Homebase’s guide to managing and storing employee onboarding forms

  • It’s important to make sure your new hire paperwork is in order for every new team member you bring into your company. But when you don’t have a human resources department, managing onboarding documents according to federal and state laws can be difficult
  • Homebase helps you create an effective onboarding experience by providing templates and allowing your employees to self-onboard before their start date
  • Our app securely stores all employee onboarding documents in one easily accessible place for up to four years

What are onboarding documents?

Onboarding documents are the paperwork you give new employees before they start working for you. Many of them are required by state or federal law. Others are highly recommended because they help you integrate new employees into your business more efficiently. These documents include:

  • Legal forms like the W-4 and I-9
  • General new hire information forms
  • Position-specific documents like the formal job offer or work contract
  • Training materials and resources
  • Your employee handbook

What documents do I need to maintain as an employer?

While dealing with paperwork is a tedious aspect of running a business, storing important documents properly and setting up an effective records storage system will pay off in the long run. All your employee documentation will be stored securely in one place that you and your team members can refer back to at any time.

It’s important for you to have easy access to your documents because the government requires you to maintain certain onboarding documents. If you get audited, you’ll need to prove you have the correct paperwork on hand and are staying compliant.

The government makes it mandatory for businesses to collect and store the following documents for all their employees, and some of them have to be completed during the onboarding process after you hire employees:

  • The employee’s original application and supporting documents like their resume
  • A signed copy of Form W-4
  • The employee’s pay deduction authorization for things like benefits
  • Records that show changes in employee status, including pay changes, promotions, and terminations
  • Records of disciplinary action

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states you have to keep the above documents for one year, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has other requirements. To satisfy their provisions, you have to store the following documents for four years: 

  • Gross receipts
  • Purchase documents like checks, receipts, and bank statements 
  • Expenses 
  • Assets
  • Employment tax records

Overall, from employee personnel files to important tax records, a secure document storage system is critical to remaining compliant. And instead of relying on paper documents, bankers’ boxes, or disorganized files and folders, Homebase provides advanced, secure, and cloud-based records management software that can store all the documents on your employee onboarding checklist and tax files securely.

Not to mention, when you store your documents with Homebase, you’ll have easy, real-time access to them through your desktop app and mobile device.

What is the best cloud document storage for a small business?

There are many solutions you can use to store your documents online, like Google Drive and other simple tools. But these options don’t provide a way for your employees to sign documents, so you have to download extra apps or provide your staff with a printer. That’s extra hassle for you and your employees when the onboarding process is already time-consuming and stressful enough.

Using an all-in-one platform like Homebase is the best way to maintain your records easily and accurately. We’ll post your job openings on top hiring sites and include applicant screening questions to help you sift through your candidates. Then, you can message them and schedule interviews with top applicants from the centralized dashboard.

And once you’ve hired an employee, you can use our file-sharing system to send your new hire an employee onboarding packet that includes all the documents they have to sign. Combining your document storage system with your employee management tool is a great way to make sure you’ve got everything in one place, ensuring a smooth start to your new hire’s contract.

How Homebase helps you manage and store onboarding documents in 3 simple steps  

As soon as you hire a new team member for your small business, it’s time to kick off the employee onboarding process. And it’s important to make sure you do it right to not only stay compliant with the law but also increase employee retention. 

Let’s explore how Homebase’s onboarding solution can help welcome new employees to your business and streamline the entire process in more detail.

1. Send employees an onboarding checklist right after their job offer

If you’re like many small business owners, you probably don’t have an HR team to manage the hiring and onboarding process. That means you’re solely responsible for:

But Homebase can drastically reduce your workload by providing a sample onboarding document checklist in your hiring and onboarding dashboard.

After finding the right candidate from one of the top hiring websites, Homebase can send them an employee onboarding checklist. Inside the checklist, they’ll find a new hire packet that includes every new hire form both you and your new employee need to fill out to stay compliant. Our app can also send out your business’s employee handbook with essential information like company policies on the dress code and paid time off.

2. E-sign onboarding documents before day one

Not only does Homebase send your new hires the forms they need to complete, but we also allow them to e-sign the documents online. That means when your new hire walks through your doors on their first day, you’ll have much more time to focus on your business priorities.

You can also introduce your new employee to their job description, their team, and your company culture instead of wasting time in the office filling out forms. Every document will be squared away and they’ll be able to focus on training, orientation, and getting to know the rest of the team. 

As mentioned, an effective onboarding process also plays a critical role in ensuring employee retention and reducing turnover. Having this extra time to let new hires adjust will also greatly improve your team member’s first impression of your business and their new role.

3. Store your documents securely

One of the most important aspects of onboarding documents is storing them properly. That’s because if you don’t file each employee’s forms correctly, you risk a hefty fine from the government in the case of an audit.

Homebase takes care of those concerns by storing official documents the right way. Our onboarding feature stores every employee’s signed documents securely in Homebase’s software. And even better, they’re easy to access if your staff needs to view or edit them.

Why choose Homebase to help with your onboarding documents

Homebase is the best hiring and onboarding software because it brings all your hiring and onboarding processes together in one place. 

After you find the perfect candidate, Homebase kicks off the onboarding process instantly, wasting no time or effort. You can easily add your new employee to all the schedules, timesheets, and payroll forms within our system. That way, scheduling their first shift and formally bringing them on board is seamless, easy, and efficient. 

Then, Homebase takes care of all your new hire paperwork with its onboarding packet that contains all the essential documents. With Homebase on your side, you can finish your mundane onboarding paperwork in virtually no time so you can focus on more important work, like training your new team members.

FAQs about onboarding documents

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What documents are needed for a new employee?

The documents you need for a new employee are:

  • Legal documents like Form W-4 and Form I-9
  • Employee documents like the signed job offer, job application, and resume
  • Formal work contract
  • Direct deposit form that authorizes you to make payments to your employee’s bank account
  • Employee benefits forms

What are some key points to include in an onboarding document?

Some key points you should include within many onboarding documents are:

  • Your employee’s full name
  • Their job title
  • Their social security number
  • A description of their role and responsibilities
  • Their starting salary or hourly rate
  • Their agreed-upon start date

Where should I keep my onboarding documents?

You should keep your onboarding documents in a safe location that employees can access easily. Homebase is a secure digital storage system that employees and managers can view and edit at any time. It can also make sure your employee documents stay safe from any kind of damage or theft.

Why is online document storage better than a document storage box?

Important document storage should always be secure. And if you’re relying on a file box to maintain your records, you run the risk of losing them to disasters or theft. That’s not to mention the normal wear and tear that can come along with you and your staff handling the files.

Homebase makes it easy to securely store employee records like background checks and tax records. That means there’s no risk of losing all your files in a fire or flood.