7 Essential HR Checklists for Small Business

Why we love checklists – Human memory is fallible.

When things change, or we’re stressed, we forget the basics. Now I’m a pretty process-driven person and I hate it when I forget something.

I find checklists give me structure and when things get busy I can just go back to the checklist and know that I won’t miss anything important.

Here are the top 7 checklists I use in HR:

Recruitment Checklist

Before you hire, you need to know the rules. But you also need to know exactly who you need and how you’re going to get them.

Taking the time to sit down when you’ve identified a vacancy and nut out the requirements of the role, how you will advertise and how much salary you’re prepared to offer will ensure you don’t get to the end of the process and wonder why you haven’t got a star in the shortlist.

Recruitment Checklist
Personnel File Checklist

Personnel File Checklist

This will highlight exactly what needs to go into an employee’s personnel file at the commencement of their employment.

It’ll be either a physical or electronic file and will be your ‘go to’ file for all information about someone’s employment, their pay and emergency contact details.

Induction Checklist

This checklist looks at the basics of getting someone on board. First Impressions Count. It’s something you’re going to want to get right. It will often include:

  • IT access/Workspace/phone set up etc
  • Business Cards
  • Meet and greet around the office
  • Lunch with Manager
  • Tour of the company and highlight exit routes etc.
Induction Checklist
Ergonomic Checklist

Ergonomic Checklist

We spend more and more time at our computers these days.

You should always consider ergonomics before making any adjustments to the work area and it’s best to go through such a checklist each time you onboard a new employee. Time taken at the commencement of employment to Set Things Up Properly will go a long way to alleviating any issues going forward.

Parental Leave Checklist

Employees with more than 12 months of continuous service, including casual employees who have worked systematically, are entitled to unpaid parental leave.

This could see them being absent from the business for up to 2 years. Parental leave is an exciting time for the new mum or dad and you want to make sure you get this ‘exit’ process correct.

Parental Leave Checklist

Ensure you tick all the boxes and allow for a smooth transition to the new incumbent with a checklist. There are some great checklists on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site.

Return to Work Checklist

Return to Work Checklist

Any employee injury is stressful enough to both the person and the organisation and you want to make sure you get this process right. Bringing an employee back into the organisation after a workplace injury can often be tricky. In larger businesses there is a dedicated and trained Return to Work Coordinator on hand to assist, in smaller businesses you don’t want to leave it to chance.

Termination/Exit Checklist

Termination_Exit Checklist

Inevitably you will have staff that move on. Make sure you don’t have to call them the following week to ask where the keys to their filing cabinet are by having an Exit Checklist already drawn up. This will include:

  • Final pay instructions
  • Computer access information
  • Return of company property
  • Handing over
  • Forwarding address


These are the top 7 checklists I use in HR, some more than others, some almost every day!

Once you’ve got your process sorted out, it makes things easier in the long run and ensures consistency each time.

Need to know you’re compliant? Our HR Policy Packages are best practice!

7 Essential HR Checklists for Small Business

7 Essential HR Checklists for Small Business

As always, should you need some help, please get in touch.