You’ve interviewed the candidates, checked all the references, and finally decided to hire your first employee, now what? Do you know what paperwork you need from your new hire in order to set up payroll? Do you know how to verify whether someone is legal to work in the US? How about a background check, can you benefit from adding this to your documentation?
An employer with a clear process for onboarding employees creates a professional work environment and protects the company from IRS and legal pitfalls. Even the most casual work environments should have a clear hiring process in place.
Here are the absolute must haves that should be in your employee’s file:
Include space for the employee to add their contact information as well as date of birth. You will need this information to complete payroll. You can also include employment history and education fields. Tidy Forms has several templates available if you don’t want to create your own.
The W-4 helps your employee determine how many tax withholdings they would like to apply to their paycheck. Your accountant must have this document in order to set up payroll. Make sure you have a signed copy before entering any withholding information for an employee.
Employers are required by the federal government to verify employment eligibility and keep a copy of an I-9 on file for each employee. What is an I-9? It’s simply a step by step process that you follow to check a person’s legal forms of identification (driver’s license, passport, etc) in order to verify that they can legally work in the US. It is certainly possible for a person to forge these documents but having the I-9 form on hand will go a long way towards protecting your company if you are a victim of this type of fraud.
Emergency Contact Information
Accidents happen and when they do, you should know who to contact on the employee’s behalf. This would also be a great place to ask for an employee’s health insurance details in the event that you need to provide this to emergency personnel.
You can make the onboarding process as simple or as complicated as you want. If you run summer camps and your employee will be working with children, it would be a good idea to run a background check. If you are hiring office help, you might want a copy of their college transcripts to check that they have the required training. Perhaps you are just hiring a high school student to feed the horses in the evening, you’re probably fine with the basics.