Before You Start
We understand that the first days, weeks, and months of employment are filled with excitement, a wealth of information, and many questions. To that end, we’re here to provide you with the help and support needed for success in your new role.
We hope you will return to this onboarding site, and these checklists, as a needed resource if you have additional questions about your benefits, job expectations, or whom to contact if you need more assistance.
- Expect a call from your manager/department head/human resources representative:
- Confirm your start date, time, place, parking, dress code, etc.
- Human Resources will contact your department to schedule a date for you to attend orientation.
- If you work at one of our extended locations, we would very much like for you to attend orientation, but understand that may not be possible. You will receive a copy of the orientation materials at your home address in case you are not able to travel to Blacksburg.
- You’re welcome to take a sneak peek at the information on this site that will be covered during orientation, which includes your benefit options.
The following information will be needed at orientation in order to take care of your paperwork:
- A copy of your social security card.
- A copy of your VISA and supporting documentation, if applicable.
- Dates of birth and social security numbers for dependents you are adding to health insurance OR copy of dependent’s VISAs if they do not have social security numbers.
- Proof of eligibility on all dependents you plan to cover under the health insurance. Dependents cannot be added without these documents.
- A list of documents that provide proof of eligibility can be found here.
- Make sure you notify your new supervisor and ADA and Accessibility Services (540-231-2010 | firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are a person with a disability and need any accommodations.
- Create a PID (personal identifier):
- Make sure it’s something you can live with since PIDs cannot be changed for any reason, not even as the result of a name change due to a marriage or divorce.
- Update disability status:
- Please log into HokieSPA and complete the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form. Once logged in, select Hokie TEAM and then select Update Disability Information.
- Make sure you get paid on time:
- Selective Service Registration Questionnaire (males only).
- Payroll Tax forms.
- Faculty acknowledgement form.
- Staff acknowledgement form.
Relocation/Transition to Virginia Tech
A variety of relocation/transition resources are available to ensure a smooth transition for new employees who may be relocating to Virginia Tech.
Faculty-Staff Planning Calendar
The Faculty-Staff Planning Calendar is produced each August for the coming academic year. An updated PDF version is available at the start of the spring semester each January.
Your First Days
Your First Day
Partner with your manager to identify your initial assignments; the purpose of your work; how it fits into your department or school's overarching mission and goals; and how you can begin making immediate contributions.
Important Policies and Handbooks
- Policy 1025: Anti-Discrimination and Prevention Policy.
- Policy 5616: Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention Policy.
- Policy 1005: Health and Safety Policy.
- Alcohol and Drug Policies and Summary.
- Policy 7000: Acceptable Use and Administration of Computer and Communication Systems.
- Policy 4035: Authorized Closing Policy.
- Policy 4815: Minors on Campus or Participating in University-Related Programs.
- Computing Access and Security Getting Started.
- Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.75: Use of Electronic Communications and Social Media.
- Workers Compensation Information.
- Staff Handbook (Staff only).
- Faculty Handbook (Faculty only).
- Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.60: Standards of Conduct.
- Annual notice on rights and responsibilities of the Virginia Tech community.
- Review hours of work. Ask questions about policies and procedures for overtime, use of vacation and sick time, holidays, and breaks.
- Ask your manager for an overview of the functional area. Ask for its purpose, organizational structure, and goals.
- Review your job description, outline of duties, and expectations. Ask how your job fits in the department, and how your job and department contribute to the department and the university. Discuss expectations for the current evaluation period.
- Set up work area. Locate any materials and supplies necessary to the job. Discuss use of any equipment in detail.
- Visit Parking Services to purchase a parking pass. Review parking location(s) and regulations.
- Sign up for VT Alerts in case of an emergency.
- Get a Hokie Passport.
- Ask your supervisor for a tour of your department/building. Make note of the entrance and exit, break room, rest rooms, coat rack, water fountain, supply storage, and location of incoming and outgoing mail.
Your First Week
As you settle into your new environment, begin to explore Virginia Tech online and by foot. Your comfort level will increase each day as you meet more people, gain familiarity with your new surroundings, and begin your work projects.
