5 Steps To Take Before Hiring An Employee
Dan Levenson July 30, 2015
The hiring process can be a necessary but exhausting task. While it may be difficult to find the best employee to work for you, after you’ve done so, keeping them requires a bit of work. You have to obtain the correct documentation such as tax and insurance forms, purchase the insurance that is required by law for you to have, and maintain the appropriate regulations that have been determined the government.
From interviewing to creating an employee file, taking all the right steps will lead you to a successful employee-employer relationship without negative legal consequences.
Who is considered an employee?
The law states that an employee is any person that is hired for either a wage or salary in exchange for work. It differs vastly from that of an independent contractor, because the employer is responsible for any liability insurance in case they are injured on the job, as well as upholding any labor or age restrictions.
Before you hire an employee, you schedule an interview either on the phone or in person, or a combination of the two. Request that they bring the following with them to expedite the process.
- License or Photo ID
- Address, email, and phone number
- Contact information of past employers
- Samples of work or a portfolio; if this applies
- Any particular clothing (shoes, pants) if you are going to show them around a factory or business that has safety regulations
Once you have decided to hire the person as your new employee, there are several forms they need to fill out and forms you need to file on their behalf.
- From the employee:
- Social security card
- Any licenses if they apply to your business
- Proof of past employment
- School transcripts
- For the employer:
- W-2 and W-4 forms (they will assist with this)
- Form I-9
- Add employee to insurance
- Register employee with your state’s new hire reporting program
Both independent contractors and employees must sign a contract when starting to work. They differ in scope, and an employee contract usually focuses in on a long-term arrangement versus short term:
- A description of the responsibilities of that position
- Wage amount, delivery method, and frequency of payment
- Dress code, including who pays for the required items
- Rules on schedules, hours, call-ins, being late, etc.
- Terms of leave periods your company provides
- Acknowledgement that you are responsible for their taxes, health benefits, etc.
- What can result in termination
- What constitutes harassment (most states have specific rules for employers to put in place for their employees safety)
When you have employees working for you, you must have insurance. This refers to liability, injury, and damage insurance, as well as personal health insurance benefits. Some states require you provide your employees with health care, others do not, so make sure to follow up with the provisions set forth by your state. When it comes to all other kinds of insurance, it is best to have more than what you think you might need. If someone is injured on the job, you are responsible for paying for their care.
Employees are required to record payroll and supply the IRS with tax documents for all their employees. Both W-2s and W-4s are needed, and are relatively simple to fill out. Keeping on top of this will be helpful when you submit your own tax forms, as well as making it easier on your employees. The IRS charges fees if the information isn’t submitted or is incorrect, so implement the correct procedures, or hire an associate to handle all tax related situations for you.
Now that you’ve finished all parts of the hiring process, obtained all documentation, and submitted your tax forms, your employee can begin to work for you. Make certain to keep all records up-to-date and make any adjustments that are needed as you go along. The government has strict rules that you should follow, but it also makes for a healthy employee/employer relationship to do everything mentioned.