Schedule demo
Employee onboarding, HR document management

An Ultimate Guide To Employee Onboarding [With A 22+ Must-have Employee Onboarding Checklist]

Onboarding new talent is a multi-stage operation involving several crucial elements, with paperwork being the most important. Through these, companies gather vital information for both legal and organizational purposes. 

While the requirements may vary depending on the industry and the state, a company must still collect certain information for employee documentation and contractual and compliance purposes. 

However, onboarding documentation can be repetitive and tedious, and with so many moving pieces, HRs may often miss out on essential details. The chances are even higher if you are conducting bulk recruitment. 

To help you avoid such mishaps, we have prepared an exhaustive list of must-have employee onboarding checklist for effective and proper onboarding.

What are employee onboarding documents?

employee onboarding documents

Onboarding documents for new employees involve paperwork that a company initiates for its recent hires to review and sign. The purpose is to allow the new employee to go through the contract and help them understand the terms, obligations, and duties. Employee onboarding documents range from legal paperwork to documents describing the company’s policies, procedures, and the new hire’s responsibilities and benefits. 

The 6C’s of Employee Onboarding:

The 6 C’s of employee onboarding refer to six key elements that are essential for a successful and effective onboarding process for new employees. These elements help create a positive experience for the new hires and increase their chances of becoming productive and engaged members of the organization. The 6 C’s are as follows:


This element focuses on ensuring that new employees complete all necessary paperwork, legal documentation, and regulatory requirements. It includes tasks such as filling out employment contracts, tax forms, benefits enrollment, and any other legal obligations.


Providing clear information about the new employee’s role, responsibilities, and expectations is crucial for a successful onboarding process. It involves discussing job duties, goals, performance expectations, and how their work aligns with the organization’s objectives.


Building a sense of belonging and connection within the organization is vital for new employees. Facilitating introductions and interactions with colleagues, managers, and team members helps the new hire feel welcome and integrated into the team.


Introducing the new employee to the company’s culture, values, and working environment is essential. This includes communicating the organization’s mission, vision, and core values, as well as explaining the norms and practices that shape the company culture.


Building confidence in new employees is crucial for their success. Providing the necessary training, resources, and support allows them to feel competent and capable in their roles, which boosts their overall confidence.

Checkback (also known as Check-ins):

Regularly checking in with new employees during their onboarding period is essential. It helps address any concerns, provides feedback, and ensures that they are adapting well to their new role and environment. These check-ins also allow employers to make any necessary adjustments to improve the onboarding experience.

22+ Employee Onboarding Documents Checklist

Onboarding Document/Form Submission Day
Offer Letter Template Day 1
Employment Contract Template Day 1
Welcome Letter Template Day 1
New Hire Information Form Day 1
Emergency Contact Form Day 1
Tax Withholding Form Day 1
Direct Deposit Authorization Form Day 1
Employee Personal Information Sheet Day 1
Employee Handbook Acknowledgment Form Day 1
Code of Conduct Acknowledgment Form Day 1
IT Equipment Request Form Day 1
IT Access Request Form Day 1
IT Security Policy Acknowledgment Form Day 1
Dress Code Policy Acknowledgment Form Day 1
Benefits Summary Day 2
Benefits Enrollment Form Day 3
Employee Confidentiality Agreement Day 3
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Template Day 3
Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement Day 3
Training and Development Plan Template Day 4
Onboarding Schedule Template Day 5
Job Description Template Day 5
Performance Expectations Template Day 5
Mentorship Program Overview and Application Form Day 6
Company Organizational Chart Day 6
Team Contact List Day 6
Welcome Presentation / Slide Deck Day 7
Workplace Safety Guidelines and Checklist Day 8
Employee Survey or Feedback Form Day 14
Office Tour Guide or Checklist Day 15
Employee Parking Permit Application Day 15
Company Culture Guide Day 15
Performance Review Process Overview Day 30
Health and Wellness Program Information Day 30
Social Events Calendar Day 30
FAQs for New Employees Day 30

Most Important Employee Onboarding Documents Checklist

1. Legal and tax forms 

These include legal paperwork that the state and federal government mandates. Companies must file documents like I-9 and W-4 forms within days of onboarding a new employee. Exceptions to this might lead your company to pay fines and penalties.

2. Role-specific documents 

This category of employee onboarding documents includes forms and paperwork describing policy and procedures, employers’ expectations, SOPs, and job-specific responsibilities. The aim is to ensure that all the concerned parties are on the same page. 

3. Company-specific documents 

These employee onboarding documents equip new employees with the information they need to thrive in their jobs. Some company-specific documents include an employee handbook, company calendar, charts, mission statement, etc. 

4. Pay and benefits forms

Organizations provide employees with pay and benefits forms to share their salary and other perks. Such onboarding documents also contain all the information they need to take advantage of benefits like paid leave, health insurance, 401k details, stock option documents, etc. 

