Whether you are hiring a single employee , or an entire department of staffers, presenting a branded and well-organized hiring packet can make your business shine. Hiring packet information, written into a comprehensive onboarding program or orientation program, provides an introduction to the company culture and makes for a more streamlined onboarding experience. Let’s get started.
New hire checklist
As a hiring manager, it’s your job to make sure your new hire packets are legally compliant and give new employees the right impression. Here are the ten must-have forms for your new hire packets.
1. Welcome letter
One of the critical documents in a hiring packet is the welcome letter written on company letterhead, addressed to the new employee. On day one, provide a warm welcome to the employee, giving them a brief introduction to the company, the mission statement, and how excited you and the team are that the individual has chosen to come work for you. Give a name and contact number of a member of your human resource team should the new hire have any questions or need guidance during the first critical few months on the job.
2. Employee information form
When onboarding new hires, it’s important to have some general information for each employee, stored in the confidential employee file. A simple, one-page employee information form can provide this opportunity. Include an area for the employee to share their correct mailing address, emergency contacts, their birthdate, and any special health or personal requirements to make them comfortable on the job.
3. Emergency contact
Adding new employees means taking on a certain level of responsibility for their well-being. That’s why you’ll need them to fill out emergency contact information when they come on board. Emergency contact forms should include the employee’s own information for inclement weather notifications (home phone, address, etc.), as well as contact information for a primary and secondary individual who can be notified in the event of a crisis. Some employers opt to include questions regarding an employee’s medical alert information and/or food allergies, both of which must be optional for them to disclose.
4. Tax and direct deposit forms
There are specific forms that all new hires must complete during the first 48 hours on the job, so why not make it simple and include them in the hiring packet? In the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security require all new hires to verify their legal eligibility to work. Include a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and have the employee complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification to meet these requirements. To make it easy for payroll to set up the correct tax deductions, have the employee provide you with an authorization form for direct deposit.
5. Employee handbook
Getting oriented to the company is something that all new hires focus on in the first few weeks of employment. That’s why every new hire packet needs an updated employee handbook. Provide a printed copy of this handbook and include a sign-off sheet to verify receipt. Review the handbook with all new hires, go over all company and employment policies, and answer any questions that the employee may have. You may also want to integrate a digital version of the manual that includes access to online safety and harassment training.
6. Insurance, retirement, and benefit information
If your company offers benefits packages to your employees, you’ll both explain these benefits verbally, as well as include this in your new hire packet. Within, provide an overview of all benefits, retirement savings, and insurance plans currently offered, with a breakdown of the costs and value of each plan for them to elect. Give the employee a listing of any special perks or incentives your company offers as well, such as onsite wellness or company discounts. If there is a signup period for these benefits, advise the deadline to participate.
7. Confidentiality or non-compete agreements
Confidentiality and non-compete agreements ensure that company information stays within the walls of your business and that your new employee can’t jump ship and go work for a competitor — at least not right away. These agreements cover a specified geographic area and time frame, both of which need to be reasonable for both parties.
Importantly, non-competes and non-solicitation clauses have some restrictions. The employee can’t be restricted from making a living after their time with your company has ended. Furthermore, non-compete forms can be challenged in court, and they can be overruled if they’re seen as too restrictive, so it’s important to put thought into drafting them to ensure they’re fair. It’s also important to take a look at who you’re asking to sign these forms. If the new hire won’t be exposed to sensitive information, they probably don’t need to sign confidentiality agreements. These are most often for employees in senior positions. Lastly, check your local and state laws regarding non-compete clauses. There is a chance they are not permitted, or the law requires specific regulations.
8. Company directory
During the onboarding process, it’s important that new hires have access to the resources and information they need to be successful. Understanding who the leaders and team members are, their roles, and how to contact them is paramount to this process. In your new hire packet, provide access to a company directory that lists the names, email addresses, and telephone extensions of each department head.
9. Office map
Your new hire will need to get used to navigating the office, so it’s important to give them a map so they can orient to their surroundings with ease. With more and more people working virtually, office maps might not be necessary, but organizational charts certainly are. For both in-person and virtual employees, organizational charts help outline the employee structure at a company. This will assist them in knowing not only the traditional chain of command but also the scope of employee/department responsibility. Knowing who to contact for what is essential information for new hires.
10. Employee access
Employees need to be able to get into your office, whether virtually or in person. Forms detailing badge information, passwords, and login information for such things as online platforms and payroll are important for new hires. You might also include troubleshooting information and contact info for the appropriate personnel if your new hire gets locked out of their account or loses their ID badge.
Additional forms to consider
Once you’ve gotten the essential forms out of the way, you can look at including some more fun items. If your company sells or gives away merch like shirts, hats, or mugs, you can include information for it in your new hire packet. You can also include coupons to stores/restaurants around the area, fun facts about the company, light-hearted personality quizzes, and magnets/stickers with your logo. Further, you may include employee engagement information such as ways to engage on social media, ways to participate in company culture-building events, or promote the company and company’s work at large.
Remember, that onboarding can be a smooth process when it’s organized and strategic for each new hires’ success. Make a new hire packet a part of every new employees’ orientation experience.