10 Must Have Employee Onboarding Documents for New Hires in 2024

June 19, 2024
Skills Caravan
Learning Experience Platform
June 19, 2024
, updated  
June 19, 2024

10 Must Have Employee Onboarding Documents for New Hires in 2024

A Human Capital Institute survey states that 20% of employee turnover occurs within 45 days. This graph implies that the process of integrating new hires into the team is essential to keeping talent that has just been hired because the first impressions count. And the caliber of your employee onboarding documents has a big impact on how well you prepare the path for contented and productive workers.

 According to research, companies with effective onboarding procedures see an increase in productivity of more than 70% and an 82% improvement in new hire retention within the first year of operation.

In this article you will get to know precisely which papers and new hire paperwork you need to gather, and by when, in order to make a good first impression and obtain all the information you need to stay compliant. We've put together a selection of the most popular employee onboarding documents for new hires that are a must have to help you present your organization in the best possible light while safeguarding your business.

What are Onboarding Documents?

An essential component of a new employee's initial days are the onboarding documents. They help your business and the new hire communicate expectations, comprehend legal requirements, and exchange crucial administrative information. They include internal policy acknowledgment, payroll documents, compliance forms, and more.

Above all, these documents provide a tangible depiction of your collaboration with your employee. Of course, the details of these forms will change depending on whether the person fills them out on a contract or full-time basis, but the data gathered guarantees that the person is prepared to work hard, get paid on time, and succeed at your business.

In order for HR to collect the required employee data and signed contracts, onboarding documents are a crucial component of the onboarding process. They are also there to assist the new recruit in understanding the policies and culture of your organization, their primary tasks, and the necessary background information to succeed in their new position.

Legal documents like your employment contract, corporate policies, handbooks, and code of conduct are often included in employee onboarding documents. Role-specific information like job descriptions, manager and team contacts, and more are also included.

10 Must have Onboarding Documents for new hires

Onboarding Documents

#1. Job Offer Letter

A formal agreement detailing a person's job terms with your organization is called an employee offer letter. It contains details such as the new worker's:

  • Job description Job title
  • Pay (wages, commissions, bonuses, etc.)
  • Commencement date
  • Location: in-office, hybrid, or remote

To demonstrate that the terms stated in the paper are accepted by both your company and the candidate, you should obtain a co-signed letter. 

#2. Contract of Employment or Contractor

An employment contract, also known as a contractor agreement for independent contractors, is a legally enforceable document as opposed to a letter of offer for employment. It usually includes all of the details mentioned above in the employment offer letter, plus a little more information about:

  • Work details
  • Duration of employment (if relevant)
  • Restitution
  • Employee obligations
  • Advantages
  • Termination conditions
  • Secrecy or noncompete agreements

This contract can assist in safeguarding your business in the event that disciplinary actions or legal challenges occur by ensuring that you and your new hire are in agreement from the beginning of their employment. 

#3. Non-Compete Agreement

A non-compete agreement protects your firm's creative ideas and intellectual property by preventing an employee from working for a competitor company or launching a business that is comparable for a predetermined period of time after they depart. These agreements often last between six months and two years. It should be noted that non-compete agreements are currently illegal in five states, so before asking an employee to sign one, make sure you've done your homework and confirmed that their state permits them.

#4. At-Will Contract

An at-will employment contract recognizes that either your company or the employee may end the relationship without prior warning and for any reason at any time. The purpose of this new hire agreement is to provide your company and the employee with the freedom to modify or terminate the employment contract as necessary.

Please be aware that at-will employment arrangements are subject to a few legal exclusions. Employers are not permitted to fire workers in a way that goes against implied contracts, public policy, acts in bad faith, or discriminates against the worker. 

#5. Non-Disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement, sometimes known as an NDA, is a formal contract that two parties sign promising to keep certain information private. It's especially helpful if a new hire will have access to trade secrets, client lists, private data, and business plans because it guarantees the employee won't be able to disclose such information to outside parties while they work for your firm or later. 

#6. Brochure of Benefits

A benefits pamphlet outlining all the programs, incentives, and healthcare options your company provides employees with, as well as the enrollment process, should also be included.

Information on your company's perks should be included in your brochure.

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance options
  • Policies for paid time off (PTO) and leaves
  • Retirement Scheme
  • Options for stocks

Benefits (such as child care reimbursement, professional development stipend, student debt repayment, employee wellness, employee support programs, and more)

#7. Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks serve as guides, educating employees on company policies and procedures and maximizing their time spent on the job. It often contains details on your firm's mission, fundamental values, code of conduct, policies, and processes, as well as company culture. More tactical day-to-day information, such as your dress code, organizational chart, and access to and usage of your company's HR systems, may also be included.

A handbook for employees is essentially a compilation of the company's core values. Everything newcomers need to know is covered, from how much vacation time they get to what to wear. They can consult it whenever they need to know their rights and obligations, which makes it very convenient to have about.

#8.  Code of conduct policy

A well-crafted code of conduct policy sets down the standards and limitations for appropriate workplace conduct. It establishes what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate, fostering an atmosphere that is inclusive and courteous.

The policy ought to address workplace violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, secrecy, and responsible use of corporate property. Establishing a transparent framework encourages employees to report wrongdoing and is a crucial instrument for maintaining an accountable culture.

