Are We All On Board for Onboarding?

Now that you’ve concluded the search and the job offer has been accepted, you find yourself wondering about next steps. What can you do to acclimate your new employee to the University of Maryland? Fortunately, you have a few weeks to prepare for her/his start date. There are a few key elements that need to be a part of the onboarding experience to design a smooth transition for all involved.

Setting up the Work Area
Anticipate the new hire’s needs by thinking about the office supplies and equipment that he/she may need to do the job. Will the new employee need a computer or ID swipe card access? Assemble a binder of essential information about the university, division, and unit. Provide them with copies of the university’s mission statement, values, student profile, research accomplishments, and any other pertinent material.

Think About Information to Share Before Arrival
In addition to the offer letter, think about what other type of information may be helpful.  Forward links about area attractions and things to do in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Share information about the College Park City-University Partnership Homeownership Program. This program provides $15,000, in forgivable loans, to full-time, benefits-eligible, University and City employees to become homeowners in the City of College Park ultimately reducing commutes, strengthening neighborhoods, and supporting our local economy. Visit for more information.

Communication and What to Bring on the First Day
It may have been a long time since some of us were new employees and we’ve forgotten the nervousness it can bring! Call or email the new employee before their first day to introduce yourself and/or your role. If the new employee is abroad, record a group greeting from the team or schedule a specific time to Skype with them. This will get everyone involved! Email a copy of the itinerary for day/week one. It is also helpful to let a new employee know about the dress code and a list of things to bring on the first day of work. Let him/her know to bring a photo identification and additional information to complete payroll and benefits paperwork. Check the Offer Letter (First Day Checklist) on the UHR website found in the Manager’s Toolkit http:/

Announcing the New Hire’s Arrival to the Department
Take some time to select key information from the new employee’s resume to create a short bio about him or her. This introductory email should go out to the department and feature relevant education, experiences, and unique skills. It will provide helpful information to new colleagues and create opportunities for conversation.

How to Schedule Onboarding
Think about what is essential to the new employee’s role and who can share this information. Include time with your Department’s HR unit, if applicable, and her/his supervisor and colleagues who can share details about the context in which they work. Don’t initially assign scheduling responsibilities to the new employee. Instead, create a schedule that reflects what you value most! Build a training schedule around key pieces of information and individuals. Be sure to balance time spent with individuals and groups – avoid too much group interaction because it could be overwhelming to a new employee. Ultimately, create a schedule that sends a strong message, welcomes the new hire, and allows for onboarding in a mutually beneficial way.

New Employee Orientation (NEO) Registration
This can be an ideal way to ease your team into onboarding their new colleague. Make
arrangements to meet the new employee at a predetermined location and take them to NEO. If the new employee attends NEO on their first day of employment, even better! The UHR Benefits Office will provide a detailed presentation and answer any questions while completing the benefits and retirement paperwork. NEO connects new employees to information, campus resources, and one another. Visit to view future NEO dates.

Last updated: July 26, 2016

Last updated: July 26, 2016