12 Items To Include In Every New Hire Paperwork Packet

New hire paperwork

Streamlining the onboarding process is essential for HR professionals. New hire paperwork needs to include the correct forms to ensure efficiency when companies bring a new employee on board. New hire paperwork and documentation are important in helping employees hit the ground running and providing a seamless onboarding experience.

The collection and management of new hire paperwork generally occurs during the interview and onboarding stages of the hiring process. This involves assembling new hire packets, which are the necessary forms and agreements a new employee must complete before officially joining your company.

New hire paperwork serves multiple purposes: it ensures compliance with labor laws, facilitates smooth onboarding, and sets clear expectations between the employer and employee. This is a critical aspect of the hiring and onboarding process: providing a structured approach to gathering all necessary information from a new employee. The details might change from state to state, but generally, employers need to collect personal details, tax info, and proof of an employee’s work eligibility. New hire paperwork can also encompass essential agreements such as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), employment contracts, and acknowledgment of company policies.

Why Creating New Hire Paperwork Is Important

It’s important to get new hire paperwork right for several reasons. First, new hire packets give you and your employees tools that outline your company’s expectations, policies, and procedures.

The onboarding paperwork you provide will help new employees become better acquainted with the company and make them feel like a part of the company culture from the start.

From the moment a new hire walks through the door, they are judging whether your company is right for them. There is a significant amount of turnover during the first 90 days. Providing the right information during onboarding can help the company set better expectations and set new employees up for success.

Creating a great new hire paperwork packet:

  • Establishes a good relationship with new staff members.
  • Ensures that employees are paid accurately.
  • Makes sure the company remains compliant with all employment laws.

Overall, this pre-employment stage is crucial to establishing lawful employment. It’s setting the stage to make sure the employer-employee relationship is built on solid, legal ground from day one.

Let’s go through the steps to ensure your new hire is properly onboarded.

Hiring Stage

The hiring stage is marked by significant documentation and processes, each playing a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition into the organization.

During this stage, the formal offer letter is presented. This letter outlines the fundamental terms of employment and sets the tone for the relationship.

Terms typically include the position title, salary, start date, and any other relevant conditions or benefits associated with the role. Make sure this letter is crystal clear: you want to avoid any confusion for both you and your new hire.

Following the acceptance of the offer letter, the onboarding process begins, which is often guided by a new hire checklist. This checklist is a roadmap for the employer and the new employee during the onboarding phase. One of the primary items on this checklist is the new hire’s Social Security number, which is essential for payroll and tax purposes.

This stage also involves collecting emergency contact information, which is crucial in an emergency. These forms can help determine who the company can speak to regarding the employee’s needs. For example, if an employee is in a car accident, the company may need authorization to speak to a family member while the employee is incapacitated. This form documents the person the company is allowed to talk to on behalf of the employee.

Another important piece of the new hire package is the employee personal information form. This form gathers basic but essential information about the new hire, such as their full name, address, contact details, and possibly demographic information.

Background check and NDA documentation

Background checks are often part of a company’s onboarding and hiring process. Background checks are integral to verifying the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate and ensuring that there are no legal or professional issues that could impact their suitability for the role. Background checks can include criminal history searches, credit history checks, and verification of education and previous employment. This step protects the company from potential risks and ensures that the new hire is qualified and reliable.

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) may be an element of new hire paperwork. A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract between at least two parties, usually a company and a new employee. These documents are in place to protect sensitive company and employee data.

Employees come to work with their own thoughts, ideas, and sometimes even personal brands or products developed. An organization also enters working relationships with ownership over things it has created.

Non-disclosure agreements help establish what belongs to each party. With these agreements in place, everyone is on the same page: if confidentiality is broken or competition is created where it shouldn’t be, everyone has a specific course for legal action.

Tax and Payroll Documentation

Tax and payroll documentation are critical elements of new hire paperwork, playing a significant role in ensuring legal compliance and seamless financial transactions. This documentation involves various forms to facilitate the proper management of taxes and payroll.

Federal forms like Form I-9 and W-4 are some of the most challenging forms for new hires. It’s important that these are accurately completed to protect both the hiring organization and the employee from potential compliance issues.

Form I-9 is one of the most important and time-sensitive elements of onboarding paperwork. This form ensures that employees are eligible to work in the United States. This form must be completed by the employee and the employer (or an authorized representative) within three business days of the new hire’s first day. As long as the new hire has accepted your job offer, they can complete this form before their first day. Form I-9 also requires a few supporting documents: after employees submit section one, employers (or an authorized representative) must complete and sign the form within three days.

Form W-4 exists to help companies withhold the appropriate tax amount from an employee’s paycheck. Filling out the W-4 properly ensures that new hires don’t have any unforeseen tax bill surprises at tax time. Encourage employees to resign this document if they go through any major life changes, like a dependent growing up or a divorce where their tax status might change.

