Onboarding a New Employee


A new employee’s first impression is helpful to building a successful career with the state of Washington. As a leader, this is your chance to set goals and expectations, and help your employee feel comfortable, welcome and excited.

Take Action

Once you have made an offer to a candidate, work through the checklist below to ensure that your employee has a fantastic start with your agency.

Prior to Start Date
  1. Send your new employee appropriate paperwork. At minimum, this should include an appointment letter and an employee information form.
  2. Complete the Personnel/Payroll Data Sheet (PPDS) and send to DES HR for processing.
    • The sooner you can send it to DES HR for processing, the more time DES HR has to process it and provide a personnel number to you.
  3. Determine Insurance Eligibility for your new employee. Insurance eligibility is based off of the appointment, not the position. You are required to provide the appropriate "A" form to your employee. This can either be done on their first day in the office or ahead of time.
  4. Notify your IT staff to set up a new computer and phone, including all systems needed.
  5. Notify appropriate persons to grant access/keys for new employee.
  6. Stock workstation with office supplies.
  7. Contact your new employee to coordinate when and where to go on first day. This will include where to park and where to go to contact you.
  8. Let your employee know to bring identification for I9 form and bank information for direct deposit form.
  9. Make sure you (or a buddy) have scheduled the time to meet your new employee and show them around the office.
  10. Prepare an outline of what work you want them to work on for the first day and first week.
  11. Start to draft your expectations under the Performance Development Plan. This will really outline what their milestones will be and when they should hit them.
In a Virtual Environment to Show Culture
  • Set up a zoom conference with agency leadership to introduce themselves and explain the agency. Discuss "hot" items for your agency (ex: DEI)
  • Create a document that shows how the different divisions in your agency flow together to support the agency's mission and where that employee fits in
  • Explain your agencies DEI plan and how that employee can support it
  • Create a slideshow with videos from your last group function/photos of the staff at home with pets, etc. and one thing about them
  • Have someone from leadership call the employee prior to start date to welcome them
First Day
  1. Meet your new employee! Be on time! Be excited! They are nervous, so be welcoming and engaging! Donuts never hurt!
  2. Escort the new employee to appropriate persons processing new hire paperwork, rehire paperwork, or transfer paperwork. Have them complete Form I9, introduce them to the retirement plans and medical plans. Inform them of default dates and options. Inform them they can reach out to the benefits specialist with any specific questions.
  3. Review and sign the Position Description form (PDF) with the new employee:
  1. Introduce your new employee to staff members. Again, make it fun.
  2. Review your agency’s Mission/Vision/Values.
  3. Walk new employee through the emergency exits, restrooms, break rooms, where to put their wet umbrellas.
  4. Sit down with them and review what they should expect for the rest of the week. Talk about norms in the office.
  5. Inform them leave and holiday information.
Within First Week
  1. Set up buddy/mentor for employee so they have someone they can seek out in the office.
  2. Set up meeting with management team to meet and learn about your new employee.
  3. Review the expectations you had created, under the Performance Development Plan, with the employee. Get their feedback and input. Make the final revisions and have everyone sign it.
  4. Review agency policies and have the employee sign the Employee Policy Checklist.
  5. Check in them with regarding their benefits. Remind them to reach out to to the benefits specialist with any specific questions.
  6. Have them learn any specific shared drives you have and intranets.
Within First Month
  1. Provide on-the-job training for the new employee.
  2. Hold regular one-on-one meetings for the employee to ask any questions they may have.
  3. Encourage feedback from the new hire on your onboarding process.
  4. Explain long-term goals that your agency is moving towards and how they will be contributing.
  5. Encourage them to socially interact with the team.
  6. Assign additional tasks and projects to them.
  7. Discuss their performance and expectations.
Within 3 Months
  1. Continue regular one-on-one meetings with the new employee.
  2. Encourage job shadowing/training on fellow staff members.
  3. Assign challenging but doable tasks for the employee to grow within the office.
  4. Provide employees with training for required job duties for specific systems if they do not have the training prior to starting the job.
Within 6 Months
  1. Conduct a performance review.
  2. Review assigned mentor/buddy relationship to ensure it is working.
Within First Year
  1. Conduct a performance review.
  2. Celebrate employee's contributions over the past year.
  3. Provide and request feedback to and from the employee.
  4. Discuss employee's continuous learning.
  5. Discuss the year ahead.

If you have any specific questions, please contact your HR Business Partner.