Onboarding is a critical process that helps new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. An effective onboarding program has been proven to increase job satisfaction, increase performance, and reduce turnover. Following this checklist will help ensure that the employee has a smooth transition into the new position. Feel free to modify as needed to fit your department’s needs.

Before the Employee’s Start Date


  • Develop and send a new hire letter to the employee. It should contain a Wage Acknowledgment Notice at the bottom of the letter.
  • Collect the Social Security Number from the employee. Send the appropriate HR/Payroll forms including Federal Tax, State Tax, Direct Deposit, Employee Data Sheet, and i9. These forms are available in the Echo Sign library or the HRS website. The forms on Echo Sign will not allow the employee to input the Social Security Number due to security reasons. The SSN would need to be inputted on the forms by the department.
  • Prepare a Personnel Action Form (PAF) to hire the new employee. Please attached a copy of the hire letter and job description to the PAF. The completed HRS/Payroll forms should be attached to the PAF as well. The PAF must be signed by the appropriate personnel before being submitted to HRS. Inform the department of the new hire.
  • Put together a welcome packet from the department and include job description, welcome letter, contact names, and phone lists, campus map, parking and transportation information, mission and values of the University, information on your unit/school, etc. I-9 and tax forms should be included.
  • Ensure the key request form is completed (through DPS) for the new employee. The key should be available for the employee on the first day.
  • Clean the work area, and set up cube/office space with supplies.
  • Order business cards (if applicable).
  • Add the employee to relevant email lists.

Schedule and Job Duties

  • Reach out to the new employee to confirm start date, place, time, parking, dress code, etc.
  • Prepare the employee’s calendar for the first few weeks.
    • Set up meetings with critical employees.
    • Contact Shana Daniels Sever to schedule the benefits orientation. The orientation should be held during the first week if possible.
    • A campus tour can be scheduled for the new employee (this is beneficial for those who are new to the campus). This is offered through Visitor’s Center. You can send an email to Roberta Gage and Evon Black to schedule the campus tour.
  • Arrange training required for the job.
  • Plan the employee’s first assignment.
  • If the new employee requires sign language classes, please research upcoming American Sign Language (ASL) classes for the employee to take. For more information, please contact Christina Hopewell-Albert.

Technology and Phone Access

  • Order, install and set up technology equipment (computer, printer, etc.) and software (if needed).
  • Double-check with HRS to ensure that the employee will have access to email/Bison/computer on the first day (once the PAF is received by HRS and fed into Bison, the employee will have access to the system).
  • Contact the Help Desk to have the system set up in advance.
  • Arrange for access to common drives.
  • Arrange for VP and/or phone installation.

On the Employee’s First Few Days

  • Welcome the employee upon arrival.
  • Introduce the employee to others in the department and give a tour of the department.
  • Provide welcome packet and take time to discuss contents including job description, job expectations, and how the employee and department contribute to the University.
  • Review policies and procedures, including working hours, how to request leave, blackout dates (if any), how to order supplies, etc.
  • Review the job description and set expectations.
  • Review schedule, including orientation, meetings, and training.
  • If required, please work with the employee to sign up for sign language classes.
  • Ensure the employee is able to log into their computer and account. Explain that technology-related issues are requested through Help Desk.
  • New employees will set up their new passwords through this link:
  • Assign a “buddy” to guide the employee to College Hall (to submit i9 and tax form—available in the welcome packet and for orientation, if scheduled).
  • The “buddy” should also bring the employee to DPS to obtain a new ID, key, and parking pass (if needed).
  • Take the employee to lunch (if possible).

During the Employee’s First Month

  • Check in with the employee to be sure he/she is settling in smoothly.
  • Provide the employee with the first assignment.
  • Schedule and conduct regularly occurring one-on-one meetings.
  • Continue to provide timely, ongoing, meaningful “everyday feedback.”
  • Elicit feedback from the employee and be available to answer questions.
  • Discuss performance and professional development goals.

During the Employee’s Third Month

  • Continue having regularly occurring one-on-one meetings.
  • Meet for informal three-month performance check-in.
  • Continue giving employee assignments that are challenging yet doable.
  • Review performance goals and professional development goals.

During the Employee’s Sixth Month

  • By this time, you should be able to determine whether or not the employee has the potential for successful performance in the position.
  • Conduct a six-month performance review. Although a formal performance evaluation is conducted annually, a six-month performance review should be conducted to provide feedback and review progress on performance goals and professional development goals. Ongoing feedback is highly beneficial for employees.

If at any time during the 6-month probationary period the supervisor feels that the employee is not suitable for the position, the supervisor may terminate the employee. An employee who is terminated during the probationary period has no rights of appeal under the Dispute Resolution Procedures. Before any termination, please discuss it with the senior administrator, administrative officer, and the Director of Human Resources Services.

Contact Us

Human Resources

College Hall 106

(202) 250-2284

(202) 651-5352

(202) 651-5344

8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm
8:30 am-4:00 pm

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