Essential New Hire Onboarding Checklist

January 26, 2021 4 Minute Read

HR teams don’t need reminding that the recruitment process is often stressful and time-consuming. It’s rewarding when your company finds the perfect job candidate, but the decision to extend an offer triggers another complicated process: onboarding a new employee.

This new hire onboarding checklist will help you complete all the steps you must take before an employee can begin work. The specifics vary depending on the country of employment, but this checklist provides general guidance on common onboarding tasks and the types of questions you should ask to ensure compliance. Use it to audit your onboarding process, so your employees have the smoothest start possible.  

Research the local labor laws.

As you’re putting together the job offer, ensure that you’re in compliance with:

  • Working hours
  • Vacation leave, including carryover rules
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity/paternity leave
  • Other types of leave
  • Public holidays
  • Wages and bonuses
  • Health insurance

Collect onboarding documents.

  • Personal information
  • Emergency contacts
  • Required identity verification and tax documents

Conduct background checks.

  • What information can you legally ask for? Is consent required to perform any of the checks? This is commonly needed for credit and criminal background checks in certain countries. However, there are often restrictions around the use of this information in hiring decisions, so make sure that any background check you run is compliant in the jurisdiction where you’re hiring.
  • Will you perform other checks, like drug screenings and medical exams? For example, medical checks are sometimes required when employees work in hazardous conditions. These requirements are deemed acceptable in certain job sectors, while in others it might require the employee’s consent.

Send onboarding documents to your payroll team or provider to set up payroll.

Run through the following questions:

  • Is 13th month pay legally required? When is it paid?
  • What is the payroll frequency?
  • Does the employee need to complete a direct deposit form so their pay can be sent directly to their bank account?

Register the employee with government agencies.

  • Which agencies are you required to report to? Think state labor agencies, Social Security and internal revenue departments.

Send the employee their employment contract to sign.

  • What must you include? Job duties, leave entitlements, salary and payment intervals are common.
  • Will it be verbal or written? (Written is recommended.)
  • Is it for an indefinite or fixed term?
  • Should it be in both English and the local language?
  • Does it strike the right balance between comprehensive and restrictive? If you include items that are more discretionary in nature, such as a bonus scheme, you risk an employee bringing a legal claim that you breached the contract by choosing not to pay a bonus that year, for example. 

Send the employee other agreements to sign.

  • Which agreements will you send? Consider non-disclosure, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.
  • Do you need to seek legal support for these tricky documents?

Provide benefits enrollment forms for the employee to make their elections.

  • Which benefits, like health, dental and vision, will you provide?
  • Are you legally required to provide any of these, or are they common practice?

Enroll the employee in a pension plan.

  • What are the country’s requirements? Is there a minimum amount you must contribute?
  • Send the employee the plan’s information and allow them to set contributions, if applicable.

Share the company handbook and ask the employee to sign an acknowledgement form.

There are many unique company policies and codes of conduct to possibly include in an employee handbook. Consider the following:

  • Dress codes
  • Use of company equipment
  • Social media and e-mail use
  • Disciplinary review and action
  • Work-from-home guidelines
  • Lunch and break periods
  • Performance reviews

The signed acknowledgement form serves as proof that your company made employees aware of these policies and received their agreement to abide by them.

Ensure compliance by using a compliance solution.

The right business intelligence solution empowers compliant, efficient new hire onboarding. With a solution like Expandopedia, employers can explore labor laws for over 150 countries and receive personalized consulting throughout the onboarding process.

Through a convenient tech platform, HR managers receive immediate access to the employment compliance information they need for efficient onboarding. Employers can also draw on the support of Expandopedia’s Ask An Expert services, which provide access to insights from a network of legal experts.

With this type of solution, your HR team saves time and resources and is more confident in your company’s compliance during every stage of the employee lifecycle. Contact us here to learn how we can support you in your global expansion and hiring.

About Expandopedia:

Expandopedia is a global compliance and business intelligence platform designed for HR professionals and business strategists.

Headquartered in Chicago, Expandopedia is powered by a global network of HR & Legal professionals to provide the intelligence that businesses need to thrive and remain compliant when running a multinational business.

Expandopedia provides all the knowledge and insights to successfully onboard, retain and offboard employees as well as data-driven analysis to empower strategic decision making.

Written by Annalisa Rodriguez


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