Legal and tax forms 

5. W-4 form 

The W-4 form is a mandatory IRS document that every employee onboarding checklist must have. It lets your employer know how much money to withhold from your paycheck for federal taxes. Accurately completing your W-4 can help prevent a big balance due at tax time.

A W-4 form is a employee government-required onboarding document. Hence, companies must store these carefully. The IRS may request these for review, so you should keep copies on file for at least four years. Different states have different W-4 requirements. Some states use specific versions of this form others use publicly available federal documents. Before sending the form to your new hire, check the tax laws in your state.

6. Employment I-9 form

Companies mandate I-9 forms for employees to verify their identity and employment authorization in the United States. Employees must provide proof of employment eligibility with documentation, like a special security card or a passport. The form also has a section that requires input from both the employer and the new team member. Employees must fill out the I-9 form within the first three days of onboarding. Failure to do so may cause a penalty.

7. State withholding certificate

Some states require withholding forms like the W-4 solely for state taxes. If your state requires an income tax, apart from IRS taxes, this form will also determine how much you can withhold from your new employees’ paychecks for state taxes.

8. Drug-testing records

In the onboarding phase, companies usually prefer to check whether any of their employees are involved in substance abuse. Only some companies require drug testing. 

However, your onboarding document package may include a copy of the drug testing policy, depending on the state, its laws, and the company policies. In that case, new employees must submit records of test results per any governmental or industry compliance regulations.


9. Employment offer letter

The offer letter is the first vital employee onboarding document to kickstart the new hire’s journey. It gives recruits an overview of their starting day, responsibilities, salary, assigned team, and other requirements they need to pass. 

To officially accept a job role terms and responsibilities, the individual must sign a copy of the offer letter. Once that is done, the company stores it in the employee file for reference in case of any issues in the future.

10. Employment contract form

An employment contract is a critical employee onboarding form that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of an employer and an employee within a job role. Typically signed after the initial employment agreement, this document ensures a mutual understanding of important points related to the position. 

The employment contract form contains the details of the job position and responsibilities, salary and benefits, and employment duration. Some companies also include non-compete and non-disclosure agreements to protect the internal system, processes, and intellectual property. 

11. Job expectations, responsibilities, and goals

While the employment contract gives new hires a comprehensive overview, some details might be missing. To give the new hire this additional information, companies should also provide a written document detailing their job expectations and responsibilities as part of their onboarding package. 

Such onboarding documents intend to convey day-to-day work in simple terms. It also includes goal-setting worksheets, the 30-60-90 day onboarding plan, and their professional development goals.

12. Process & procedure manuals

Another staff onboarding checklist must have that makes new hires’ initial days comprehensive and easy is the process and procedure manual. Here, companies convey their way of conducting operations and what procedures to follow for dealing with any potential issue. 

These onboarding documents detail specific instructions for tasks that an employee has to complete. Once employees complete their initial training at the onboarding phase, they can use the process and procedure manual as a reference later on. 


13. Employee handbook

An employee handbook is a company-wide text resource containing all the valuable information an employee needs to excel at the organization. From the company’s mission statement to the mandated dress code and behavioral policies, this new employee onboarding checklist must-have acts as a detailed guide for new hires to navigate their job role.

14. Organizational chart

You must clarify the company’s structure to your employees during the onboarding phase. An organizational chart is a diagram visually representing a company’s internal structure, roles, responsibilities, and relationships. It answers questions like who reports to whom, who the team leaders are, and contacts to reach out to with different issues. If you have a big company, create an organizational chart depicting only the leadership and managerial positions to keep it brief. 

15. Risk management policy

Companies should structure a risk management policy as an important part of the employee onboarding checklist to minimize damages. It details the company policies in specific risk situations like lawsuits, accidents at the workplace, environmental disasters, etc. It should also describe the company’s methods to identify potential risks so that the process remains transparent. 

16. Brand guidelines

Companies should provide a brand guideline document as a part of the new employee onboarding checklist. It gives them a fair idea of representing your brand correctly and ensuring the company’s image stays consistent across different platforms. Keep your brand image in mind and include voice, colors, logos, and fonts guidelines. Make sure it correctly matches your brand voice. 

17. Emergency contact form

A crucial part of the new employee onboarding checklist to ensure safety, employers must get their new employees to fill out emergency contact forms. It should contain the family member’s name, phone number, email, and relationship with your employee. Each form goes to the specific employee files for liability.

18. Non-compete agreement contract

Companies with non-compete or non-disclosure policies must inform their new employees about them as part of the employee onboarding checklist. Employers should always provide a signed acknowledgment of the contract after hiring each employee. Non-compete contracts are usually specific to each business and can prove vital in guarding against issues like intellectual property disputes or employee poaching from competitors.

19. Employee consent document

If company practices require explicit employee consent, include a form regarding this in the employee onboarding package. Many companies are now using employee data to gain valuable insight into the business. By filling out and signing this form, an employee voluntarily acknowledges and consents to the collection, use, processing, and transfer of personal data. 

