Onboarding paperwork is part of the recruitment process that is often not given enough thought. However, like every other stage, it is essential in ensuring a good overall employee experience. Onboarding is the first interaction a company will have with new recruits as employees rather than candidates, and this makes it something that’s important to get right every time.
An onboarding experience can either set new employees up for success, or it can cause them to get off on the wrong foot—something you do not want. One survey found that had quit a job because of a negative onboarding or training experience. While this number might not seem particularly alarming, it’s hardly encouraging either.
The perfect onboarding process is something that every hiring manager or HR team must work out for themselves. Of course, paperwork is a big part of this. It can take trial and error to perfect the process, and once you do, it’s a good idea to document it to make sure you don’t miss out on any important steps.
If you’re in need of inspiration, below is a handy checklist of essential employee onboarding paperwork. Read on for more!
- Form W-4
Hiring managers will be all too familiar with the trusty form W-4. This form determines the amount of federal income tax a company should deduct from an employee’s pay. It is essential for proper tax compliance and should be filled out early on in the onboarding process, so it is not forgotten about.
When dealing with this form, always make sure you are using the most up-to-date version. You should also offer all employees—existing and new—the option to update their W-4 form using the latest version whenever they like.
- Form I-9
Another common and familiar form, the I-9 identifies whether your new hire is legally authorized to work in the US. Depending on the regulations of the state your company is based in, you may also be required to sign up to the E-Verify system. Form I-9 must be kept on record for three years after the date of hire (or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later).
- EEO-1 Form
The EEO-1 form (or Standard Form 100) is another government-mandated document. It is a necessity for all private-sector employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees. The EEO-1 form records a demographic breakdown of an organization’s workforce by both race and gender.
- Job Application Form
This is something that you may want all new hires to fill out, whether they have already submitted a CV or not. It is a way of ensuring that you collect the same information and data from each employee. As well as this, certain states have regulations surrounding what must be included and submitted in application forms, so you’ll need to check what the case is in yours.
- Employee Handbook
The is a document that new hires will get to know very well over the course of their onboarding process. It sets out the values and rules of the company, and the behavior it expects from its employees. New hires should be encouraged to carefully read the employee handbook, and then sign it after they have done so.
- Health Pension and Benefits Records
It is important to maintain records of all of the employment benefits each of your employees is receiving. This includes healthcare, pension, stocks, company car, or any other type of benefit. You are required to keep records of this information for a minimum of six years.
- Non-disclosure or Non-compete Agreements
Does your company require employees to sign any kind of non-compete or non-disclosure agreements? If so, these are documents that it is essential for your employees to sign even before their first day of work. Non-disclosure agreements ensure that employees cannot leak proprietary or sensitive information they are privy to at work, while non-compete agreements make it impossible for an employee to enter into competition with your company for a certain period after their employment with you has concluded.
Tips for a Perfect Onboarding Paperwork Protocol
In addition to the above documents, you will, of course, have other important forms and paperwork that your company or the specific role will require. Making a checklist of these documents is the most fail-safe method of ensuring you don’t miss any important documents during this process. There are some other things you can do to make onboarding paperwork run more smoothly, as well.
- Digitize Those Documents
These days, it is so important to have digitized versions of all important employee paperwork, much of which is collected during the onboarding process. What’s more, it’s better both for the environment and your file keeping to offer paperless options for the majority of these documents. If you’re not sure how to do this, onboarding tools can help.
- Don’t Drown Them in Paperwork
Part of making onboarding a positive experience is making sure new employees are not too overwhelmed. With so many different forms to be filled out and signed, this can be difficult to do. To avoid paperwork burnout, try to space the documents out over several days instead of asking employees to sign them all at once.
- Communication and Clarity
Beginning a new job can be intimidating. There are a million and one things to learn, and dozens of forms to fill out. Part of the HR team’s job will be to mitigate some of the new hire’s nerves.
Do this by staying in constant communication. Let them know that if they need help with any forms—or anything—you’ll be there.
Perfect Your Onboarding Process Today
Dealing with onboarding paperwork is a demanding but necessary part of the onboarding process—for both employer and employee. Follow the above tips, and you’ll soon perfect your process. If you’ve found this guide helpful, don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.