So you’ve finally found the right person for that open position at your company – Congratulations! You’ve hired a brand new employee who will be able to come onboard and start contributing meaningfully to your company, right? But all of the work isn’t over yet.

New hire paperwork checklist

Once you have officially offered a candidate the job, the next step is to get all of the correct new hire paperwork to your new employee. Whether these forms are required may vary based on your organization, industry, or state, but many are required to be completed. One thing is for certain – there is always a lot of paperwork and keeping track of its completion is an important component to the onboarding process.

Here’s a checklist to make sure your new hires complete the right forms, so they can get paid on time, receive health benefits, and fit into your company seamlessly.

  • PERSONAL DATA FORM – includes employee name, SSN, address, contact info, emergency contact info, etc.
  • W-4 – An employee’s withholding allowance certificate confirms how much federal income tax to withhold from employee’s wages. Calculate the appropriate allowances to prevent overpaying or underpaying on taxes.
  • STATE-SPECIFIC W-4 FORM (if applicable)
  • SELF-IDENTIFICATION FORMS – Protected Veterans, EEO Gender (SF-181), Disability (SF-256)
  • DIRECT DEPOSIT AUTHORIZATION (usually accompanied with a voided check)
  • STATE NEW HIRE REPORTING DIRECTORY – The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires all employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees to a state directory within 20 days of their hire or rehire date.
  • HEALTH CARE COVERAGE OPTIONS – Written notice of existence of health exchanges and health care coverage options (Affordable Care Act)

Who is considered a new hire?

Technically, a new hire is an employee hired by an employer for the first time; or, a rehired employee that previously worked for the same employer but has been separated from the employer for at least 60 consecutive days.

Why is the new hire experience so important?

onboarding is important to the new hire experience

An effective and thoughtful onboarding experience helps employees adjust to life at the office, and is a good predictor of an employee’s work satisfaction. New employees are impressionable, and they will form ideas about your company and your people based on the communication they receive and the interactions they experience throughout the hiring and onboarding processes.

There must be an easier way, right?

New hire paperwork is required by law and must be completed for compliance reasons… However, transitioning to a paperless onboarding system would streamline the process for you and your new employees, as well as reduce the likelihood of errors. Electronic employee files give employees power over their own information and help HR simplify document storage and accessibility. Paperless HR systems allow for 24/7 access to documents, and greater leverage over HR data to make more informed business decisions. Take a look at how paperless HR systems work here.

Anything Else?

Obviously there is more to the new hire and onboarding experience than just this checklist. Consider the timeline, new hire expectations, communication throughout the process, etc.

Other things to consider before your new hire’s first day:

  • Confirm dress code policy
  • Arrange for parking pass, if needed
  • Provide office keys or access cards
  • Set up workstation – computer, supplies, name plate, etc.
  • Order business cards, if needed
  • Set up voicemail and email; add contact info to the appropriate directories
  • Set schedule with meetings, trainings, and first assignments
  • Prepare for tour of office
  • Outline mission and goals of organization
  • Assign new hires a “buddy” or mentor to help them get acclimated
  • Beware of information overload on an employee’s first day!