New hire documents on line

We are a construction company with job sites spread over 50 miles. Hiring is done at the various job sites and that is where the new hire documents are completed. It is a problem getting the documents returned in a timely fashion to our H.R. department, and when they are received many times something is missing, not signed, etc. I have been thinking about setting up our documents on our server and having new hires complete them on line.

One major concern is whether it would be efficient as a lot of folks may not be comfortable using a computer. I've also thought about using Tablets so individuals can write rather than type the information.

Does anyone have hiring documents on line? What problems have you encountered? Is it worth the work getting everything established?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


  • 14 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I think anything employees can access online is helpful for them as well as for the company and well worth the time and effort it takes to make it happen. Granted, it won't be the ideal solution for everyone, but it will be for a majority of employees.

    In the meantime, to get documents returned to corporate in a more timely manner, try sending the remote supervisors a "compliance packet" that contains clear instructions on how and why they need to forward documents to you. Also, include postage paid envelopes so all they have to do is slip the docs in and seal the envelope.

    One last thing, if completing HR paperwork in a prompt and correct manner is not part of the remote managers job descriptions and isn't included in their performance appraisals, then it should be so add it to them soon.

  • Sharon makes a good point. In a past life, I dealt with many offsite "mini" offices scrattered over several states. Their main priority was getting their job done and that did not seem to include HR paperwork. Everytime I visited these offices I made it a point to look through all the personnel files to ensure what was supposed to be there was and what was not supposed to be there wasn't. After a few months of finding many errors I fianlly got the president of the Division to buy in and this became a priority to the office managers. It would have been a big help if we could have had the papework on line simply to ensure they were using the most current versions. Make sure your forms are state compliant.
    In my present life, we do it the old fasioned way and all of the new hire paperwork is completed here at the Main Office for all employees.
  • Carol,

    We, too, had that problem and considered on-line, but most of our employees are not computer savvy, if you can believe that in this day and age. Our resolution was to bring all new hires to the corporate office for a 3-4 hour orientation, then send them to our local clinic for their physicals and drug tests. The new hire gets to meet all the corporate staff and HR, Safety, Operations and Payroll all participate in the orientation.

    While this may seem a bit extreme, it as has many advantages. The same doctor is conducting all our physicals and drug screens so we have some consistency, there is consistency in the information provided during orientation, we are certain all information is covered during orientation as opposed to "just sign the form", all the paperwork is done properly and in a timely manner, we get to put eyes on the new people and they have faces to put with names when they need a problem solved.

    Sure it takes time and commitment from HR, Safety, Payroll and Ops, but, we feel building that relationship with new hires is worth it.
  • We hire over 90 summer staff each year which creates a great deal of paperwork and postage expense. We moved our hiring paperwork online and found it to be very successful.

    We use a third party website called [URL=""][/URL] to host our online applications and hiring paperwork. Its a great site. Lots of features but easy to use.

    Moving the hiring paperwork online also allowed us to have employees submit a photo so we could create a photo directory before they even arrived.

    The only issue I had was how to get a signature. We have them type out their full name as an the "online signature" and then they sign a print out of their paperwork at orientation.
  • I should add that we have now moved our part time hiring paperwork online and will eventually move all our hiring paperwork online.
  • Paul:
    I could not help but notice your comment "allowed us to have employees submit a photo" the emphasis being on employee and not applicant. I recall in a past life I visited a new multipurpose facility opening in central IL or IN for the company I then worked with. They were hiring somewhere around 300 people and had over 1,000 apply. One of the managers had the great idea of taking a photo of each applicant and attaching it to the application – just to help them remember which one was which. I honestly believe his heart was in the right place but he left his discrimination hat at home that day. I spent hours pulling photos and running them through the shredder that morning.
  • I understand where you're coming from, Dutch, but I look at it a bit differently (as I often do...):

    You would see the person before they were selected anyway, assuming you interview in person. So what's the diff?
  • I think it's like making a note on your paperwork that the person was a 'soft-spoken woman' or 'tall hispanic man.' You may mean well, but having color, sex, national origin, etc, glare at you gives support to a lawsuit claiming discrimination.
  • That was exactly it Nae. This was worst than a company trying to use some home made code on an applicaiton to indicate race, gender, age, etc.... 'sides our legal dept. back at the home office didn't just say no.... they said "HECK NO!!!"
  • Writing race-based (for example) comments on the app is completely different than accepting a photo.

    Can anyone provide me of an example of a verdict against an employer for allowing an applicant to submit a photo with his/her resume?
  • To clarify, the request for a photo is part of their hiring paperwork and not part of the application.

    We don't ask for photos. When candidates come in for interviews, I will also shield my eyes so I never get a good look at them. :)
  • [QUOTE=ACU Frank;720626]Writing race-based (for example) comments on the app is completely different than accepting a photo.

    Can anyone provide me of an example of a verdict against an employer for allowing an applicant to submit a photo with his/her resume?[/QUOTE]

    Frank, I can't cite you any case law. However, I think if you had photos and 50% were people of color and your hiring ratio was 20% people of color, a jury might find you were racially biased. Especially if there was a large difference in percentages when it came to those who got an interview and those who didn't. It just makes sense to me to avoid setting yourself up. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you are really biased or not. If the [I]appearance[/I] says you are or are not, that is what matters to those who are judging you.
  • I understand the rationale, but my point was that I don't believe the rationale has ever borne fruit. We have enough real headaches in HR without inventing more.

    This isn't an issue that really affects me, since I don't even accept resumes... just online applications. I still think it's overblown. To Paul's point, he was talking about employees, not applicants. Of course, there are those who take this even further by telling you not to have photos in personnel files, lest you make promotional decisions based on them. Ridiculous. How many managers are going to promote an employee they've never met or seen?
  • We even moved our references online. I was very hesitant because in theory a deceptive applicant could complete his or her own references online and it would be very difficult to tell. (Assuming they went to the trouble to create fake e-mail addresses)

    But it hasnt been a problem. I have not seen a reference yet that seemed questionable. We often follow up written references with phone calls so if there was fraud, the applicant would be taking a great risk.

    Oh, we also put our exit interviews online. That has been very successful. The employees simply complete the information at their leisure and they get a gift card for their time and trouble. They can also request to speak to me personally if they want to.
Sign In or Register to comment.