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HR's Guide to Hiring & Onboarding in New York

Get step-by-step guidance on how to hire an employee in the Empire state.

February 25th, 2022


Hiring new employees can be one of the most rewarding parts of HR. But it can also be one of the most complex and time-consuming responsibilities. On average, it takes companies more than a month to fill an open position. During this time, HRs are involved in a myriad of moving pieces, from posting job openings to vetting candidates to preparing for their first day of work. New York's new hire paperwork and compliance requirements only add fuel to the fire. HRs must navigate not only corporate standards but also legal requirements set forth by the state of New York. 

Download The Ultimate New Hire Paperwork Checklist

While all parts of the hiring and onboarding process play a role and, therefore, can’t be eliminated, there are ways you can streamline parts of the process for a faster time-to-hire. And with GoCo, you can breeze through your hiring without cutting essential corners. 

Here’s your comprehensive HR guide on how to hire an employee in New York. Keep it handy and start hiring confidently without the guesswork.

New York New Hire Paperwork

New York new hire paperwork is one of the most critical pieces of the hiring process. Some forms are required by state and federal governments for tax and legal purposes. Other forms and disclosures are required only by your company but serve an important role nonetheless. 

In New York, the new hire paperwork collection looks similar to that of other states:

In addition to the required forms listed above, your company may want to include supplementary forms during the hiring and onboarding process as applicable:

  • Direct deposit form, if offered by your organization

  • A form containing the employee’s personal information, including emergency contacts

  • A copy of the job offer and description

  • Confidentiality agreement

  • Non-compete agreement

  • Other forms specific to your organization

Learn More About Your State's Compliance Requirements

Some employers choose to issue employee handbooks and/or forms related to certain company policies during the onboarding phase. These might include but are not limited to:

  • Drug testing and background check consents

  • Notification of workplace security or surveillance

  • Dress code policy

  • Pay deductions

  • Remote work policies

  • Corporate travel

  • Performance review notifications

  • Other workplace regulations

If you don’t need to keep a signed copy of those forms, consider having the employee sign a single acknowledgement that they received the notices and will be accountable for them.

HR Duties Before the First Day of Work

Once you make the job offer and the candidate accepts it, you can’t sit back and relax until the employee’s start date. There's a lot of work to do in preparing for their arrival, all while juggling your other HR duties.

Here’s a rundown of the steps you can take now for a smooth, seamless first day:

1. Set up the new hire on payroll

If your payroll system allows, go ahead and set up the new hire before their first day. This way, they can clock in as soon as they arrive for work. Plus, it saves you an extra step later by not having to manually adjust their time.

2. Connect with the new hire’s manager and team

Your new hire’s manager was likely involved in the hiring decision. Still, it’s a good idea to connect with the manager (and the rest of the team) once you know their start date. This gives everyone time to prepare for the employee’s arrival and make them feel welcome. Get them involved in the onboarding experience so your new hire feels right at home.

3. Make arrangements to set up their workspace

One task you may offload to the new hire’s team is preparing their workspace. Make sure they have all the tools they need to start being productive once onboarding concludes. 

4. Prepare company tools like key cards or codes

If your new hire will be working on-site, they may need basic access codes, key cards, or other tools to navigate the workplace. Prepare these ahead of time so you can hand them over during onboarding.

5. Create a first-day onboarding kit

The New York employee onboarding process takes a lot of paperwork, and this is something you can prepare ahead of time. Print all the necessary forms and place them in ready-to-sign kits. Or, if you’re using HR software like GoCo, you can generate your new hire’s onboarding paperwork and send it to them before their Day 1 start.

6. Prepare a new hire introduction

Bringing a new team member on board is an exciting time! Make them feel welcome from the get-go by preparing a company-wide introduction. This might be a face-to-face intro at the morning meeting or an email announcement—whatever makes sense for your company.

