Recruiting new employees with fresh perspectives and advanced skills can help your company improve its brand image. The onboarding process ensures your new employees are prepared to take on all the responsibilities.

Onboarding refers to the process of welcoming new employees into the company and acclimatizing them to the work culture. It provides them with the necessary tools to boost their productivity and integrates them into the organizational structure. Successful onboarding can boost new hire retention by 82% and increase productivity by more than 70%, as per Glassdoor.

Completing all the necessary paperwork according to the employment rules and regulations of the company is one of the most important steps of any onboarding program. The new employees have to fill up mandatory forms and agree to the terms and conditions of their role before their official first day. According to Enboarder, the best-in-class organizations are 53% more likely to start onboarding before a new hire’s first day as compared to other companies.

Should you use a new hire form template?

While the forms and agreements might differ slightly from role to role and department to department, the majority of them are the same for new employees. You can use a new hire form template when preparing the paperwork to streamline the process.

A new hire form template lists all the basics you need to cover and ensures that you do not miss any important detail. Additionally, it will give you more time to customize the paperwork for each new employee based on their role in the company. You can also include rules and clauses particular to your organization in the paperwork.

A good onboarding is the path to success illustration

What type of new hire paperwork do you need?

The prospect of organizing all the new hire paperwork and distributing them on time can appear to be daunting. However, a new hire paperwork checklist will make the process swifter and more efficient. New hires usually have to file federal and state forms in compliance with the law and new hire forms prepared by an organization’s human resources operations.

The new hire paperwork 2021 checklist has to include:

·         Form I-9

Form I-9 is necessary for verifying the new employee’s identity and their eligibility to work in the United States. Employees have to complete their portion of the employee and employer section before their first day at the job.  Employers have to go through the identification documents and complete their part of the form.

·         W-4

The W-4 indicates how much money has to be withheld by the employer from an employee’s pay as federal income tax. Employees have to fill this form after they are hired. If they want to modify their withholding, they have to submit an updated W-4.

·         State new hire tax forms

You can visit your state’s revenue website to know whether there are specific forms employees have to fill up for the state income tax requirements.

·         New hire reporting

Employers have to inform the state government when they recruit new employees in compliance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). It is vital to convey certain new hire information to state agencies per the requirements, which may vary from state to state.

·         Offer letter

Candidates should receive a formal offer letter that outlines the conditions of the employment. This can include but does not have to be limited to:

  • Compensation and salary
  • Type of employment
  • Benefits and perks
  • Joining date

·         Employment agreement

An employment agreement is vital for outlining the responsibilities and duties of the employer and the employees. These agreements usually go into more detail than the offer letter. If there are any special conditions to the job of the hiring situation, you can mention them in the employment agreement. It is advisable to schedule a consultation with an employment attorney and draft a suitable agreement.

·         Employee handbook

Employee handbooks are recommended for onboarding new employees who are yet to be acquainted with the company. The handbook serves as a reference guide and is usually preserved by employees even after the onboarding process.

The handbook usually details all the essential information related to company policies, human resources, legal proceedings, compensation, and benefits and perks offered by the organization. You can include the handbook in the paperwork and provide an acknowledgment form to sign off after they have reviewed it.

·         Policy acknowledgments

In case you have other policies that the new hires have to review apart from those included in the handbook, you can opt for separate policy acknowledgments.


·         Emergency contact information

Keeping the emergency contact information of all your employees can be beneficial in the long run. You can create a simple form that asks for the contact name, email, and phone number.

·         Direct deposit authorization

Organizations have to collect the bank account information of new employees to send paychecks via direct deposit. The payroll provider distributes a standard form in most cases, or you can create your own form.

HR manager goes over new hire paperwork

Do you need an employee handbook?

Employee handbooks are underrated as an onboarding tool, but they are highly beneficial. They serve as a comprehensive and consistent guide to the company for new employees. You can explain the values, objectives, policies and rules of the organization in the employee handbook so that new hires are well-equipped to fit into the workplace.

Ideally, employee handbooks need to be distributed along with the other paperwork before the first day. The new employee will then have time to go through the manual and prepare themselves to fulfill company expectations.

Every organization sets itself apart from its competitors based on its core values and goals. The employee handbook is the perfect document to convey to new hires, so they know how to conduct themselves. You can create a digital handbook, or you can print it as an actual ‘book.’ Sending the employee handbook as part of the necessary paperwork will allow you to utilize it to its maximum potential.

new hire fills in onboarding paperwork from home

New technology for onboarding

Today, it is possible to conduct most paperwork online. File sharing tools like Google Drive have made it simple to create a repository of documents that many people can access at the same time. Each new employee can fill up a copy of the forms and submit them online. It is possible to export all the onboarding forms into the system and evaluate them.

Companies prioritizing virtual onboarding has led to the development of many onboarding apps. While some apps ensure the smooth handling of tax and benefits forms, others help train and educate new employees. Online onboarding tools help engage the employees even before their first day in the office. Finished paperwork allows the new hire to be set up on payroll and enrolled in the learning management systems.

Why do you need Bites?

Bites is a unique onboarding solution that understands your business needs like no other. You will create practical training modules in short videos or bites and compile them into a playlist on the platform. With Bites, you will be able to onboard new hires together even if they are located across the globe.

New employees often have doubts about the paperwork when you hand it over to them. You can create bites explaining the purpose of the different forms and agreements, so they feel confident when filling up the papers. Bites also allow employees to comment and ask questions facilitating smooth communication.