HR Checklist for New Hires

When a new employee joins the team, human resources administrators have a responsibility to the company and the employee to collect and provide the proper information. This includes federally mandated documentation as well as company-specific details. While protocols may vary by employer, there are commonalities among most HR new-hire checklists.

Tax Forms

New employees must fill out a tax withholding form, typically a Form W-4. Independent contractors may complete a 1099. Employees must indicate their withholding exemptions. Employees also must complete a Form I-9 within three days of hire, which proves their right to work in the United States. Employers are required to get two forms of documentation confirming an employee's right to work. Examples include a current U.S. passport, Social Security card, voter registration card, driver's license or state identification card. Additionally, new employees may need to fill out paperwork for state income tax withholding.


While employee benefits vary by company, standard benefits typically include paid time off, such as vacation, personal, sick days and holidays. Benefits also cover health insurance, life insurance and short-term and long-term disability insurance. Retirement options, such as pension plans and 401k plans, should be discussed, and employees should be given all of their benefit information in writing as well. Some companies offer other benefits, like flex time, bonus compensation, wellness participation and corporate discounts. New hires should be informed of all such benefits when they start their jobs.


Employee orientation may be held in the form of meetings or seminars as well as online tutorials and printed welcome packets. Orientation information typically includes corporate policies and procedures, pay dates, time sheets and parking information. Some companies have security procedures, such as badges or sign-in requirements, as well as computer security, which also should be covered in orientation. HR may be asked to cover sexual harassment and corporate ethics during new employee orientation. Other topics may include office supplies and workstation setup.