12 Items To Include In Every New Hire Paperwork Packet


We understand that streamlining the onboarding process is essential for HR professionals. New hire paperwork needs to include the correct forms to ensure efficiency when companies hire a new employee.

Onboarding starts with having all of the correct documents lined up and ready before a potential hire walks through the door. We want to make their first day in the office as seamless as possible. Employees should be able to dive into learning on the first day of work.

Let’s walk through what forms you need and how our employee onboarding software can help you automate it all.

Why Creating New Hire Paperwork Is Important

With all the documentation required when hiring new employees, it is essential to get it right for several reasons. First, new hire packets give you and your employees tools that outline expectations, policies, and procedures within the company.

The packet you create will help employees become better acquainted with the company and help them feel like a part of the office culture from the start.

From the moment a new hire walks through the door, they are judging whether your company is right for them or not. There is a ton of turnover during an employee’s first 90 days, which can be scary for employers. The right new hire paperwork can help the company set better expectations and create bonds with new employees.

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.

12 Items To Include In Your Onboarding Paperwork

So, what should go into your organization’s onboarding paperwork? Let’s break down some common items that should be included:

1. Offer Letter

Job offer letters are a brief overview of the position and company. Offer letters include high-level job details, like start date, salary, and work schedule. An offer letter ensures that everyone is on the same page about basic job details. Some states require an offer of employment before running a background check. If your state requires this, you’ll want to ensure that your company offer letter is signed promptly.

There is no standard format for the structure of an offer letter, so it is acceptable to make your own. Offer letters are typically one of the first documents new hires see. Adding branded details and phrases can help ease your new hire’s mind and help them acclimate to your company’s culture.

2. Job Description

A job description is a detailed written document that contains the responsibilities and duties associated with your new hire’s position. A well-written, engaging job description will attract candidates. Also, it will help to facilitate them in understanding what they are applying for at first glance.

Job descriptions are just as important for new hires. Navigating a new job can be challenging, and it can be easy to end up doing work you didn’t sign up for. While helping out where needed is always respected, we must keep our eyes on the job description to ensure that duties don’t slip through the cracks.

3. Form I-9 & W4

Federal forms like Form I-9 and the W4 are some of the most challenging forms for new hires. These forms must be as complete and accurate as possible, though.

Form I-9 is one of the most important and time-sensitive documents. This form ensures that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Employees need to complete this form by the end of their first day at work. As long as they have accepted your job offer, they can complete this form before their first day. Form I-9 requires a few supplementary documents as well. After employees submit section one, you have a couple of days to complete section two, or an authorized representative can be elected if you need it.

The W4 is there to help companies withhold the right number of taxes from an employee’s paycheck. Employees must fill this out properly so they don’t have a huge tax bill at the end of the year. 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.

4. State Tax Forms

State tax forms are just as essential as Federal forms. This point is especially true for states that require a state income tax withholding. However, some may not mandate these forms, so make sure to speak to an expert about whether these forms are necessary.

As you begin to hire employees across the country, your new hire paperwork will likely become more complex as states have different tax rules.

5. Employee Handbook

The employee handbook is given to new hires by an employer, and it can serve as the manual for how they must go about their workday. Employee handbooks contain vital information, including company policies, benefits packages, salary structures, etc.

Employee handbooks should act as the ultimate source of truth for commonly asked questions about working for your company. Therefore, employees must have a copy of this document on hand at all times.

You will likely have a few different versions of this handbook. For example, at WorkBright, we have a version for exempt and non-exempt employees. There are just a few small details that change between each type of full-time employee. While the changes are small, it’s enough to warrant two handbooks, so everyone has a clearer picture of what their job looks like.



6. Benefit Declaration Forms

Companies should be providing a number of benefits to employees. For example, you might have health insurance, 401Ks, stock options, etc. Employees must have a chance to look over these benefits and declare how to best proceed with them.

When employees are picking how to use their benefits, make sure that you give them all the supplementary details they need to make good decisions for themselves and their families.

7. Direct Deposit Forms

Direct deposit forms are essential if a company offers this as a payroll option. Most companies are using direct deposit because it is cheaper than sending out paper checks each pay period.

Automating this process will require a direct deposit form, so the necessary banking information is obtained from the employee. File this form with the bookkeeper or accounts payable department.

8. Tax Credit Questionnaire

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is one of the most commonly used tax credits for employers hiring disadvantaged workers, such as qualified veterans, ex-felons, or those coming from low-income households.

Tax credits can cover some of the costs associated with training materials and transportation to work sites. Make sure to consult with a specialist about how tax credits can help you bring on new employees.

Many companies aren’t taking advantage of some of the tax credits available to them, but finding out if you have an eligible employee is usually as simple as gathering a bit of information about new hires.

Do you want to learn more about tax credits? Check out our recent webinar with RetroTax for more information about some of the tax credits available right now.

9. Background Check Disclosure Form

If the company requires a background check, this must be disclosed to the employee. The background check disclosure form is the legal document that does just that. Some states do not allow a company to ask an employee if they have any issues in their background, such as criminal charges or dishonorable discharges from the military.

Background screenings are a large part of hiring new employees. Ensure no laws are being broken by performing them, as companies who perform background checks without disclosing they will do so may pay fines. Get this document signed by your employees before beginning to conduct these types of searches.

10. Non-Disclosure & Non-Compete Agreements

A non-disclosure/non-compete agreements are a legal contract between at least two parties, usually a company and a new employee. These documents are there to protect company and employee data.

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

Non-disclosure and non-compete 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.

11. Training Acknowledgements

If your company requires certain training like security or CPR training, you should probably note this in your onboarding file.

While some training isn’t federally mandated, it’s always good to have access to documents stating that the employee went through these training opportunities.

If you need access to certifications, you’ll also want a place to have these documents scanned with their onboarding paperwork.

12. Emergency Contact Information

An emergency contact information form is essential in the new hire packet. These forms obtain the contact information of anyone associated with the employee’s health. These are the people employers will contact if any accidents happen while the employee is at work.

Also, 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.


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 leaders across the country to turn their burdensome paper-heavy onboarding process into a streamlined digital version. Employees and HR leaders can access our tools from their mobile phones, making the process smooth and 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 groups 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.

Do you want to learn more? Give our software a tour to learn more or request a demo.

New Hire Paperwork Does Not 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. Though employers were struggling with managing it because of compliance issues, you don’t have to worry about being out of compliance with WorkBright. Having a remote onboarding process is especially essential today, in a time when employers are deploying remote and hybrid work models for their employees.

Remote onboarding is not just for remote workers. Getting employees the necessary documents they need for their first day of work has never been easier. Many companies are deciding to ditch their paper-heavy process in exchange for a digital version they can access anytime, anywhere.

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.