What Information to Give a New Hire on Their First Day


Small businesses are hyper-focused on securing top talent. But, creating effective, productive, and driven employees doesn't only come down to finding the right talent; it's all about successfully onboarding the right talent.

Believe it or not, the first day of the new-hire process is probably the most important. Despite the tangible benefits of training, long-term relationships are built on first impressions. Twenty-nine percent of workers admit to having left a job within the first 90 days because the day-to-day role was not what they expected. 

HR is responsible for providing new employees with information about their duties, roles, and rights, helping them fill out critical regulatory forms, and easing them into their new positions at the company. In other words, this blend of tutoring, education, and compliance is an instrumental part of your new hire's overall experience with your company. 

Between compliance requirements and creating a culture of success, the first day can feel chaotic if you don't have a game plan. You may be wondering: "What information do I give a new employee on their first day?" Let’s explore what you need to provide to successfully onboard your new hires.

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What You Need to Provide New Hires on Their First Day

Chances are, your new hire will be a little anxious and excited on their first day. They're learning new things, meeting new people, and preparing to adjust to their new workspace. It's your job to make them feel informed, comfortable, and relaxed during this transition period. Obviously, onboarding, training, and orientation aren't done in a day. But your first day will set expectations. At the same time, you should tackle compliance needs on that first day and get some of those dense regulatory forms dotted and signed immediately.

After a warm welcome and introductions, here is the type of information you should be providing new hires on their first day.

Employment Information

We all know that productivity, happiness, and retention are benchmarks of growth and profitability. Proper onboarding increases retention rates by 82%, boosts commitment and loyalty by 1,800%, and improves happiness by 20%. Unfortunately, most businesses do a poor job during this ever-tricky onboarding phase. A mere 12% of businesses admit that they do a "very good" job on onboarding, and 88% of businesses create onboarding experiences that are less than stellar for new employees. 

If you want to reverse the trend and create stellar onboarding experiences, you have to supply your workers with the right information from the get-go. Properly explaining your culture, history, and mission plays a critical role in how employees perceive your company and their new role within its ranks. Not only are employees 23% more likely to stay at your company if their role is explained thoroughly, but ironing out any culture frictions early can prevent catastrophic issues down the line.

Here are some examples of information you need to provide employees on the first day:

  • Schedules
  • Employee handbooks
  • In-depth job information
  • The culture, mission, or historical context of your company
  • Emergency contact information
  • Any unique workspace details (e.g., break room guides, tours, etc.)

Employment Forms Required by Law

Every employee is required to fill out forms and paperwork to comply with legislation. In general, employees need to complete the following required forms:

Of course, these are the forms required by every business. Depending on your business's size, location, and industry, you may be required to provide additional forms.

Internal Forms

Along with legally required external forms, you likely have a swarm of internal forms that need to be processed. You want to get these out of the way ASAP. Not only do internal forms help establish employee-employer relationships, but they help shed light on some of your new employee's responsibilities.

These forms may include:

  • Non-compete agreements
  • Performance review criteria
  • Confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements
  • Employee requirements and company property

Employee Benefits Documents

Finally, you want to present benefits details and documents on the first day. Companies with world-class benefits see 56% lower attrition for a reason: employees care about benefits. Helping your employees understand their benefits and pour through some of the details on day 1 is a great way to keep them engaged and focused. You may choose to present your employees with brochures and physical documentation about their benefits. Keep in mind that when you partner with a best-in-class PEO, they will likely give your employees access to self-service portals to view and manage their benefits.

Creating Long-term Value Starts on Day 1

The first day of the orientation process can be the difference between a hard-working, engaged employee that remains loyal to your company for years and an unproductive worker who quits in the first few months. While you should certainly take time to introduce employees, welcome them, and answer their questions, you also need to take care of some important documentation needs. 

Partnering with a PEO can help you create the right handbooks and maintain compliance throughout the onboarding process. They can also score better benefits at lower costs and provide employee self-service portals that make your new hire feel good about their decision to join your company. 

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