Most businesses require employees. While employees can help get things done, they also require quite a bit of work to ensure that the process goes smoothly. For small businesses, this is often an afterthought. Taking time to bring an employee on board can save time and effort and, ultimately, help retain employees.
The Onboarding Process
There are a number of steps that have to be completed when a new employee is hired. It is advisable to have a checklist or process to help keep organized. This will help standardize the process so that everything gets done the same way and done timely for each new hire.
The Employment or Contractor Agreement
It is usually advisable to either issue an employment offer letter or have the worker sign a written agreement. This is especially true for workers who are classified as contractors rather than employees.
These records will typically explain what the work hours are, what the holiday schedule is, what paid time off is available (if any), and whether and how vacation time is accrued and available for us.
If employment letters or agreements are not used or do not cover these issues, other means of conveying these policies should be used. Employee manuals can help with this. The employee should sign an acknowledgement to show that the employee received and agreed to the policies.
Many states, including Texas, also require the employer to post notices about minimum wage and overtime laws. The state will usually send a letter to the employer once they notify the state of the first employee who is hired by the business.
Payroll or Pay Records
If a worker is treated as an employee, the business needs to get the worker to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, or a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The instructions for these forms provide additional records the business needs to keep, such as a copy of employee’s government-issued identification card.
The state may also require a report to be filed to report the new hire. If the business participates in workers compensation insurance, the business will usually have to notify the insurance carrier about the new employee.
For workers classified as contractors, the business needs to have the worker complete a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
If employee benefits are offered, the business needs to add the new employee to the benefit programs. This can include notifying various third party vendors. This typically includes vendors for health insurance and retirement plans.
Employees will typically need several items to be comfortable and successful in their new roles. This will often include everything from office space and equipment, to software and access to computer systems, to tools and equipment.
Manager and/or Mentor
One of the last steps is to help the employee understand their role, their duties, and how they can be successful in their new job. This often includes assigning the employee to a manager and possibly a mentor.
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