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

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First Day

Your supervisor or onboarding specialist will guide you through your first day onboarding activities. Among other things, you will need to take care of the following:

  • 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). Make sure to only upload these files to USA Staffing. Do not share by email or Teams.

Review your position description (PD). Talk to your supervisor about the duties.

  • If you are a new, first-time employee, you will receive an email to register your eAuthentication account. The subject line will be “eAuthentication: Action Required – Internal User Account Registration.” The email comes from 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 must recover your account. Call 1-877-372-7248, select option 2 and follow prompts for help.


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. You can expect to complete the following during the first two weeks on the job.

You may need a computer upon, or very soon after your arrival. Once you receive it, call 866-945-1354 for help with set up. Also request a 30-day "PIV exception" so you will be able to use your computer until you get your Personal Identification Verification card.

Connect your computer to the network, then log in and set up your email account. Your supervisor will receive an email from the Chief Information Office (CIO) with your initial account login information. 

Other 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. Set up your Outlook email. If you need help with your computer login or setup, contact the CIO Customer Help Desk directly, at 866-945-1354, available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

  • Set up 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 and download a virtual meeting background if desired.

  • Access Pinyon (Box) for sharing files. Review the Pinyon user guide if you need help.

  • Set up VPN (virtual private network) for remote access.

  • Install local printers if necessary.

  • Work with your supervisor to gain access to SharePoint sites or other systems that you need for your job.

PIV cards allow employees to access facilities and computer networks.

  • If you are a permanent employee, you will receive a PIV card called a LincPass. All permanent employees receive one.

  • If you are a temporary employee, you may receive a PIV card called an AltLinc. Only temporary employees who need an AltLinc to perform their duties will receive one. AltLincs are only valid for 6 months.

How to Obtain a PIV Card

You should have received an email from approximately 2 weeks before your first day. The email should have included instructions on how to make your first appointment with an enrollment station to enroll and have a photo and fingerprints collected. If you have not received the email to begin the enrollment process by the end of your first pay period, please create an HR Help case. You can use ConnectHR to create the case, or you can call 1-877-372-7248. Be sure to include your full name and your supervisor's contact information.

After the first appointment you should receive a second email with instructions on how to schedule your second appointment to pick up and activate your card. For each appointment be sure to bring the correct forms of identification.

We host question and answer sessions to give new employees an introduction to the Forest Service and to answer questions about onboarding. Find session dates at the bottom of the video list in AgLearn.

Your supervisor will give you performance expectations and set up a performance plan within your first 30 days. 

Discuss this with your supervisor. Many employees serve probationary or trial period for the first year or two. During this period, your supervisor provides you with support and reviews your performance, conduct, and attendance to make sure you're on the right track. If you satisfactorily complete your probationary or trial period, you'll earn status as a permanent federal employee. If you're having challenges, your supervisor will provide you with direction. Separation from the agency is a last resort. Review your Official Job Offer and SF-50 to figure out if this applies to you.

Your supervisor will issue you a telework agreement, if appropriate.

Review 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
1-877-372-7248, option 4, if you have any problems.

To get paid on time, set up your profile in Paycheck8 to enter your time and attendance during your second week. Your supervisor or local administrator can help you find the following information:

  • Your supervisor’s full name and email

  • Work schedule

  • Job code

  • Override code, and 

  • Point of contact for your unit. 

You may receive a prompt to make the update when you first log in, if not update it under “Profile Information.”


First Month

You will receive helpful information from the New Employee Experience team to help you through your onboarding journey. Within your first month, you will attend an onboarding webinar that will cover helpful information such as benefits, pay, leave, agency values and organization.


Resources and Potential Requirements

Some links below are only accessible on the Forest Service network intranet webpages. Before you receive your computer, you can always call 1-877-372-7248 to request this information if you can't access it. You can also try a supervisor or a colleague who may be able send it to you.

This single sign on application allows you to access all your human resource-related applications including Paycheck8 for time and attendance reporting, AgLearn for training, eSafety for reporting on-the-job injuries, your Employee Personal Page, and more.

Refer to the in-depth description of potential Federal benefits that may be available to you. Ask your supervisor clarifying questions, call 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.

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

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

If you have Forest Service housing, you will need to update your Paycheck8 options and enter the following information.

  1. Under Pay Options, enter the number of days in quarters and select save. 

  2. If it doesn't allow you to code the number of days, there may still be a task that a human resources specialist needs to process first. In that case, have your supervisor call 877-372-7248, option 4 to confirm the status.

If you must travel for work within the first few days or weeks, the Travel Help Desk can help with authorizations and arrangements. Call 877-372-7248, option 4.

If your supervisor said you qualify for a uniform allowance or a safety boot allowance, you can request these through the Uniform website within ConnectHR. You will need to request reimbursement within 45 days of purchase. Review the Uniform and Safety Boot Allowances intranet page.

Check out our onboarding videos on AgLearn. 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.