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One of the most exciting aspects of HR management is getting ready to welcome a new hire. All the hard work that went into attracting candidates and making a selection has paid off, and you want to make sure everything is ready for the new hire’s first day of work.

For a successful start to each employee’s experience with your company, it’s essential to have all the necessary forms and information you need to help them get onto payroll and benefits. Having a comprehensive new hire template can help you achieve that goal while also helping you stay organized and well-informed about any missing information.

Use these five tips to create and leverage a new hire template that supports your employee onboarding process:

Make it a part of your onboarding plan

hiring-during-covidResearch has revealed that a structured onboarding program can lead to higher employee retention and productivity. A new hire template adds structure to your onboarding program by helping to capture the documents and information necessary for an employee’s successful entry into the company. In addition to day one introductions, systems training, and other orientation activities, the new hire template helps you avoid delays and ensure each employee’s onboarding plan gets started on the right foot.

Include the essential components

A new hire template is only as good as the information it’s designed to collect. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure your template includes all relevant job and employee information, as well as all information required by law.

Here are the key components you should include in your new hire template:

  • Employee demographic information, e.g., name and address
  • Offer letter
  • Federal and state tax withholding information
  • I-9 employee work authorization
  • Employee handbook and other policy acknowledgments
  • Benefits election information
  • Orientation schedule
  • System and training requirements

Make it applicable across the entire company

Since there may be some variation in the employee onboarding process in different company functions or locations, it can be tempting to begin using more than one new hire template. However, instead of creating multiple templates, which can become inefficient over time, create a template that you can use for any position. One way you can make your new hire template broadly applicable is by creating sub-sections that apply to only certain groups of employees. For example, if some of your positions require uniforms, safety training, or special equipment as part of the onboarding process, you can create optional fields in the template to incorporate those items.  

Automate your new hire template

Automating the new hire process and moving new hire information to the cloud helps eliminate paper and cut down on duplication of efforts. Instead of having new hires complete physical paper forms, you can use your HR system to automate the whole process. Many systems also come with electronic signature capability, making it easy for new hires to submit W-4s, handbook acknowledgments, and benefits enrollment forms electronically. You can also take advantage of opportunities to integrate your HR system with other platforms, such as benefits technology.

Keep employee information secure

Whether you use a paper or system-based new hire template, it’s important to make sure you control who has access to confidential employee information. Different individuals within your company will need access to some parts of an employee’s record, but few outside of HR will need access to all of it. For example, payroll staff will need access to an employee’s salary and tax withholding information, but not information about the employee’s dependents or 401k beneficiaries. Carefully determining access to sensitive information protects employee privacy and also helps others get the information they need to get new hires onto payroll and benefits.

A new hire template is more than a form. It can also be the gateway to a smooth onboarding experience for employees. Follow these tips to collect, organize, and automate your employees’ new hire information.

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