3 steps to completing an onboarding checklist for new hires

  • As soon as you hire a team member, the next step in your new employee onboarding checklist is to collect all the necessary new hire documents.
  • Federal law states you must ensure each of your team members complete the necessary paperwork and that you store the documents.
  • Homebase helps make your new hire onboarding checklist easier by both sending the documents and storing them for you.

Step 1: Prepare an employee handbook and contract

A successful onboarding program starts with laying the foundation of your business policies. Ensure you have an employee handbook, both for onboarding new employees and to reduce employee turnover and increase employee retention in the long term.

When sending your job offer letter to your new team member after applicant screening and background checks, you should also send over an employee handbook that is equipped with information about your business. This information should include details on any type of benefits package you offer to increase employee satisfaction, as well as company culture policies and career development opportunities.

The new employee should also be able to view their responsibilities, schedule expectations, and compensation so they feel comfortable enough to ask questions on their first day on the job.

You can send this handbook and other new hire forms through Homebase’s employee onboarding feature. Homebase’s tools make for an effective onboarding process. They allow you to communicate with new hires before day one and lay out the onboarding plan so they can hit the ground running when they walk through the door.

Time clock app punching in employee pin

Step 2: Have employee complete new hire forms required to work in the United States

In order for employees to work in the United States, they need to complete several documents required by the government as part of the onboarding process. These documents include:

  • W-4 Form (which will require their social security number): This form determines the employee’s federal income tax withholding.
  • State W-4 Form: Also known as a state tax withholding certificate, this form is used to determine state income tax withholding in applicable areas.
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form: Completing the I-9 form verifies that an employee is eligible to work in the United States.
  • Employement application form: A signed job application form allows you to conduct background checks.

If you do not have an HR team as a small business, it can be a cumbersome task to manage the signing and returning of all these documents, especially if you are hiring more than one person at once.  Luckily you don’t need to hire an entirely new department to help you get each and every new hire’s paperwork in order.

At least, not if you let Homebase do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to your onboarding checklist. With Homebase’s employee onboarding, new hires can self-onboard before their first day of employment.

Our software will email a new hire packet to your new team member that includes all of the necessary federal and state forms. Then, the employee can e-sign the documents before starting the job, and they’ll be securely stored in the cloud.


“We grew so attached to Homebase that I almost didn’t switch to a better POS system because I was worried about not being able to integrate Homebase. Luckily, we were able to upgrade our POS and keep Homebase - best of both worlds!”

Marko Sotto

Owner at Barzotto

Work from anywhere using timeclock app

Step 3: Properly store new hire packet documents

After the employee provides other information such as email addresses, emergency contact information, and other human resource details, it’s important to store everything.

In most cases, the government won’t require you to submit any of the new hire forms. But you must keep them—failing to do so can lead to heavy penalties. It’s also important to keep the new hire documents in an accessible location should anyone need to take a look at them.

Homebase can help with this step as well! Every document your new hire signs as part of the onboarding process can be stored in Homebase. The documents will also be easily accessible for whoever needs to edit or view them.

Hopefully you learned a little more about how to collect new hire information. If you want to hire and onboard employees the easy way, click here to get started using Homebase.

Why is my employee onboarding checklist important?

As soon as you hire a new employee to be a part of your team, the next step on your onboarding checklist template should be to collect all of the forms required by the US government.

According to federal labor laws, it’s your responsibility to ensure your employee completes the paperwork. It’s also your responsibility to store these documents.

Seeing as it’s our motto here at Homebase to make work easier for you and other local businesses, we’re here to help. In this article we’ll cover the steps you need to take to collect new hire information. We’ll also show you how Homebase can make this step in the hiring process quick and easy.