Creating a Checklist for Bringing On a New Hire


A financial planner/business owner hiring her or his first employee faces many and varied tasks before, during and after the hire. Done correctly, the business owner can look forward to hiring more people and knowing the business will benefit enormously.

Let’s share our resources to create a checklist. In addition to the items below, the FPA Practice Management website has an HR audit checklist provided courtesy of Securities America.

Assuming the business plan indicates that there is a need for help/support and identifies areas where the planner/business owner needs someone to complete work or offer support, here are some steps to take:

Before the Hire

1)  Establish the essential job functions to be performed by the employee. Complete a job description and decide what training will be provided (by you, online, or self study)

2)  Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.

3)  Consult your state website for any business registration (Department of Labor or Department of Revenue … look for new employer or small business resources).

4)  Decide if you will hire an employee on your own or use a recruitment firm or temporary agency. Working with a recruitment firm or temp agency does involve extra fees, but the benefit of helping you prepare for the transition to being an employer may outweigh cost.

5)  Create interview questions. Even if you use a recruitment firm or temp agency, you need to interview your potential employee. Have an expert review your questions to avoid discrimination or inquiries into protected areas. Questions may include those that inquire about interests and career plans, workplace experiences, skills, and knowledge.

6)  Obtain equipment to be used by the employee (computer, desk, office space, etc.).

7)  Check for proper employment application. (Consult an expert as some states or local authorities have certain requirements. Also, there should be the proper and legal wording in the application.)

8)  Decide on any candidate testing or assessments to be used.

9)  Determine compensation range

10)  Determine benefits. Experts such as group benefits providers can provide information and resources even if your business is not eligible for group benefits. Professional organizations or associations may also offer group benefits to members, and may help you network with your peers to find out what other, similar planning firm offer by way of time off, covering licensing and designation fees and providing continuing education.

11)  Draft a job offer letter template.

12)  Create an employee manual and workplace policies.

After the Hire Is Made

1)  Create employee folders (personnel folder, I-9 folder, medical information, etc. (See online example of sample folder content on the FPA Practice Management Center.)

2)  Present the job description and job duties, and develop a training schedule.

3)  Schedule an employee orientation.

4)  Review your employee manual or workplace policies.

5)  Conduct quarterly performance or progress check-ins and determine what to work on for the next quarter and year. Meet quarterly so as your employee progresses, you can modify the goals. Use these check-ins to talk about job duties and expectations to see if any adjustments need to be made.

6)  Hold regular one-on-one meetings. Talk about how things are going; share with the employee your vision, mission, business goals and business results; ask for employee feedback; deliver praise and constructive criticism.

7)  Co-create processes and systems. Have the employee manage the processes so that the employee holds others accountable for results and provides suggestions on how to make things better.

This is just a beginning. This is also a call to share what you have used or given to new employers to help them be their best and gain the benefits of a good hire. Please share your comments and materials. Thanks.

This overview is for informative purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Consult experts, such as human resource consultant and/or attorney, to be aware of federal, local and state regulations.

Mary DunlapMary Dunlap, CFP®
Mary Dunlap Consulting
Pottstown, Pa.

3 thoughts on “Creating a Checklist for Bringing On a New Hire

  1. Hi Mary, thank you for this guide to new hire check list. Would you have any material on Mentor Programs.

    You can email me at


  2. Hello Nick;

    I’ll email you — Are you interested in being a mentor or being mentored?

    Mary Dunlap

    • Thank you Mary actually I am in the process of building a Mentor program and was wondering if you have material or models to use to design it.

      Thanks Nick

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