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How to hire employees in Texas

Hiring new staff into your business can be an exciting step that transforms all or part of your company. This applies especially to your very first employees but can invigorate companies of any size. With that said, hiring employees in Texas is much like hiring them anywhere else. It should be done methodically to maximize for the best possible results. Follow through the following steps if you’d like to learn how to recruit new staff through sound legal and business strategy.

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1. Register as an employer in Texas and federally

If you’re just starting out with your business and making your first employment selections, you should register as an employer at both federal and state levels.

Federally speaking, you can start by obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN, by filling out and submitting Internal Revenue Service Form SS-4. For your state-level registration, you likely need an Unemployment Tax Number from the Texas Workforce Commission.

2. Check local areas before you post your job

If your business serves local interests in your specific Texas community and depends on in-person staff, the process of hiring employees in Texas should start as close to home as possible. Finding candidates who live where you plan on having them work can make the recruiting and hiring process simpler. It may also make onboarding your new team members much less costly.

With this in mind, first try to find your candidates through local sources, such as job boards specific to your city, or through other online or offline recruiting sources that let you filter results down to the community level. You can always widen your search later.

3. Use city statistics, research and postings on Indeed Analytics

Indeed Analytics offers an employment recruiting dashboard that’s extremely sophisticated at methodically posting and refining your employee recruiting. You can use the platform to find insights on the best candidates in Texas or your specific part of the state.

The platform offers tools for optimizing recruitment ads and refining them to be more uniquely suited for certain job seekers. This can help you hire better employees more quickly and at a lower cost. A wealth of research data and stats for fine-tuning job postings is also available through the Indeed Analytics interface.

4. Look at sample job descriptions and check them against other postings

If you’re trying to hire staff for a position that’s in high demand, competition might make recruiting difficult. New employees in Texas candidates who know how valuable their training is might be picky about the recruiting pitches or ads they examine further.

To beat competitors at winning over ideal talent, make sure your job descriptions are optimized to be as enticing as possible by checking them against other listings. If at all possible, try to monitor the performance of your listings against those of your competitors.

One part of this process involves carefully creating and targeting your pitches and ads themselves. Another aspect of competitive recruiting follows after you gain interviews. This is where you let candidates meet you and impress them with your attentive professionalism.

5. Assess candidates in Texas

Search for candidates state-wide if your recruiting efforts for local talent in your area haven’t fulfilled your needs or you need to diversify your staffing geographically. You can hire job seekers from other cities for in-person staffing by laying out a mutually agreeable employee relocation plan.

Assessing candidates from different parts of Texas can include a mix of in-person interviewing, video conferencing and thorough reference checks that verify resume details. You may also need to perform more rigorous assessment screening through physical skills assessment testing or a criminal background inquiry, insofar as it’s permitted by Texas employment regulations.

By assessing your candidates beforehand, you reduce the chances of hiring someone who’s a poor fit for your business. This can reduce the burden on your new hire onboarding process and your recruiting budget.

6. Consider expanding your search to remote candidates

Another option to consider for finding staff that fit your company is remote work. If your search for local candidates hasn’t succeeded, and your recruiting budget doesn’t allow for relocating employees from other parts of Texas, consider the possibility of making the position workable for telecommuting. Not every business has the structure or workplace logistics necessary to allow this, but it can be surprisingly practical for many white-collar openings.

7. Follow Texas hiring guidelines

While Texas has a legal climate that’s favorable to employers, several guidelines for interviewing and hiring new employees must be kept in mind. They apply to all levels of the hiring process, as well as employment.

For starters, job postings themselves may not be discriminatory in nature and can’t show a preference for candidates based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or a number of other factors that indicate illegal biases against protected groups. The same considerations apply to job interviews, during which certain categories of discrimination and certain types of questions are illegal according to federal law.

Texas state employment law, as defined by the website of the Attorney General’s Office, also offers its own specific guidelines and rules that you need to follow before and after hiring a new employee for your organization.

8. New hire forms for hiring employees in Texas

When you finally hire one or more of your candidates in Texas as new employees, present them with a specific, legally defined list of forms and information sheets as part of their hiring orientation packet. These new hire forms for Texas should be read and signed by employees or yourself as legally necessary.

The list of forms will likely include:

  • I-9, Employment Eligibility Form
  • W-4, Federal Tax Withholding Form
  • DWC 1, Workers Compensation Claim Form
  • DOL notice re Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Disability Self-Identification Form (for companies with government contracts)
  • Notice of Workers Compensation Coverage Form
  • Consent for Background Check Form (if requested of the candidate)

9. New hire reporting in Texas

Under Texas law, when hiring employees in Texas, you are required to report your newly hired or rehired staff members to the Texas Workforce Commission within 20 calendar days of their employment start date. You can report online to the Texas New Hire Reporting Operations Center or by phone 1-800-850-6442. Reports about new hires or rehires can also be mailed to the Operations Center at the following address:

ENHR Operations Center
P.O. Box 149224
Austin, TX 78714-9224

The employee information in your report must include:

  • Your company name
  • Your business address
  • Your business federal tax ID number
  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employee’s address
  • Date the employee started working

10. Payroll rules in Texas

Once you’ve hired your employees, you will probably have to file monthly and quarterly wage reports while also holding back payroll taxes on their wages. The guidelines for federal employment taxes apply throughout the United States, and the IRS has procedures for handling them. However, local and county tax regulations might also apply, depending on where you’re based in Texas. You also probably have to pay Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance taxes for each employee.

11. Posting signs in Texas

In Texas, businesses and other organizations that employ onsite staff are obligated by law to put up certain posters that their employees can easily see. These posters let the hired staff know about their legal rights and the employer’s specific legal responsibilities according to state labor laws. The Texas Workforce Commission offers the legally required posters free for printing on its website.

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