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New Employee Forms

After hiring a new employee, one of the first things you will do is have them complete new hire paperwork. New employee forms allow the organization to keep track of each employee’s information and documents. These forms are filled out by the employee who submits them to the human resources manager. Then, the HR department places the forms and relevant information into the employee’s file.

New employee forms are critical to keeping your payroll in order, keeping track of benefits and staying legally compliant.

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What are new employee forms?

New employee forms are documents that the new hire must fill out before employment. These documents are meant to track the employee’s hire date, tax information and compensation package details. Some industries may also have specific, industry-exclusive new hire paperwork such as a nondisclosure agreement or a noncompete contract. Your employees will also need to fill out a direct deposit form if they want to be paid electronically rather than with a check.

Related: How to Hire Your First Employee

Types of new employee forms

There are many types of new employee forms. Not every organization will use all of these forms, and there may be additional forms needed. Nonetheless, these are some of the most common types of new hire forms:

  • Employee application
  • Copy of background check
  • Offer letter
  • Equal opportunity data form
  • Employee contract
  • Form W-4
  • Form I-9
  • Nondisclosure agreement
  • Noncompete agreement
  • Direct deposit form

This list of forms isn’t exhaustive for several reasons. For one, some employers may require additional types of new hire forms as per government mandates. Additionally, they might require extra internal forms depending on the employee and the position. An employee under the age of 18 who does not have a driver’s license may need to use an alternative form of ID, as one example. However, the forms for employees listed above and other documents all fall into one of three categories: government forms, internal forms and policy acknowledgments.

Related: 10 Recruiting Strategies for Hiring Great Employees

Federal and state new employee hire forms

Equal opportunity data (EEO) form

An equal opportunity (EEO) data form is not required for every employer, but it is a document that’s used to understand an employer’s hiring practices. Many employers include the EEO-1 Survey with the application process in a digital form.

Form W-4

Form W-4 is used for tax reporting. According to the IRS, new employees must fill out a Form W-4 before they receive their first paycheck. The employee will fill out Form W-4, including information such as their legal name, marital status, dependents and withholding amount. Additionally, some employees may choose to withhold a larger amount, and this is the form they will use to request that.

Form I-9

Form I-9, also referred to as an Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is used to determine a new employee’s work eligibility and legal authorization. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), many employers arerequired to hold onto this document, and in some cases may also be required to request additional information or documents from the employee. Depending on the information provided in the I-9, the employer may need to request a work visa or additional credentials.

Related: Necessary Documents for I-9 Verification

Document that proves employment eligibility

Employment eligibility documents are instrumental in hiring new employees. This document helps in filling out the I-9, as it proves your new hire has the right to work in the United States. This document may be a birth certificate, a Certificate of Naturalization or proof of permanent residency. Native American tribal documents also fulfill this role.

Employee benefits documents

Any job that offers benefits will need to document these benefits internally and for tax purposes. These benefits will vary by company and by the type of benefits you offer, but the most common benefits documents pertain to:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement
  • PTO and vacation
  • Sick leave

New hire reporting

New employee hire forms always include reporting documents, as businesses must report new employees within 20 days. Federal law mandates that employers report new hires to the relevant state agency within that number of days, but states may require reporting in a shorter timeframe.

Internal new employee forms

Related: Employee Information Form: A Template for Your Business

Employee application

An application for employment is a form that employers give to interested candidates. It often includes fields such as name, address, contact information, previous experience and education. Some employers may also request references on the employment application. Many organizations will hold on to an employee’s application even after they have been hired. The application will become a part of the official employee file.

Employee contract

An employee contract is a signed agreement between the employer and the employee. The employee contract lists the requirements and expectations of the position so that both parties are clear about the agreement. The employee contract might also include information about temporary employment if the employee is hired on a temporary basis.

Offer letter

The offer letter is the letter that comes directly after the employer has agreed to hire the candidate. While an employer might first give a verbal offer, this should soon be followed up with a written offer letter. The written offer letter includes important details about the employee’s terms of employment, including their start date, pay rate and any additional benefits that may be offered. If the employee agrees to the terms of the offer letter, then they will sign it and return it to the employer to be filed away.

Copy of background check

Some employers require a background check for new employees. If a background check is completed and the employee is hired, a copy of the background check may be included in the employee’s file. In most cases, the background check does not go into detail but informs the employer whether they have passed or failed.

Direct deposit form

A lot of employees today prefer to receive payment directly deposited into their bank account. A direct deposit form gives the employer the authority to automatically deposit funds into the employee’s bank account. It also gives them permission to store the bank information. In order to complete the process, the employer must have a direct deposit form on record.

Policy acknowledgment forms for employees

Noncompete agreement

Similar to an NDA, a noncompete agreement protects an organization from employees who may leave one business and seek employment with another within the same industry. Working for a new company that is a direct competitor of the previous employer could be considered a conflict of interest. A noncompete agreement prevents the employee from working with a direct competitor during a certain time period and within a certain geographic area.

Nondisclosure agreement

A nondisclosure agreement, also referred to as an NDA or confidentiality agreement, is used to protect proprietary information in an organization. New employees will often have access to an organization’s business plans, employee contacts, client information and other proprietary information. If the employee were to leave the company and share those secrets, it could be detrimental to the organization. A nondisclosure agreement requires the employee to agree to confidentiality, whether they continue employment with the organization or not.

Employee handbook acknowledgment

Many businesses include an employee handbook filled with advice, guidelines and other information for new hires. It might also contain important information concerning safety and legal liability. As such, it’s normal for companies to require an acknowledgment of the information in the handbook. This helps ensure that all new hires are on the same page and understand key information that will help them succeed at their new company.

Related: Employee Handbook Guide

New employee forms FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about new employee hire forms:

What are two forms of identification for employment?

A driver’s license and state ID are some of the most common forms of identification for employment. However, they’re not the only acceptable IDs. A Social Security card, residency permit and passport (expired or unexpired) are all viable forms of identification. A US or foreign birth certificate can also prove identification.

What forms do employees need to fill out for payroll?

New employees need to fill out a Form I-9 to verify employment eligibility as well as a W-4 for income tax. In states with an income tax, it’s necessary to fill out a second W-4.

Are employers required to report new hires?

Federal law requires employers to report new hires to the state in which they’ve hired within 20 days of hire. However, this may vary by state, as some states have labor regulations that advance the timetable considerably.

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