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New Hire Onboarding Guide | Phase 3: Start Your New Job

Forest Service employees work together
Values Based. Purpose Driven. Relationship Focused.

Welcome to the Forest Service, and your two weeks on the job. You are now part of the important mission of the Forest Service.


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You’ve completed all the requirements and are ready to start contributing to the important mission of the Forest Service!  

  1. Your First Day: Your supervisor or onboarding specialist will guide you through your first day onboarding activities. Among other things, you will need to:
    • Complete the Federal Oath of Office and Appointment Affidavit (SF 61).

    • Update and sign the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment. 

    • Verify your US citizenship documents (Form I-9). 

    • Review your position description (PD). Your supervisor can provide a copy of your PD and explain the duties assigned in your new job. 

    • Ensure you have registered or recovered your eAuthentication account, and you are able to log in to eAuthentication-required applications such as AgLearn and PayCheck8.

    • If you are a new, first-time Forest Service employee, you will receive an email to register your eAuthentication account. The subject line states, “eAuthentication: Action Required – Internal User Account Registration.” The email comes from DoNotReply.ICAM@ocio.usda.gov. If you don't find it, please search your spam and junk folders.

    • If you were previously employed by the Forest Service or another USDA agency, you will need to recover your account by selecting Manage Account > Forgot Password on the eAuthentication website. If you need further assistance, visit HRM's eAuthentication Information webpage or call the Human Resources Help Desk at 877-372-7248, Option 2. 

  2. Your First Two Weeks: Your supervisor will show you around the office and introduce you to your colleagues, either virtually or in person, and familiarize you with local office procedures. The following are actions you can expect to complete during the first two weeks on the job.
    • We recognize the importance of having a computer for you upon, or very soon after, your arrival. Once you receive your computer, call the Computer Help Desk at 866-945-1354 to get assistance with set-up and request a 30-day "LincPass exception" so you will be able to use your computer until you get your Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card, which we refer to as a LincPass. See below for more on this.
    • LincPass: All permanent employees working for the Forest Service must be issued a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card, known as a LincPass. Some temporary employees are issued an AltLinc if need for the position. A human resources personnel security official likely initiated this process a few weeks ago. You may still need to make two separate appointments with the enrollment station, first to enroll and have a photo and fingerprints or biometric data collected, then a second appointment to pick up and activate your new PIV card. For each appointment be sure to bring the needed forms of identification.
    • Onboarding Question and Answer Sessions: The Forest Service hosts regularly scheduled question and answer sessions with human resource specialists to provide new employees with an introduction to the Agency and to share information and answer questions about onboarding requirements. View the onboarding videos in advance, and find session dates at the bottom of the video list in AgLearn.
    • Performance Plan: Your supervisor will provide performance expectations and establish a performance plan within your first 30 days on the job.
    • Telework: Your supervisor will issue you a telework agreement, if appropriate.
    • Time and Attendance: Watch the Paycheck8 Onboarding Video to learn how to set up your profile in the Paycheck8 Time and Attendance System and submit your timesheet on the last workday of the pay period. Call the New Hire Help Desk (number below) if you encounter problems.

Helpful Resources and Potential Requirements

Note: Some of the links included in the information below, are only accessible on the Forest Service network intranet webpages. Prior to getting your computer, you can always call the New Hire Help Desk to request information that you are not able to access directly. Your supervisor or a colleague may be able to access the link and copy the information for your reference.

Refer to the in-depth description of potential Federal benefits that may be available to you. Ask your supervisor clarifying questions, call a human resources specialists using the New Hire Help Desk, or attend a New Hire Onboarding question and answer session to make sure you are well informed and prepared to make timely decisions.

Connect your computer to the network, then log in and setup your email account. Your supervisor will receive an email from the Chief Information Office (CIO) with your initial account login information. 
Here are a few quick setup items.

