Don’t Leave Late Hires in the Dark!

Dana GoodierBlog, Connect Better, Lead Better


  • New hires join a school’s team at various times throughout the year. Make sure they feel welcome.
  • Make them feel included by giving them access to knowledge. Include them on email lists and catch them up on important information.
  • Welcome them with a goodie bag filled with school swag.
  • Connect them to various committees right away.

How to Make a Late Hire Feel Welcome

Many individuals get hired a few months into the school year, joining the staff at non-typical times during the year. You may also have staff burn out, take early retirement, or just need a long-term sub. All these reasons require a new person to fill their position.

Most of the time, a late hire will start on a Monday. As a building leader, you may get word of them being approved a few days prior to them starting. It is essential that you make sure things are in place to have your new staff member feel welcome.

It is essential that you make sure things are in place to have your new staff member feel welcome. Click To Tweet

First Day Must Haves

These essentials include making sure they have a clean classroom or office, free of clutter. Make sure someone walks them through the essentials of what they need to know about your building on their first day. This includes a key to their office/classroom, a map of the school, a key fob to the building, and access to the drive that houses important documents. Also, make it a point to introduce them to as many staff members as possible when they start.

Part of Your Staff

Within the first couple of days, ensure your new hire has been added to the staff email list and has a presence on your school’s website. Don’t forget to introduce them to other staff members. A surefire way to have a new hire feel unwelcome is forgetting to introduce them to staff or leaving them out of important staff messages by forgetting to have them added to the email list. As mentioned, this doesn’t have to fall to the building administrator. But make sure the designee is taking care of all these onboarding tasks.

Goodie Bag and School Swag

If your school has any type of swag, ensure that you ask your new hire for their t-shirt size and that they get at least 1 clothing item plus anything else that would count as swag (pencils, sticky note pads, coffee mugs, lanyard, cap, etc.) in a “swag bag” the day they join your staff. These bags could be prepared ahead of time for all new staff who start during the year, just add t-shirts as you find out their size.


Any information you can provide regarding school culture to your late hire is extremely helpful. Interventions such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Behavior Flow Charts for student discipline issues, Equity Policy, and the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) process are necessary for your new hire to be aware of how it works at your school. If there are PBIS tickets to be handed out to students, make sure they get a stack of those.

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Connect Them with Committees and Lunch Joints

Your new hire may want to be involved in staff committees so make sure they know when those meetings take place and who they can contact about participating. Getting them familiar with the student information system, how to take attendance, enter grades and find parental contact info is a need-to-know in the first days. It’s also a good idea to provide your new hire with lunch information such as nearby fast food, coffee shops, or other lunch/after-work hangouts your staff like to frequent. If they’re new to the area this can be especially helpful.

Retention of New Hires

I have tried to be thorough on how a late hire should be welcomed in their first days. Some of these come from experience. A few times in my career, I was a late hire or a long-term sub. Everyone is busy; however, if you leave these late hires in the dark, they won’t want to stay and will not enjoy their experience at your school. They will “make do” and seek out information themselves but will probably compare a negative onboarding to a positive one at other schools they’ve worked at.

You want to retain your staff. Appreciate them and have them feel part of the team from day one no matter how large your staff is!

If you have some ideas to help new staff feel welcome that I haven’t mentioned, tweet me @danagooder and use the #newhires #latehires #TBBlogger

About Dana Goodier

Dr. Dana Goodier has 20 years of experience in education. She has taught World Languages and English and worked as a middle school administrator. She completed her doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership early 2020. For her dissertation, she researched reasons parents were opting their students out of high-stakes testing at middle schools and how that affected the district accreditation rating. She often speaks at conferences, providing educators with techniques to minimize off-task behavior and to increase time on task. She is the host of the “Out of the Trenches” podcast, which features educators who share their stories of resiliency. Follow her on Twitter @danagoodier and visit her website at: