The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

New Hire Checklist: Day One Details

Posted On
Stephanie Davis

Congratulations! You have just hired a new employee to join your small business.

A notebook that says new hire checklist.

Bringing on new employees is exciting, but can also be a little stressful and overwhelming for both you and your new employee. We’ve prepared a little checklist to make your employee’s first day easier and address the various payroll tasks you’ll need to be prepared for.

New Hire Paperwork

 A new hire always comes with paperwork that you will be responsible for keeping and using to set up payroll. The two forms your new employee must have filled out are:

  • Form W-4. This form requires employees to select their federal income tax withholding status. As a small business owner, you need this form for payroll purposes to ensure that you, or whoever manages your payroll, withhold the proper amount from your employee’s paycheck each pay period.
  • Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9 will show that your employee is eligible to work in the United States. They will need to provide proof of their eligibility such as a passport, or a combination of a Social Security card and drivers license.

Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to have your employee sign a state tax withholding form. Your state government website will be able to provide this information.

Other forms to consider include:

  • Direct deposit for payroll,
  • An emergency contact form,
  • Non-compete or non-disclosure,
  • Acknowledgment of an employee handbook.

Have Technology Ready

In today’s digital age, there is a good chance that your new employee is going to be using technology in some way at your business. There is nothing more frustrating than technology isn’t ready to go on a new employee’s first day. These items will vary by business type and role, but some common technology items to have ready are:

  • A computer and accessories to go with it (keyboard, mouse, etc.),
  • A phone,
  • Access to a printer,
  • Access to company email and internal messaging (ex: Slack),
  • Productivity tools (ex: Trello, ToDoist, Asana),
  • Analytics (Tableau, Google Analytics),
  • Access to POS software.

Planning ahead of time will make the first day go smoother and will give your new employee the chance to dive right into training or work. Plus, if everything is done beforehand and you need to troubleshoot anything, it will be helpful to have as much done before, so you aren’t scrambling to set up and troubleshoot at the same time.

Have Benefit Information Ready

If you provide any employee benefits such as a 401(k), health insurance, or tuition reimbursement, you will want to spend some time discussing these benefits with your new employee. If there are any forms related to benefits that your employee will need to fill out, have these ready so they will have everything they need as they are making decisions on any of the benefits to accept.

Update Your Payroll

Whether you DIY payroll, hire an accountant or bookkeeper or use an online payroll service, you’ll need to make changes to your payroll because of this new employee. Either import their information yourself or send over their forms and information to the person who manages payroll for you. Your new employee wants to get paid for the work that they do, so be on top of this to ensure that they seamlessly fall into your payroll schedule.

Bottom Line

While there will always be some learning curve with you and your new employee, having a strong day one checklist and overall employee onboarding process will make the process smoother for both of you. Eventually, as you get more comfortable with hiring, you may find new things to add or remove from the checklist to make the process your own.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.