7. Select a mentor

Mentorships are valuable tools on the first day and beyond. Assign your new hire a mentor who can help them learn more about the company, get a feel for the culture, introduce them to other employees, and feel confident in their new role. Speak with the mentor ahead of time so they can feel prepared to lead your new employees. If possible, have the mentor reach out to introduce themselves to the employee before they start.

More Tips for Hiring & Onboarding Success

Preparing for your new hire’s first day can help the entire onboarding process go much smoother. To complement your New York employee onboarding, make sure you include these steps in the first-day experience.

Take an Office Tour

If you are hiring on-site workers, help them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Taking an office tour lets them experience all the different areas of your company. It also gives them chances to meet other employees that they might not otherwise get to interact with. 

And if you’re hiring a virtual worker, you can still give them the full office tour! This is a great way for them to get a feel for your company, even if they won’t be on-site every day. Let them meet the team and show them around the office so they can feel like part of the team.

Host a New Hire Luncheon

Stepping outside the company walls can take a lot of pressure off your new hires. You’ve just overwhelmed them with paperwork, policies, and processes, and that doesn’t leave much time for conversation. Taking them to lunch is a great way to get to know them on a personal level. Invite the CEO and other higher-ups to make your new hire feel welcome.

Follow Up with Your New Hire

Once the workday is over, your new hire has hopefully gone home full of excitement for the next day. Consider giving them a quick call or end-of-day meeting to check in about their first day. See if they have any questions or concerns that didn’t get addressed during the workday.

New York State Employment Compliance

In New York, employers are required to display employment posters in prominent places. This is an important part of New York onboarding compliance, too. Your new hires may not be familiar with all of the employment policies in the state of New York, and this gives them an opportunity to learn more at their convenience. 

HRs should routinely check to ensure the following posters are always on display:

  • Fringe Benefits Notice

  • Minimum Wage Poster

  • Safety & Health Poster

  • Criminal Convictions Records

  • Construction Industry Fair Play Act

In addition, there are several New York labor law posters that are either optional or only mandatory for certain industries. You can find a complete list of required and optional posters at, as well as print any missing posters free of charge.

New York Payroll & Tax Reporting Requirements

All employees are required to pay state and federal income taxes. Providing the employee with the W-4 and IT-2401 forms gives HRs all the information they need to properly collect taxes every pay period and report earnings to the IRS and the State of New York. 

In addition, HRs must fulfill the new hire reporting requirements to the New York Department of Taxation & Finance within 20 days of the new hire’s start date. To do so, you will need to provide the employee’s full legal name, address, date of birth, social security number, and start date. 

You can submit this information in three different ways:


By mail:

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
New Hire Notification
PO Box 15119
Albany, NY 12212-5119

By fax:  518-320-1080

In addition to new hire reporting, HRs must also periodically submit withheld taxes to the Tax Department on the employee’s behalf. For comprehensive guidance on submitting tax payments, refer to the New York Tax Department

How GoCo Streamlines Hiring & Onboarding in New York

Compliance might be one of your least favorite parts of HR, but it’s also one that deserves the utmost attention for the good of your company and its employees. At GoCo, we’re taking a bite out of New York onboarding compliance with our suite of done-for-you tools specific to your state.

GoCo creates worry-free compliance by organizing all the essential New York new hire paperwork, company-specific documents, tax information, and other important resources, all in a single place. With Magic Docs, you can instantly customize your new hire paperwork for each employee and send it to them via email. Once they sign, you will have digital copies for their file, plus you can check their progress at every step instead of chasing down paper copies.

We centralize all aspects of compliance and onboarding, benefits, payroll, and taxes. Collect all essential paperwork before the employee’s start date so you can skip right to the good stuff. Put tax withholdings and reporting on autopilot with the ability to update employee information quickly if their tax situation ever changes. And as new federal and state policies roll out in the future, trust GoCo to stay on top of things to take the guesswork out of compliance.

As your partner in all things HR and new hire onboarding, GoCo gives you back your time so you can focus less on compliance and give more time to creating memorable, impactful new hire experiences. Discover the benefits of GoCo’s HR compliance tools and say yes to better hiring and onboarding!

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