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New Hire Orientation Icebreakers That Are Anything But Dull
that are anything but dull
New hire orientation energizers that instantly
spark connections and conversations
It’s Monday morning.
The nerves are growing,
caffeine is ﬂowing,
and you have 20 new hires staring right at you.
Welcoming new hires to your company is a big responsibility.
It’s a powerful ﬁrst impression that solidiﬁes career choices, so
you need to make those ﬁrst interactions count.
The Art of Sparking Connections
Ultimately, you want employees to walk
away from new hire orientation saying…
WOW! I am so
glad I decided to
come work here.
– your new hire
Break the ice to build an experience
You have your presentation and maybe a speaker lined up, but
you know its not ALL about the content – it’s the experience.
It’s how people feel at the end of the day. Do they feel
connected and comfortable? Are they excited and energized?
Building an experience is one of the most critical elements to
onboarding. To accomplish this, you need energizing activities
that will get new hires instantly connected and involved.
At LinkedIn, we use a variety of icebreakers every week, so we
gathered our favorites in this guide. Use these nine activities to
not only get conversations started, but create lasting
relationships between new hires and a memorable day one.
Energizers for entry level hires1
Senior-level conversation starters2
Delightful activities for all levels3
Tips and tricks of the trade4
What’s in store?
Onboarding in a Box5
New hires share a splash of their personality through art!
1. Give new hires a piece of paper and plenty of markers.
2. Allow 10 minutes for employees to illustrate their
answers to the questions below. But there is a catch -
they can’t write any words!
3. When the group ﬁnishes, have them walk around the
room introducing themselves through their artwork.
4. Tack the artwork on the walls and enjoy all day.
• What did you originally want to be when you grew up?
• What are you known for by your family and friends?
• Where is your happy place?
10 – 25 minutes
Social Scavenger Hunt
Get your crew moving around the ofﬁce with an
interactive scavenger hunt
1. List activities that help new hires connect with colleagues,
get familiar in the ofﬁce, and learn the company culture.
2. Break the group into teams, and give them 10-30 minutes
to complete the challenges. The challenge is more
engaging if there is a time crunch to complete it all!
3. As teams check items off the list, ask them to capture a
video or photo of them in action.
4. Also, if your company has an employee hashtag, ask teams
to post their photos across social media using the hashtag!
5. The ﬁrst team to complete the most challenges wins!
Afterwards, have them share their photos and videos.
10 – 30 minutes
Find a common interest to spark personal
connections among new hires.
1. Break the room into groups and give them
5 minutes to get to know each other. They
must come up with at least 2 things
everyone in the group has in common.
2. Encourage the groups to get personal, dig
deep, and make it fun.
3. When time runs out, ask each group to
share their answers. Award prizes (or
bragging rights) to the group with the
most creative commonalities.
4. Use the ﬁndings as a great conversation
starter for the rest of the day!
5– 10 minutes
Fill In Their Blank!
Spark laughter throughout orientation
with this easy-going energizer.
1. Ask each new hire to write a “ﬁll in
the blank” phrase on a sticky note.
2. Collect all the sticky notes and
throw them into a bag or bowl.
3. Walk around the room. Randomly
select new hires to pull a sticky note
and complete the sentence.
4. Continue this activity throughout
the day! It’s also the perfect way to
revive hires after lunch.
If I had a soundtrack to my life it
would be __________ .
My favorite person in the whole
world is __________
The person I would trade lives for
a day with is __________ .
I couldn’t live a day without
Welcome new hires in a
1. Give new hires a printed
Mad Lib (see example).
2. Provide 5 minutes for
their creativity to take
over and ﬁll in the blanks.
3. Ask new hires to rotate
throughout the room and
using their new story.
Sample MadLib Form for New Hires
5 – 15 minutes
New Hire’s Got Talent
Pick up the pace during the after-lunch slump with a
casual “talent show”.
1. Ask a few new hires to volunteer for the next activity.
2. Have them introduce themselves, and reveal a
special talent or skill.
3. Ask them to demonstrate their skills or talents!
There’s nothing better than a quick yoga pose or
karaoke moment to kick off the afternoon.
5 – 15 minutes
Make Your Mark
A Polaroid and make-shift photo booth helps
new hires brand themselves.
1. Against a wall, set-up a Polaroid camera and
2. Invite new hires to take their photo in the
booth throughout the day.
3. On the Polaroid picture, ask new hires to
write a personal tagline or motto that shows
off their personality.
4. Have new hires share their motto and tape it
to a whiteboard or wall so they can ofﬁcially
leave their mark for the day.
Life is a marathon
5 – 10 minutes
• Where could we ﬁnd you on a Saturday
• In your opinion, what movie should never be
• If you could impress a celebrity chef, what
dish would you cook?
• What’s a nickname you took on at some
point in your life?
• If you could be casted in any TV show, which
would it be?
• What hobby have you been itching to try, but
haven’t found the time?
• If you could live anywhere for one year, all
expenses paid, where would you live?
Learn more about each other by
asking surprise questions.
1. Write mystery questions on
note cards. Place into a bag.
2. Have new hires pick a note card
from the bag.
3. Each person should read their
question, and then answer.
4. The key to this icebreaker is the
questions – the more unique
questions bring out the most
Get ready for your close up with a team selﬁe!
1. Break into teams of 3-5 people. Have new hires
introduce themselves by sharing their name, new job
and an interesting factoid.
2. Once they know each other, it’s time to brand
themselves! Have groups come up with a team name
that they’ll want to be known by for orientation.
3. Once they decide on a team name, solidify those new
friendships with a creative team selﬁe. Encourage them
to take out their phones and snap a photo!
4. Give bonus points to the group that shares the selﬁe on
their social networks, and announces the start of their
next adventure with your company.
15 – 20 minutes
Break ice like a rock star
TIP: Get them moving
Ask new hires to stand, huddle up, head to the whiteboard, or grab post it
notes during icebreaker activities. When you have them engage their senses,
it changes the whole dynamic and energy level in seconds.
TIP: Get them chatting
Relationships and experiences are built around great conversation. Give new
hires time to chat, show off, and even laugh during and after the icebreaker.
TIP: Go all-in
It never hurts to pretend you are hosting your own game show! The more
energized you are when explaining the activity, the more inspired the group
will be to go all-in and participate.
Create a powerful