Onboarding Dictionary

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“Before your first day” email

A “before your first day” email gets your new hire excited to hit the ground running and sets them up for a successful first day. You’ve already sent a couple of emails to them by now, so introductions have been covered. So, what should one of these include? Our recommendations (and some examples) are below.


Of course, every email starts with a greeting. And your greeting sets the vibe of your email, so we recommend using a friendly and casual tone. Your new hire is already nervous enough for their first day. Ease those jitters by telling them how excited everyone is for them to join the team and reiterate your support.

Remote or in-office Example

Hey [Preferred Name]!

We’re so excited for you to join the team next week! As I mentioned in your welcome email, I’m here to help you get ready for your first day at [Company Name] and go over everything you need to know!|

Time to show up or sign on

When a new hire thinks about their first day, one big factor they’re curious about (but might feel silly asking) is what time they should start. And because there’s been a large movement toward fully remote or hybrid work, there are different ways to approach this.

Remote employees will need to know where to sign in and who they’re supposed to (virtually) meet with. Consider setting up a welcome chat with their manager as a kick-off to their morning - and send the invite to their personal email in advance.

New hires going into an office are going to wonder about things like how to get into the building, who will greet them at the door, and where they can park. There’s nothing worse than showing up to the office and having no idea how to get inside. Make sure to let your new hires know where they can park, how to get in, and that their manager will be there to greet them at the door. 

Remote example

“Your first day will start at [time] on [date]. [New Hire’s Manager] will send you a calendar invite for a welcome chat, where you’ll meet your new team and run through the agenda for your first day.” |

In-office example

“Your first day will start at [time] on [date]. You can park at the [Name] parking structure (before you get your parking pass, parking will be validated!) on [Intersection]. Your name will be at the front desk in the lobby. Just show them your ID, and they’ll sign you in and show you to the elevator.

[New Hire’s Manager] will greet you at the front doors of the office and take you to your desk, where you can drop your things off and then meet your team in the kitchen for a welcome breakfast!” |


Remember the schedule you created way before your new hire’s first day? It’s time to send it out! Getting this to them in advance gives them plenty of prep time and shows them that you, in fact, are expecting them (and do care when they start).

Remote or in-office example

“After your welcome chat, we have an exciting day planned for you! You’ll be in student mode, soaking up a bunch of learnings about your team, our culture, and our mission. Here’s your schedule:

  • Welcome chat/breakfast: 9:00 AM 
  • Get acquainted with tools: 10:00 AM 
  • Chat with manager about team structure/strategy: 11:00 AM 
  • Welcome lunch: 12:00 PM 
  • Company culture overview: 1:00 PM 
  • Benefits/I-9 overview: 2:00 PM Break: 2:30 PM 
  • High-level product and industry overview: 3:00 PM 
  • Break: 4:00 PM 
  • End of day check-in: 4:30 PM” |

Items to bring 

All of your new hires based in the United States need to fill out an I-9 to be eligible to work for your company. During your new hire’s first day, you can help them fill it out and then collect a hard copy of their employment eligibility and identity documents.

However, your new hires might not even know where these documents are or they might be at their parent’s house halfway across the country. Give your new hires some time to track them down by linking to a list of the documents that they’ll need on hand to fill out their I-9. The last thing you want is to put onboarding on pause because of paperwork.

Remote or in-office example

“We have just a bit of paperwork to get done on the first day, so please have an acceptable I-9 document(s) on hand so we can get that all squared away!” |

Dress code

At most workplaces, a dress code might seem like an antiquated thing of the past. But some new hires, especially ones with less professional experience, might worry about the appropriate attire to wear at the office or even on Zoom.

Remote or in-office example

“If you’re wondering what to wear to work, we encourage you to express your own sense of style! From athleisure to business casual, feel free to rock an outfit within that range!” |


Like we’ve mentioned before, new hires are naturally going to feel nervous about starting their new job, so they might have some questions that they might be hesitant to ask. Make sure they know that no question is too small.

You can also use these questions to refine your “before your first day” emails in the future. If you notice the same questions being asked, include the answers in your next set of emails.

Remote or in-office example

“And if you have any questions before then, don’t hesitate to email me about anything. No question is too small.” |

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