20. Company calendar

The onboarding phase is about helping employees settle into their new workplace. A company calendar as as  a part of employee onboarding checklist will assist your new hires in understanding the day-to-day happenings of your company. 

Give the new team members access to company schedules and holiday calendars. If you work in a hybrid model, ensure the calendar clearly describes when they need to work from the office and when they can work remotely. The calendar should also detail schedules of one-on-one or company-wide meetings, periodic employee reviews, meet and greets, etc. It also makes it easier for the new employee to keep track of office celebrations. 

Pay and benefits

21. Direct deposit form

Another essential part of employee onboarding checklist, the direct deposit form, is what employees fill out so that their employer can deposit money straight into their bank account. This way, companies can eliminate writing and distributing paper checks. If your company uses direct deposit to pay the workforce, make sure the employee fills the form out with the correct bank account information before you process payroll.

22. FMLA records

Family and Medical Act Leave (FMLA) mandates employers to grant leaves when the employee faces a severe health condition or an important family matter. The act requires employers to maintain records related to their obligations for at least three years. They must also make these onboarding documents available to the Department of Labor whenever requested. If the FMLA covers your company, the employee onboarding document checklist should include signable notices informing them of the terms of FMLA leave.

23. Health insurance plan documents

Thanks to the growing awareness, more companies are offering their employees health insurance plans. In such cases, you must share proper documentation detailing the insurance plan and the election options for them to review as part of their onboarding package. This way, your new hires can ask about any queries or sort out any confusion early on.

24. 401k, pension, and retirement documents

Your employees also need to be informed about their retirement benefits. For an easy process, employers should include information and accompanying paperwork related to the 401k, pension, or other retirement benefits packages.

25. Time-off policy

Your employee onboarding checklist must include information describing the time-off policy. This way, new hires also know about designated leaves from the start. The policy document should indicate how many off days are allowed, how to request days off, the rules for unlimited PTO policy, etc. To ensure understanding and cooperation throughout your new employee’s lifecycle, consider adding a detailed review of the time-off policy by describing the enforcement procedure.

26. Benefits overview document

Every company offers different benefits depending on the industry and the job role. While offer letters and contracts give employees an idea, a breakdown of these perks makes the process more comprehensive for a new hire. Hence, you must detail the offered benefits in a separate overview document for employees when they start with the company. 

Such documents must include every detail of the advantage and information on how to leverage one when necessary. Ask them to go through them thoroughly and sign them.

Automating document management is the best way to store onboarding documents

Sharing, collecting, and processing all the above onboarding documents are not just repetitive but also an overwhelming task for any HR professional. It creates frustration and, when done manually, is prone to human errors. Not only that, effectively storing and managing all these documents can also be challenging. It can prove detrimental to the company’s progress since even the slightest error can cause grave compliance issues. 

The best way to avoid that is to eliminate manual documentation and leverage onboarding tools. Leena AI offers an AI-driven employee onboarding solution that you can seamlessly integrate with our or any third-party document management solution to manage all the onboarding documents of your employees.

Leena AI’s AI-driven document management software helps HRs edit, store, and update all employee documents on a centralized platform while constantly auditing them to abide by compliance laws.

HRs can give employees role-based access to let employees update their documents without seeking assistance from them. This approach promotes self-service and helps HRs focus on more strategic onboarding tasks.

If you also want to transform your employee onboarding and document management process, experience how the Leena AI can work for your enterprise.

Visit Leena AI Today

Frequently asked questions

What onboarding documents are required for new employees?

Ensuring a seamless transition for new hires requires crucial onboarding documents. These include the appointment letter, confidentiality agreement, compliance forms (such as tax and work eligibility documents), salary account opening letter, welcome guidance email, and an HR processes email. These documents set the foundation for a successful and compliant working relationship, providing employees with vital information about their role, responsibilities, company culture, and HR procedures. By utilizing these comprehensive onboarding documents, organizations can foster a positive and productive work environment while facilitating a smooth integration of new employees into the workforce.

What are the documents for employees? 

Throughout an employee’s tenure, organizations need to maintain various records and documents to ensure compliance and support employee development. These encompass basic information, hiring documents, employment agreements, performance and development records, payroll and compensation information, termination and post-employment data, employee benefits details, and incident and disciplinary records. By diligently managing these employee documents, businesses can make informed decisions, promote transparency and trust within the workplace, and create an environment that nurtures growth and productivity for their workforce.

What should new employee onboarding include?

New employee onboarding should include essential components like orientation to the company culture, values, and policies; completion of necessary paperwork and training for compliance; clear communication of job roles, expectations, and performance standards; introductions to colleagues and team members; access to IT systems and equipment; and ongoing support through check-ins and mentorship. Effective onboarding ensures a smooth transition, fosters engagement, and helps new employees feel welcome and equipped to succeed in their new roles.


Leave a Reply

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound
Schedule demo