In addition to federal tax forms, there are also state-specific labor requirements that must be addressed. These requirements can vary significantly from one state to another and include aspects such as state income tax withholding, unemployment insurance contributions, and other state-specific payroll taxes. Compliance with these state regulations is essential to avoid legal complications and penalties.

Another part of the payroll process is setting up the salary payment, which is often done through direct deposit. The direct deposit authorization form is a key document collected during this stage. This form facilitates the electronic transfer of the employee’s salary directly into their bank account. For this, the employee must provide their bank account details, including the account and routing numbers. The routing number is a nine-digit code identifying the financial institution in transactions.

Collecting a paycheck deposit and routing number form benefits the employee and the employer. For the employee, it ensures a more secure, convenient, and faster way to receive their paycheck. For the employer, it streamlines the payroll process, reduces paperwork, and minimizes the risk of errors in payment processing.

Company Policies and Procedures

The process of familiarizing new hires with company policies and procedures is a fundamental aspect of new hire paperwork.

An important part of this is the review of company policies and the employee handbook. The employee handbook is given to new hires by an employer, and it can serve as the manual for how they must conduct themselves and their roles in the workplace. Employee handbooks contain vital information, including company policies, benefits packages, salary structures, etc.

Employee handbooks should be the ultimate source of truth for commonly asked questions about working at your organization. The handbook should be easily accessible and available for reference when questions come up.

You will likely have a few different versions of this handbook. For example, at WorkBright, we have versions for exempt and non-exempt employees, as a few small details change between each type of full-time employee.

Employee file and reporting

As a new hire enters your organization, creating a secure and organized employee file is a key task for HR. This file acts as a comprehensive repository of all documents related to the employee and encompasses a wide range of paperwork- from the initial application to the final onboarding documents.

The employee file typically includes the job application form, resume, offer letter, signed acknowledgments of company policies, NDAs, tax forms such as the W-4, direct deposit forms, emergency contact information, and any other agreements or documents signed during the hiring process. Additionally, it may contain records of background checks, employment verification documents, copies of identification documents provided for the I-9 form, and any notes or records from the interview process.

Keeping these files in order isn’t just about making life easier administratively. It’s a legal must-do for staying in line with various labor laws and regulations. When your files are accessible and organized, finding what you need for audits, legal questions, or a routine check-up is a breeze. Plus, it’s key for keeping sensitive employee info safe and securely stored.

But you’ve also got to let the right people know about your new hires. For tax reasons, this means reporting them to the IRS. This step is super important for following the tax rules and ensuring payroll taxes are sorted.

In addition to external reporting, internal communication within the company is equally important. HR and payroll teams must be updated with the new employee’s information. This includes personal details, job title, salary information, and start date. This internal reporting is crucial for processes including payroll administration, benefits enrollment, and inclusion in internal directories and communication channels.

Integrating the new hire into the company’s HR management systems also involves updating or creating records in various HR software systems. This could include time-tracking systems, performance management tools, and any other HR software the company uses.

The post-hiring phase, involving creating and organizing the employee file and reporting to relevant authorities and departments, is pivotal in cementing the administrative aspects of the employment relationship. Thorough handling of this phase ensures legal compliance, operational efficiency, and safeguards the company’s and the employee’s interests.

How to use WorkBright to speed up the new hire paperwork process

Gathering onboarding paperwork doesn’t have to take hours. We’ve created a process that makes creating onboarding packets seamless.

We work one-on-one with HR teams nationwide to turn paper-heavy onboarding processes into streamlined, fully remote workflows. Employees and HR leaders can access our tools from their mobile phones, making the process perfect for busy new hires.

Once you are ready to onboard a new employee, you should be able to put together their paperwork in a matter of seconds using our onboarding framework. We build your account by associating specific paperwork with groups, making it easy to select the right forms and request new hire paperwork in a matter of minutes.

Want to learn more? Give our software a tour to learn more or see a demo.

New hire paperwork doesn’t have to be complicated

Hiring new employees and getting the necessary onboarding paperwork together does not have to be a complicated process.

Technology is making this process even more straightforward. Remote onboarding is perfect for getting employees their new hire packets without having to meet in person. In the past, employers struggled with remote onboarding due to compliance issues. WorkBright’s fully remote onboarding software solves that, providing a 100% compliant and fully indemnified remote I-9 and onboarding experience. Now, you can enjoy the convenience and speed of remote onboarding, knowing your paperwork and compliance are taken care of.

Employee onboarding is an ever-evolving industry that will continue to be important as organizations grow and bring in more new hires. We hope that today’s article has given you some food for thought regarding what to include in your new hire packet.