New employee documents can be a burden. We recognize they are still one of the most important parts of employee onboarding, but there has to be a better way to complete these forms. They’re cumbersome, boring, and they can slow down the hiring process. In the meantime, we have a few ways companies can alleviate the dread of filling out I-9s and W-4s and make onboarding just a little bit happier.
Beware of Attention Spans
New employee documents are that much worse when they’re part of an elongated onboarding process. If your new hire spends half of their first day filling out paperwork and reviewing company policies, they’re so burnt out they won’t be able to absorb the entirety of the information during the rest of the onboarding process.
This is why you need to start onboarding before day one. By dispersing thesedocuments when employees prep for their first day, you bisect the process and make it easier for your new hires to focus on day one in the office. You can do this by creating an online version of the documentation, so employees can view and complete them online whenever (and wherever) they have time. That way, your employees don’t have hours of paperwork when the time would be better spent immersing themselves in company culture.
Reduce, Reuse, Don’t Re-Enter
No matter when your new hire fills out their employee documents, it’s entirely possible that they’ll still fall into a daze mid-process with the repetitive nature of W-4s, i-9s, 1099s and the like. Don’t make your new hires re-enter their personal information over and over again; it wastes their time and the time you’ve spent creating these virtual documents if they half-heartedly complete them.
Reduce wasted time by simply using automated forms. When you upload the paperwork online, make sure all of those common fields are saved locally, meaning new hires only have to fill them out once. Without redundantly filling in the same boxes, you can cut out a lot of time spent on new hire documentation. With automated forms, the University of Florida was able to cut down its paperwork process to just less than 10 minutes. 10 minutes. Imagine what you and your new employee could do with all the time you’ll save!
Create an E-Signature
One of the most inconvenient parts of online forms is the signature. In the past, if candidates were doing new hire paperwork outside of the onboarding period, you’d have to print out a form, fill it out and sign it, scan it, then send it back to the company at which you were getting hired. Yes, it used to be much worse! However, in the modern workplace, we can upload and fill out forms online without printing documents.
Now, with recent legislature announcing that online signatures are just as valid as physical ones, there’s no reason you can’t have your new hires create e-signatures to fill out their new employee documents. Importing signatures from other software, however, can be a hassle. Just like they can re-use bits of information to fill out forms more quickly, new hires should be able to create an e-signature online as part of the onboarding process. Then they can sign as many forms as they need to, no scanning or importing required!
Eliminating these three steps should cut out most of the redundant parts of filling out new employee documents, and leave your new hires free to enjoy their first day (or week, even!) and get acquainted with their new role, new coworkers and new organization.
Bio: Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.