Remember the days of calling the person or business you were planning to visit, asking for directions, writing them down and grabbing that piece of paper along with your keys as you headed out the door? Looking back – as your smart phone tells you to turn left in 100 feet – doesn’t it seem like an antiquated and inefficient process?

If your employees are still completing hard copy new hire forms, then consider the amount of time your new employee spends filling out these forms in addition to the time you spend checking them, or the reams of paper you use printing the forms, or the space you need to store each employee’s file. You’ll quickly see that your paper process is asking for directions.

As the hiring process moves toward automation, some employers are reluctant to automate their onboarding process, worried that such a complex process with serious legal implications is best left to the tried and true hard copy method. Food for thought: is a process that allows roughly 40 percent of all I-9s to be completed with errors (costing employers up to $1,100 per incident) tried and true?

Follow these step-by-step directions to arrive at your destination: an efficient and error-free onboarding process.

  • Look for an onboarding partner that can integrate with your online hiring process. Your new hire’s critical information – name, address, Social Security Number – will be auto-populated on each form, saving time and reducing the chance for errors.
  • Have your new hire complete or at least start the paperwork before their first day and he/she can spend more time on day one learning your business. If you’d rather the forms be completed on-site, you still save time compared to manually filling out each form.
  • Give your new hire a little help with worksheets to determine the proper state and federal tax withholding.
  • Validate I-9 authorization through the government’s E-Verify program within seconds.
  • Stop worrying about if your new hire filled out all forms completely. Your onboarding solution shouldn’t let them advance if required fields are empty.
  • Export your new hire’s information to the appropriate internal and external departments – including payroll – immediately.
  • Start thinking about what you’ll do with all the extra space. Your employee’s forms are stored online and are easily accessible, so you won’t need all those file cabinets.

Onboarding technology is like the GPS of driving directions. It will change the way you look at a once laborious process and will deliver efficiencies that let you focus on other critical tasks. Like finding your keys.