- Get to know the Blacksburg, Virginia campus:
- If you work at one of our extended locations, get to know your area:
- Browse the list of available Google Groups and join any of interest to you.
- Sign up for the Virginia Tech News Daily Email.
- Make sure you are aware of your deadlines for health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and other benefits:
- Health Insurance: Within 30 days of first day worked.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (medical and dependent care): Within 30 days of first day of worked.
- Retirement (for faculty): Within 60 days of first day of work.
- Voluntary Retirement (automatic enrollment): Must opt-out of 457(b) within 90 days of first day of employment (excludes VRS Hybrid plan).
- Optional Life Insurance: Within 31 days of first day of work to be issued without a medical exam (<$350,000).
- Legal Resources: Within 60 days of first day of work.
- Request a copy of your job description from your supervisor and talk with him/her about their expectations:
- Make sure you understand how you will be evaluated and who your supervisor is.
- Familiarize yourself with the purpose of your department and where you’re job fits into the department.
- Make sure you are aware of any of the following items that apply to you:
- Safety procedures/equipment (i.e., safety shoes, goggles, gloves, etc.).
- Safety training required as part of your job (i.e., radioactive materials, x-ray producing equipment, etc.).
- Identify any legal restrictions with which you must comply.
- Be familiar with:
- How, when, and to whom to report an accident.
- Who to notify and what to do in case of an emergency (i.e., loss of power).
- The appropriate attire for your job.
- What, if any, food/beverage policies may impact you.
- Any policies regarding food and beverages in the work area.
- Your department’s policy about personal visitors during work hours.
- The university’s smoking policy.
- The university’s non-profit solicitation procedures in the department (solicitation for profit is prohibited).
- How your supervisor expects you to answer the telephone, which telephones and telephone lines may be used for personal calls, and any restrictions on the usage of the phone.
- How your departments handles noise levels, including what restrictions they may have on music.
- How business travel is handled, including how often you may have to travel and how to handle the logistics.
Your First Months
Your First Month
As you continue to develop in your new role, learn about the organization, build relationships, and ensure you’ve met your deadlines for benefits enrollment. Sign up, as needed, for professional training, and explore the community.
Taking Time Off
- Talk with your supervisor about how they would like you to handle requesting time off (verbally or in writing ) and when time off may not be requested (i.e., while school is in session, end of fiscal year, length of leave period allowed).
- Talk with your supervisor about how they would like you to handle calling out sick, including whether you will need a doctor’s excuse to return to work.
- Familiarize yourself with the state holidays and authorized closings.
- Learn how to report your leave each pay period.
- Learn about your department’s policy on flexible work options.
- Taking Classes. Learn about the availability of the Tuition Waiver Program, the department policy on taking classes, i.e., how many class hours allowed, how class time missed from work is made-up and any time periods when classes cannot be taken.
- Training and Professional Development Opportunities.Learn about any required or developmental training programs, seminars, or conferences. Both on and off-site opportunities are available.
Your First Three Months
In your first three months, you should become fully aware of your role and responsibilities, begin to act independently and produce meaningful work. As your acclimation to Virginia Tech’s environment continues, you will embrace your new role at Virginia Tech further and further.
- Make sure you understand that all employees have a 12-month probationary period with evaluations at six and 12 months. Prior to the six-month evaluation, probationary employees are ineligible to apply for other jobs at Virginia Tech except within their home department.
- Within 90 calendar days of your start date, all new employees must complete the mandatory compliance workshop either online or in-person. This workshop covers the university's policy on discrimination and harassment and Virginia Tech's responsibilities related to Title IX and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
Your First Six Months
As you gain momentum in your work and take the lead on some initiatives, this is a great time to assess what you have done well and what you could have done differently in your first six months. As your work moves forward, continue to develop relationships with peers as go-to partners.
- Prepare for your six month performance evaluation. Prior to this evaluation, probationary employees are ineligible to apply for other jobs at Virginia Tech (except within their home department).
Your First Year
At this point in time, you should feel fully engaged in your new role. You’re able to utilize your skills and knowledge, make sound decisions, contribute to team goals, and understand how your assignments affect others in the organization. You’ve developed effective working relationships and have a strong understanding of Virginia Tech’s mission and culture.