding packet:
- W-4 form or other tax documents
- I-9 form to confirm eligibility for legal work in the United States
- Company agreements such as non-disclosures or non-competes.
- Employee handbook
- Direct deposit form
- Employment contract or offer letter
- Consent form
Your onboarding packet should include a mixture of the documents listed above. Whether the employee is signing the documents physically or electronically, make sure they are completed.
While the vast majority of onboarding tasks may be linked to document signing, there are almost always additional steps beyond paperwork. These non-signature tasks should be outlined in your new hire onboarding packet so that the new employee knows what’s expected of them.
Some of these tasks may need to be completed before the new hire’s first day at work, while others will be completed on or after the first day. It’s important to let your new hire know when you’re expecting the completion of each task.
It’d be impossible for us to guess at every task you need new employees to complete before joining your company, but we’ve made a list of the common tasks we often see assigned in new hire packets.
- Complete a background check
- Bring I-9 verification documents to work on your first day (may include a driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, passport, etc)
- Take a licensing exam
- Earn a certification or permit
- Complete a welcome survey
- Purchase a uniform
- Add a profile picture to the company directory
- Create an account in the company’s payroll or HR system
- Purchase a laptop
Whatever the tasks are that new employees need to complete in your company before starting their employment, make sure these tasks are included in the new hire onboarding packet.
Eddy makes it easy to create and assign new hire packets, saving companies hours of time and tons of money.
Internal Team Tasks
While you likely won’t explicitly share internal tasks with your new employee, there will be numerous tasks that your internal team will need to complete in order to prepare for your new hire. When creating your new hire onboarding packet, do not forget about the work behind the scenes to make sure the new employee has a great first day.
Unfortunately, many companies fall short when it comes to assigning internal tasks. This leads to chaos when the new employee comes to work and nothing is ready for them. Not only does this leave the new employee wondering about the decision they made to work for you, but it also reduces the credibility of the entire HR department. If you didn’t care enough to get their desk setup on their first day, you probably won’t care enough to ensure they’re set up for long term success.
This is exactly why internal team tasks are a critical element of the onboarding process. Below, we’ve shared a few common tasks you might need your team to complete.
- Setup the new hire’s desk
- Order tools or materials the new hire will need ahead of time so that they’re prepared before the new hire’s first day
- Plan a welcome lunch with the new hire’s team
- Assign the new hire a mentor
- Make plans for the new hire’s training and orientation
- Design a “first week” schedule
- Order swag
- Notify the new hire’s team about their arrival and the role they’ll play
Remember, you only have one shot at a first impression. When your new hire walks in the door for their first day, they should be blown away by how prepared you are to greet them. This will make them feel special, feel welcome, and feel like they made the right choice in joining your company.
New Hire Onboarding Packet Template Download
We know there’s a lot to think about when it comes to onboarding a new employee. We believe that creating a new hire onboarding packet is a great way to compartmentalize all of the tasks and assignments so that everything stays organized and nothing is forgotten.
As we mentioned in the beginning, there is not a “correct way” to create an onboarding packet. Every company should do what works best for them.
At Eddy, we’ve built amazing onboarding software that automates much of this process. Our software will automatically assign document and non-signature tasks to the new employee and make assignments to internal team members. We’ve found that using software like this has significantly reduced the time we previously spent planning our onboarding process, and has also led to far better employee outcomes.
However, while software works great for our company and the hundreds of companies we serve, we know that some companies like to do things with pen and paper. For this reason, we’ve provided an onboarding packet template that you can download below.
This template helps you categorize all the tasks and assignments that need to be completed in order for your new hire to have an excellent first day.
Each time you hire a new employee, simply fill out the information at the top of the form, and then add the tasks that need to be completed to each category. As those tasks get done, check them off to monitor your progress. When all the boxes are checked, you’ll know you’ve successfully onboarded your new hire and completed the onboarding packet.