New Hire Scavenger Hunt: A Fun Way to Engage New Hires

categories: HR Tips

HR Services

Download New Hire Scavenger Hunt here!

You spend so much time trying to find that right person. You phone screen, you interview, you interview again, you background check, you call the references, and you finally make the offer.

The stars align and she accepts! You have the right woman for the job.

She shows up the first day and reality sets in.

You don’t have all of her logins ready, you don’t have her business cards, she doesn’t know who to report to. She is not impressed.

US Women Olympian Not Happy

Employees will decide within 10 days if they intend to stay with the organization or begin looking for a different job

If you are like most companies, the new hire process is memorable, but not for the right reasons. I remember showing up to the first day of work with no laptop ordered, no desk ready, and a stack of paperwork waiting for me. It was a blast.

What do you do to align the onboarding process with the goals you have for your new team member? Does the whole process drive your new teammate closer to you, your goals, and the mission?

Companies that use onboarding gamification have 36% higher employee retention than those that don’t.

What the hell does that mean, Matt?

It means making lame stuff into a game. I have a two year old and a four year old. I spend countless hours trying to make lame stuff into games. So, put on your Dad hat and let’s make this thing happen!

Goals of the New Hire Scavenger Hunt

This is the most important part:

Have goals. I repeat. Have goals.

Everything else is the fun part, but this is very serious. There are three main areas that you need to focus on when creating your Scavenger Hunt:

  • Training
  • Assimilation
  • Documents/tasks


brain image holding weight



You can incorporate your normal employee training program into this section. You need to find things that are hidden inside those trainings and bring them out to be a part of the Hunt. What systems does the new hire need to learn? What tasks will help them learn those systems?



  • Task Name: Demo Day
  • Task: Do a demo of the CRM system for a fellow member of the team. Attempt to teach them how to use it as if they were a new hire. Do the demo in a British accent.


  • Task Name: Creation
  • Task: Create a new account with five dummy contacts in the customer service system. Put a note in two contacts, and add a phone call to two different contacts. Name the contacts after characters from your favorite TV show.


Socializing meme

This is the easiest part of the new hire scavenger hunt, but can often be the most difficult part of the onboarding process. Create tasks that will force your new team member to learn about people they might not otherwise interact with in a way that is fun and unique.

You should also use this as an opportunity for the new hire to share things with teammates they might not otherwise do.


  • Task Name: Long in the Tooth
  • Task: Who is the longest tenured member of the team? Find out who and ask them what has changed since they started with the company. Email three things that have changed to your manager.


  • Task Name: Pet Friendly
  • Task: Find three team members that own a pet. Report the name of the team member, and their animal to your manager.


Cartoon of male with new job email


This is the part of onboarding that is almost never fun. If you can make an I9 and a W4 fun, you have a gift. By making these required documents and tasks part of the larger game, the fun rubs off on them.



  • Task Name: Complete I9
  • Task: Complete your I9 and present your identifications to your supervisor. Tell your supervisor a story about the day you had the ID photo taken.
  • Task Name: Employee Handbook Review
  • Task: Read the employee handbook and sign the forms stating you have done so. Find three sections in the handbook that you think are important and tell a team member why.

What have we learned here?

Adding games to the new hire onboarding process will make it fun. Not just fun for the new hire, but fun for you. Think about how much more entertaining it will be to get someone’s ID’s with their I9 when you get to hear their story about the day they went to the DMV and waited for three hours to get the photo taken while some guy next to them slept on their shoulder.

Ask yourself:

How do I want our employees to feel about our company when they begin their career here?

Do you want to be a fun place to work that is different? Do you want them to know you are focused on excellence? Or do you want to be the unprepared group of bores that most companies are?

You have the tools to make this critical moment in the employee lifecycle fun, engaging, and retain the recruits you worked so hard to get on your team.
Scavenger Hunt for new hires video

Want a free sample Scavenger Hunt to use with your team? Click here or check out our Free Resources page where you can download a copy of the Scavenger Hunt Template and other HR Documents.

Want some help updating your employee onboarding programs? You can get tons of resources like this, unlimited access to our HR Pros, unlimited custom HR documents, and much more in our HR on Demand service. Learn more here.

Join the conversation and let me know what tasks you have added to your New Hire Scavenger Hunt.


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!