New Hire Paperwork for New Employees [Complete Guide]

New hire paperwork includes documents that ensure compliance with state and national law, as well as internal policies such as the employee handbook

All You Need to Know About New Hire Paperwork

Any new hire at your company has to go through a series of formalities and hoops before they become official employees. The new hire paperwork is one of those many hoops, and it can be a tedious one for both, the employee, and the manager who has to onboard a number of employees each month.

Unfortunately, some of the paperwork is required by law, which makes it mandatory for compliance. Still, paperwork doesn’t have to be cumbersome, it doesn’t have to dominate a new hire’s first day, and it doesn’t even have to be paper-based. With solutions like GoCo, your new hires can accept their offer letters and complete all of their paperwork before their start date, creating a better first-day experience for employees and HR pros alike.

To help our clients bring on the best of talent, and onboard them the right way, GoCo includes a digital onboarding solution for sending documents and collecting signatures electronically. You can learn more and take a tour of GoCo at

Everything You Need to Know About New Hire Paperwork

As mentioned, some documents, especially the legal ones, are mandatory to include in your new-hire paperwork package. This is to ensure compliance with state and national employment law. Other documents, however, are mostly according to the specific needs of the host company.

A number of concerned government agencies such as the IRS, United States Department of Labor, and the Department of Homeland Security have form guidelines that help you create a set of legal documents, for income tax and similar obligations. If your company currently works with legal consultants, you can have them draft the legal documents while your HR staff comes up with HR-specific paperwork.

Some documents, such as the employee handbook and the company policy forms, are very specific to your company. You can take your time sending them to employees. In fact, it is a good idea to gradually introduce this paperwork in the onboarding process. This will ensure that new hires understand the rules as a part of learning how the company works, and how they are supposed to contribute to it.

At GoCo, we believe in leaving the manila envelope behind! All our paperwork can be automatically sent to new-hires as soon as they accept their offer letter. Plus, you can easily maintain all employee-specific documents in one place.

A 4-Point Checklist for New Hire Paperwork

Here are a few vital elements to keep in mind when putting together new hire paperwork.

Employment Contract

Send this contract with the job offer email to avoid having to sit with employees while they examine and sign it.

The employment contract should include:

  • Job information
  • Length of employment
  • Work schedule
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Conditions for possible termination.

Then, there are the legal and tax forms, required by law (as per state regulations). Some of the more common employment (legal) forms include W-4 forms, State Tax Withholding and I-9 forms, employment eligibility verification, and E-Verify systems. These are used for tax purposes (federal income tax, background checks, etc.) and for compliance with various other worker’s compensation rules.

You might also like: What is a W4 Form? And How to Fill it Out in 2020

Internal Forms

Get new employees’ signatures on these forms to help build relationships with them.

Internal forms should include:

  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Non-compete clauses
  • Drug/alcohol-related and past-record policies
  • Security and confidentiality agreements
  • Employee handbooks

Don’t be too focused on the legal aspects of the paperwork when presenting it to employees. While mandatory, the legal documents should not be all the employees think about when signing the forms.

Employee Benefits Documents

In case you offer benefits, you need to give each new hire paperwork that includes the terms and conditions for said benefits.

Regardless of the size of your company, you should offer:

  • Health insurance and life insurance
  • Stock options
  • Health and wellness benefits (gym memberships, etc.)
  • PTO and sick leaves
  • Eventual tuition reimbursement

As your company grows, you can start offering extended leaves, disability insurance, 401k’s, etc.

Employees’ Personal Data (For Emergencies)

You will need to receive and maintain your new hires’ personal details, for a variety of health and safety purposes.

These can include:

  • Brief medical history
  • Emergency contacts
  • Known allergies or aversions (gluten-free, lactose intolerant, etc.)
  • Social Security Number

Remember not to sound too intrusive on the paperwork when asking for employees’ personal data. Simply ask them to fill in all the details that would help you assist them or contact them directly (or indirectly), in case of an emergency.

New Hire Paperwork: How to Streamline the Onboarding Process

If your company has limited resources to spend on HR management and record-keeping, chances are you are already overwhelmed at the prospect of creating all this paperwork for new hires. From there, there’s the eventual onboarding of new hires – which adds to the responsibilities.

Luckily for you, there are several things you can do to make sure you streamline the onboarding process for every new hire, while also minimizing the effort put into drafting paperwork.

Here are some of the main pointers to consider:

Know Federal, State, and Local Labor Regulations

If you know all the rules, not only will it be easier for you to comply with them, but you also won’t have to draft redundant paperwork. Additionally, it will help your company in case there is a government-based audit on it. Just keep a close eye on any changes to laws and regulations, and implement them accordingly in all relevant paperwork.

You might also like: Company Culture and Onboarding

Complete New Hire Paperwork Beforehand

Draft all the relevant new hire paperwork and either send it out before their first day, or have it ready for the employee to sign off on during the onboarding process. Also, inform them of these obligations beforehand, so that it doesn’t distract them while they are learning their responsibilities and the organizational processes in your company. If possible, use a solution like GoCo!

Store Employment Paperwork in a Centralized Location

All employment paperwork should be stored and ready to hand out to new hires, from one single location. This prevents delays in regular processes should you need to produce such paperwork in the event of an audit, or in case you’re looking to alter a new hire’s nature of employment (promote them, transfer them to another department, etc.).

Make Use of HR Software

HR software is the modern-day solution to an extensive set of HR professionals, who take time and resources to hire and put in place. One of the best ways to streamline the hiring and onboarding of new hires is through HR software, such as GoCo. Our HR software suite lets your employees complete their paperwork online. You can also store all the employee guidelines and benefits information in one place – allowing your new hires to access them whenever they want.

Choosing the Best Onboarding Software for Your New Hires

If you’ve recently started expanding your workforce, you’ll know how tedious all the initial hiring paperwork can be – especially on the employees’ first day.

To counter this issue, GoCo provides an all-in-one hiring and onboarding solution though it’s modern HR platform. From storing all the necessary documents to sending them to new hires, and even keeping a record of their onboarding process, GoCo does it all. In addition, you can make direct deposits via the software’s efficient payroll processing facility.

With an online Human Resources tool such as GoCo, you can not only manage employees at the earliest stage of their tenure, but make sure they get the proper welcoming treatment they deserve as new hires. Check out our product tour today!


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