SelectOne Blog

New Employee Forms Needed to Properly Onboard a New Hire


Let’s be honest: nobody gets dressed for their first day at a new job and thinks “Gosh, I’m so excited to get in there and fill out all that paperwork!” Still, when the other option is being unprepared for your new employee and leaving them with a brochure while you dig around through your files for copies of everything you need, thinking about the necessary forms in advance is vital.

Here’s a rundown on the forms you’ll want for your new hire.

Federal Forms

The big two here are the W-4 and the I-9. The W-4 is to tell you how much of the employee’s paycheck to withhold for income taxes. The I-9 is used to verify the new employee’s right to work in the United States.

The New Hire Activation Guide - SelectOne

It’s on the employer to make sure the employee has the right documents to prove employment eligibility, so make sure that you let new employees know in advance what documents they’ll need to provide before they can begin working.

Money and Benefits

Direct Deposit allows employees to get paid without the hassle of going to the bank. Almost all business bookkeeping systems and payroll services offer direct deposit. If yours doesn’t … it’s probably time to make a switch.

If you offer benefits, your employees will need to enroll. This includes things like:

  • Health insurance
  • Vision, dental, and disability insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Health Savings Account
  • Any discounted services your business offers that are paid for with pre-tax money, including things like public transportation passes, wellness services, etc.

Whatever companies you have partnered with to provide benefits will have these forms available. Keep in mind that many of these will be handled online by the employee. In this case, you want to make sure that you have the links available and all the information necessary for employees to make smart decisions about benefits enrollment.

Background Checks

If you’ve already hired someone for a job that requires a background check and you’re only asking them to fill out this form now, you’re doing things backwards. (Seriously, it’s an awful practice to ask someone to quit their job or turn down other offers only to turn around and make the offer contingent on a background check on their first day.)

If there’s the possibility that the employee might be invited to take on work requiring a check sometime in the future, though, it’s not unheard-of to just bundle that into the onboarding process.

Policies, procedures, and all that jazz.

You want your employees to be aware of how things are done, which is why you have onboarding. But the HR departments of the world also want proof that people were told how things are done. You may want forms acknowledging that new employees have:

  • Received a copy of the employee handbook
  • Been briefed on various rules, potential consequences, and grievance procedures
  • Been made aware of their rights as employees
  • Read/viewed/heard whatever else you feel is critical that all your employees know

Other potentially important forms.

  • Emergency contact forms
  • Allergies and dietary restrictions
  • Nondisclosure agreements
  • Media release forms
  • Demographic data forms for filling out the EEO-1 survey (if you have more than 100 employees)
  • Forms collecting personal information for the employee’s public bio.

Your needs may vary, depending on your location, your industry, and your culture.

If you want a form collecting favorite goodies to make life easier during future Secret Santa gift exchanges, go for it! Similarly, if your lawyer says you need a particular form not listed here to cover your backside, listen to them. Getting everything together can be a pain, but if you’ve done it once, it’s a simple matter to repeat the process, making future onboarding much smoother sailing. For more helpful hints for bringing new hires up to speed, download a copy of New Hire Activation - The Employer's Guide to Mastering the Introductory Period.

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