New Employee Orientation

Editor's Note: Make a good first impression with new hires.

Melissa A. SilverOverview: After finding the right person for a position, an employer should take appropriate steps to ensure the individual has a long future with the organization. As such, an employer should take the time to prepare for the new employee's first day, starting before the employee's first day of employment.

Before the new hire's first day, HR should compile all of the necessary new hire paperwork the employee needs to complete during orientation, such as federal and state mandated forms, and any employer specific forms. New hire orientation is also the time in which HR provides the new hire with a comprehensive overview of the employer's policies, procedures and benefit programs as well as provides the new hire with a copy of the employee handbook. Any required training, such as sexual harassment training, should also take place either during orientation or a short time after with a schedule provided to the new employee of when the training will take place.

HR should also provide the new employee with equipment and supplies necessary to begin work. Although the type of equipment and supplies differs depending on the position and the industry, every new hire should receive a map of the workplace, a staff directory, and an organizational chart. The more information provided to new employees on their first day of work will help ease their transition into their new role. The shorter the transition period, the sooner the new hire will become a productive member of the organization.

Trends: HR are increasingly resorting to technology based programs to conduct new employee orientation, such as a computer based or online system as well as using videos. Using a computer based system can assist HR in streamlining orientation and to ensure consistency among new hires. Also, showing videos to new hires helps employees stay engaged in the orientation process.

Author: Melissa A. Silver, JD, Legal Editor

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