  • Log in to your computer. If you have not received your LincPass, contact the CIO Customer Help Desk to request a temporary LincPass exception for your computer, you will need to request an exception every 30 days until you receive your LincPass.
  • Setup your Outlook email. 
  • Setup your official email signature block.
  • Update your contact information in the Global Address Book.
  • Update your profile and manager information in the EEMS Identity Manager.
  • Sign into MS Teams web conferencing tool and download a virtual meeting background if desired.
  • Access Pinyon (Box) for sharing files (Pinyon Knowledge Article)
  • Set up VPN (virtual private network) for remote access.
  • Install local government printers. 
  • Work with your supervisor to gain access to SharePoint sites or other systems needed for your job.

If you need assistance with your computer login or setup, contact the CIO Customer Help Desk directly, at 866-945-1354. Help Desk Staffers are available 24/7.

The Forest Service offers a series of onboarding videos on AgLearn and Vimeo to provide new employees with an introduction to the Agency. You will learn about many benefits, programs, and resources such as leave, work schedules, health and life insurance, Paycheck8, AgLearn, retirement, and the Thrift Saving Plan. After watching the videos, attend a live question and answer session with human resource specialists to get your questions answered. The session schedule is posted at the bottom of the video list in AgLearn.

Ask your supervisor for more information about national, regional, or local orientation sessions. Currently, most regional and national orientation sessions are held a few times a year with limited seating and travel available. 

This single sign on application allows you to access all of your human resource-related applications through a centralized portal. Make sure you have access to ConnectHR workforce tools including Paycheck8 for time and attendance reporting, AgLearn for our training system, eSafety for reporting on the job injuries, your Employee Personal Page, and other tools. You can call the New Hire Help Desk if you need assistance to complete this task successfully.

You will need to set up your profile in Paycheck8 to input your time and attendance during your second week on the job to get paid on time. Your supervisor or an administrator for your unit can help you secure the following information you will need to create your profile: your supervisor’s full name and email, your work schedule, job code, override code, and the time & attendance contact point for your unit. This will be updated in Paycheck8 under “Profile Information”, or you will be prompted to make the update upon initial login.

If you are assigned Forest Service housing, you will need to code the Quarters deduction in Paycheck8 following these instructions: In Paycheck8 under Pay Options, enter the number of days in quarters and click save. 
If a quarters action has not been processed for you yet, you will not be able to code days in quarters. In that case, have your supervisor contact human resources to confirm the status of processing an action for quarters. You can call the New Hire Help Desk if you need assistance to complete this task.

All permanent USDA employees must obtain a PIV card, known as LincPass, to access Forest Service or USDA computer systems and buildings. Permanent employees get a LincPass, while some temporary employees get an AltLinc. If you are a temporary employee, check with your supervisor to determine if an AltLinc is needed for your position. You will receive a username and password for temporary access to USDA systems when you start your job while you complete the steps below to receive your LincPass or AltLinc:

  • Enrollment – In this step, you will need to visit an enrollment station where biometric information is captured for your LincPass credential. After scheduling an appointment to enroll, you will attend the appointment in-person at the enrollment station. Ensure you take the needed identification documents. 
  • Activation – Activation happens when you pick up your LincPass card and activate it for use. Again, you must take appropriate identification documents with you to the enrollment center.  

Check with your supervisor to determine if a government driver’s license is required for your job. Your supervisor or your unit’s fleet manager or safety officer can explain the licensing process for you. 

If your supervisor indicated you qualify for a uniform allowance or a safety boot allowance, you can request these through the fsweb-based ConnectHR tool. You will need to request the reimbursement within 45 days of purchase to get reimbursed. See Boot Allowance and Uniform Allowance for additional information and to submit requests. Also see instructions for Uniform and Safety Boot Allowances on the Chief Financial Office’s intranet page.

If you are required to travel for work within the first few days or weeks after reporting to your new job, the Travel Help Desk can assist with securing needed authorizations and arrangements. They can be reached at 877-372-7248, Option 4.

During your onboarding process, you received a series of messages which hopefully helped you stay abreast of the onboarding process. Through these messages, you also received several helpful links to general information about the history and culture of the Forest Service, and to specific topics such as benefits. Here is a summary of those links:

Help Is Available: New Hire Help Desk

877-372-7248, Option 4

HRM_contact_center@usda.gov

Available weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mountain Time.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/working-with-us/employee-welcome/permanent-employees/employee-phase3