Preparing for the First Day

As you get ready for your new employee's arrival, think about how you can give them a positive first impression of their new workspace. The following information will help you feel prepared and informed about pre-employment administrative requirements.

Review the supervisor checklist for new hires (DOC).

Your Role and Others

Your Role

As the supervisor of your new employee, you're responsible for the following:

  • Preparing their workspace
  • Introducing them to colleagues
  • Informing them of departmental procedures and job expectations
  • Ensuring completion of required training and providing specialized training
  • Administering the evaluation process

The Role of a Department Contact/Mentor

You may find it helpful to choose one of your current staff members to be a department contact/mentor to your new employee. This person can assist you with the above tasks and be a resource to the new employee when you're unavailable. The following tips will help you select and work with a contact/mentor:

  • Choose a contact/mentor who is knowledgeable, eager and patient.
  • Divide tasks and delegate them to the contact/mentor, but don't remove yourself from the process completely.
  • Add the role of contact/mentor to the annual performance evaluation of the employee you choose to assist you.

The Role of Human Resource Services

Human Resource Services will be your partner in helping your new employee adjust to their position at NIU. They are responsible for the following:

  • Facilitating online orientation
  • Providing administrative information
  • Assisting with benefits
  • Obtaining necessary compliance
  • Informing about university processes and policies

Preparation Tasks


  • Review the employee's job description (available in PeopleAdmin).
  • Tell your department about the new employee's background, skills, start date and agenda in an email or at a staff meeting.
  • Create a folder to hold information and materials you want to give to the employee.
  • Gather information from the new employee's predecessor on best practices, records and metrics.
  • Prepare the new employee's workspace and arrange for required keys.
  • Contact Human Resource Services if you have any questions about vacation/sick time or other policies.


Call your new employee and let them know you're excited they're joining your team. Be sure to ask if they have any questions you can answer.

Plan for Day One

Schedule time to meet with your new employee on the afternoon of their first day. Plan to keep your calendar as clear as possible during their first week, so you can be available to answer questions.

Job- and Department-specific Learning Activities

You'll need to ensure that your new employee has access to the information they need to succeed in their job. The online orientation session they complete will provide general information about the university that applies to all employees.

You'll be responsible for providing information specific to your department and the employee’s job. There are several ways your employee can learn this information:

  • Shadowing another staff member in your department
  • Meeting colleagues in other departments with whom they'll work closely
  • Reading manuals and other instructions and procedures
  • Participating in coaching sessions
  • Attending training sessions in person or online
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