employee onboarding checklist

Hiring employees can be a big step for a small business owner. Bringing on employees can help your business increase capacity and allows you to focus on your passions and expertise in the business. You may be hiring employees to focus on specific aspects of your business, such as sales, marketing, or product development—or simply for general assistance with the day-to-day operations. Whichever it may be, onboarding new employees can be a time-consuming process, requiring a considerable amount of documents and information. It is vital to ensure you and your new employee have completed all required tax documents, and that you have all information needed to start paying your employees. We have put together an employee onboarding checklist with tips and tools to make the onboarding process seamless.

What onboarding steps do you need to take as the employer?

Congratulations on the expansion of your business! Before you begin collecting information from your new employee, you will need to prepare and send an offer letter, including details about the new role and its purpose with the company, as well as compensation and benefits. Include any information that may be relevant to your industry or place of work (in-office or remote; dress code; etc.). 

Your employee should review and sign the offer letter, indicating that he or she has indeed accepted your offer. This is the point in time that you will need to start collecting onboarding documents from your new hire and taking important steps internally. These may look different depending on your industry and the professional level of your employee. Below are a few steps you will need to take as you onboard your new employee:

  • Verify his or her working address (remote employees) to ensure accurate tax withholdings
  • Review relevant local and national laws, such as Equal Employment Opportunity, anti-discrimination laws, and any other industry-specific laws
  • Verify qualifications, such as certificates and degrees
  • Establish a profile in your payroll accounting system, as well as how he or she should be paid (direct deposit, check, or other)
  • Provide company policies and procedures

What information do you need from your new employees?

Once you have established and agreed upon your new hire’s duties and compensation, it’s time to enter him or her into your HR system. Before your new hire gets to work, it is important to ensure you have collected all vital information to verify work eligibility and determine appropriate tax withholdings. Again, depending on the type of employment, you may need additional or alternate tax forms. Below you will find a list of tax forms for hiring an employee (rather than a contract or freelance worker).

  • Legal name
  • Social Security number
  • Current address
  • Date of birth
  • Completed copy of form I-9 
  • Completed copy of form W-4
  • Banking information if opting for direct deposit

Top tools we recommend to small business owners to automate employee onboarding and payroll processes

The onboarding process can take a substantial amount of time to complete, especially when your business is expanding rapidly and you need to onboard multiple employees simultaneously. If that’s the case in your business, consider automation. While some of these processes do require your attention, using a cloud-based payroll and HR app such as Gusto can be an incredible time-saving tool with the ability to automate or simplify many of the above tasks.

There are many tools out there that can simplify and automate employee-related tasks, but only select apps (such as Gusto) can automate both onboarding and payroll tasks. With one app capable of managing all employee-related aspects, the need for double entry and transferring data is eliminated. Not only does this reduce security risks associated with sending personal information back and forth, but also saves you and your employees countless hours. Both you and your new employee will have access to the app, making the onboarding process seamless, which is especially helpful in virtual onboarding. 

On a bonus note, if you’re already in the cloud, Gusto seamlessly integrates with Xero

What can Gusto do for you and your team?

  • Automatic payroll deductions, direct deposits, and filings
  • Customized offer letters and job posts
  • In-app employee onboarding checklist to walk you through the process step by step
  • Access to HR professionals
  • Time tracking, time-off requests, and PTO policies specific to your business
  • Health insurance, 401(k), HSA, FSA, and many other benefit packages

Employee onboarding checklist links

Having an employee onboarding checklist on hand can keep you organized during the process. To take it one step further, utilizing a cloud-based payroll and HR app can make the onboarding process seamless with all information in one secure app. If you’re thinking of hiring employees in the near future, consider reaching out to our team to learn about the many benefits of a cloud-accounting app. Or, if you’ve been through the onboarding process before, only to find out there is way more to it than sending an offer letter, let’s get you set up for future success with Gusto.