#9. Process of Performance Reviews

New employees must understand the expectations placed on them as well as the evaluation criteria for their work. You may help them realize what it takes to thrive and contribute significantly to your business by establishing clear expectations and goals. And they can create their own goals and objectives once they know what to aim for.

#10. Welcome Packet

Last but not least, a hearty welcome to your newest members of the company family. Assemble a resource packet that will provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the onboarding process and the culture of your organization. Personalized items like gift cards, pens, notebooks, and mugs may also be included in the package.

What is the importance of Onboarding Documents?

While paperwork may lack excitement in the hiring process, the data collected on day one plays a crucial role in establishing a positive employee-employer relationship. Onboarding documents not only ensure compliance but also educate employees about company culture, policies, and operations.

Here's why onboarding documents hold significant importance:

  • Streamline Data Collection: Prompt completion of paperwork allows new hires to focus on acclimating to their roles while providing HR with necessary information for payroll, benefits, and system access setup.
  • Set Expectations: Clear descriptions of titles, responsibilities, benefits, and compensation help new employees understand their role, minimizing confusion in the future.
  • Mitigate Risk: Signed legal documents ensure understanding of company procedures and policies, safeguarding against potential issues.
  • Ensure Compliance: Documentation verifies authorization to work in the US and ensures correct tax withholdings, maintaining legal compliance.
  • Navigate the Workplace: Onboarding documents offer a comprehensive overview of roles and company operations, aiding employees in understanding their position and contributing effectively.

How to Write Your Own Onboarding Documents?

Your onboarding materials serve as the initial impression for new hires entering your company. It's imperative to establish a well-structured onboarding paperwork system. This facilitates comprehension of expectations, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation from day one. Essentially, it initiates a productive employee lifecycle leading up to their eventual offboarding.

In crafting onboarding documents and designing the paperwork process, adhere to several best practices:

  • Incorporate interactive tasks requiring signatures, readings, and actions to engage new employees effectively.
  • Include documentation elucidating company culture and norms.
  • Provide team-specific resources tailored to the new hire's needs.
  • Assist in acclimatization by furnishing a glossary of company terms and a comprehensive guide to key personnel.
  • Mitigate the stress of onboarding by pairing new hires with experienced colleagues who can offer guidance.
  • Consider utilizing a document management system like Factorial HR to streamline the entire onboarding procedure, saving resources and enhancing efficiency.
  • Utilize an onboarding document checklist to ensure all essential materials are included in the new hire's welcome kit.


Employee onboarding documents serve as the foundational framework for a successful integration process for new hires, ensuring a smooth transition into the organization while laying the groundwork for a positive employee-employer relationship. These documents play a multifaceted role, streamlining data collection, setting clear expectations, mitigating risks, ensuring compliance, and facilitating navigation of the workplace environment. By prioritizing the development of comprehensive onboarding materials, companies not only enhance operational efficiency but also foster a sense of belonging and empowerment among new employees from day one. Adhering to best practices in crafting onboarding documents and utilizing efficient document management systems can significantly contribute to the effectiveness of the onboarding process, ultimately leading to increased productivity and retention rates.

Learn More!

Although you might worry that you won't remember them, these documents are unquestionably necessary for a seamless onboarding procedure. Fortunately, Skills Caravan has employee onboarding software which offers a solution to that. All of your important documents are readily arranged and accessible to you and your staff with only a button click. It's simple for both of you to evaluate an offer letter or change emergency contact information. In order to free up more time for other crucial responsibilities, the program can even assist you in automating processes like completing tax forms. In addition, the system notifies and reminds you, ensuring that you never again overlook a deadline for a crucial paper.

Onboarding Documents FAQs

A: Onboarding documents are essential paperwork that facilitate communication of expectations, legal compliance, and administrative information between employers and new hires.

A: Without comprehensive onboarding documents, companies risk confusion among new hires regarding their roles, responsibilities, and company policies. This confusion can lead to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and potential legal issues due to non-compliance.

A: Essential onboarding documents include job offer letters, employment contracts, non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, benefits brochures, employee handbooks, code of conduct policies, performance review processes, and welcome packets.

A: Interactive onboarding documents engage new hires effectively by requiring signatures, readings, and actions. This not only ensures that new hires understand and acknowledge important information but also enhances their overall onboarding experience.

A: Companies can ensure compliance with legal requirements by including documentation verifying authorization to work, correct tax withholdings, and adherence to labour laws.

A: Onboarding documents should elucidate company culture and norms to help new hires assimilate into the organizational culture smoothly. Including information on company values, mission, and expectations fosters a sense of belonging and empowers new employees from day one.

A: Companies can streamline the onboarding process by utilizing document management systems that centralize and automate document workflows. These systems save resources, enhance efficiency, and ensure all essential materials are included in new hires' welcome kits.

A: Pairing new hires with experienced colleagues provides guidance and support, accelerating their acclimatization to the company culture and workflows. This fosters mentorship relationships, enhances teamwork, and reduces the stress associated with the onboarding process.

A: Companies can ensure the effectiveness of onboarding documents by adhering to best practices, such as incorporating interactive tasks, providing team-specific resources, and utilizing efficient document management systems.

A: Employee onboarding software, such as Skills Caravan, offers a solution to managing onboarding documents effectively by centralizing and organizing all important documents.