Employee Info: 6 Things You Need from Your New Hires

HR manager helping employee fill out new hire forms

When you hire someone new, it’s essential that you collect and store some information about them during onboarding. You can save time and ensure consistency by creating a new hire checklist containing these six things you need to know about each member of your team.

1. Personal information

Ask your employees to provide the following basic information:

  • full name
  • birth date
  • Social Security number
  • home address
  • mailing address
  • mobile and home phone numbers
  • personal email address
  • preferred method of communication

Some of these details, like their birth date and Social Security number, will help you fill out the New Hire Reporting form you’ll need to file with your state. Other info, like their email and phone number, will help you get in touch with them as needed if they’re not at work.

2. Emergency contact info

An emergency contact can be very important in case of unforeseen events involving your employee. It’s precautionary, but it’s always best to be prepared.

Read also: 10 Tips for Creating a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Small Business

3. Necessary health information

You may need an employee’s health information for health insurance or wellness plans. You might also need to know whether your employee has any allergies or any health-related requirements to ensure they’re safe while doing their job. Be careful, however, that you don’t ask for any information you don’t need.

Keep any medical information in a separate, secure file to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.

4. Work eligibility

Under federal law, each new employee must complete Form I-9 to confirm that they’re eligible to work in the U.S. The form is straightforward, and your team member will need to submit identification that proves their identity and eligibility to work in the country – this could be a passport or a driver’s license and Social Security card. As the employer, you should provide instructions on how to complete the form and explain what types of identification are acceptable.

After your employee fills out Form I-9, review the identification documents provided to verify that the person is eligible to work in the U.S. Keep the form in a secure location in case an issue arises – such as immigration services paying a visit to your business.

5. Tax withholding details

To ensure that you’re withholding the correct amount of state and federal income taxes from each paycheck, ask your new hire to complete Form W-4 (both the state and federal versions). Your team members will fill out basic information – like their address and Social Security number – and let you know whether they want additional taxes withheld.

This can be a confusing form, especially if it’s the first time your employee encounters the federal version released in 2020, so encourage them to use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to help them accurately fill out their W-4.

Employees can ask you to change their withholding amounts whenever they want, but it’s most common to request a change after a significant life event, like getting married or having a baby. You only need to keep their most recent W-4 on file.

6. Direct deposit authorization

One of the first questions every new hire will have is: “How will I be paid?” If you’re paying them by direct deposit, you may need a completed direct deposit authorization form. The form asks for the employee’s bank name, account number, routing number, and account type (checking or savings). Your team member will sign the form to give you the green light to deposit their paychecks directly into their bank account. Not every state requires this form, but having one ensure that your staff’s paychecks are going to the right place.

Every HR team can benefit from a streamlined onboarding process. By ensuring you have these six pieces of information for each employee, your new hire will be ready to get to work and get paid.

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