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New Hire Employment Packets: What Should Be Included?

written by: Tess C. Taylor, HR Expert•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 3/30/2011

If you are a human resources officer or involved in bringing new employees on board, here's the basics on what to include in new hire employment packets.

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    1338212 business man As a general HR rule of thumb, using new start employment packets can be beneficial to the successful on-boarding process of new employees at any organization. In order to make this as pleasant an experience as possible for new hires, putting together a packet of helpful information and employment forms for employees, takes a little pre-planning. Designing a new employee package is a simple task any human resource professional can manage. Here are some items that should be included in a new hire employment packet.

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    Introduction and Welcome Letter

    An employee information packet for new hires would not be complete without a welcome letter to the new employee. This employee welcome letter should be written on company letterhead and addressed to the new employee by name. Take a moment to give some brief background information about the company and where the company is headed in the near future. Wrap the letter up by including contact information for various resources such as payroll, benefits and supervisors.

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    Employee Policy Handbook

    The next, most important element of the new hire employment packet is the actual employee policy handbook. This comprehensive guide should include all the information a new hire could possibly need to be successful on the job. From the company’s mission statement to detailed workplace policies and procedures, make sure this is part of every employment packet. Ask employees to sign off that a copy has been received and read fully, giving new hires the opportunity to ask any questions he or she may have.

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    Standard Employment Forms

    Employee new hire packets should also include the standard employment forms as required by the government. These forms can include W-4, I-9, 1099, EEOC surveys, Welfare to Work forms and more. Depending on the region for which the employment will take place, be sure that the proper forms are included to legally identify new hires to make sure they are eligible for employment. Failure to include these forms, or get this information within the first few days of employment, can lead to steep fines and legal troubles later on for employers.

    * Note: For access to the most recent employment forms, please see the links found below in the resource section.

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    Insurance, Payroll and Benefit Information

    New hires are usually interested in knowing what to expect in terms of insurance, payroll and other employee perks. A good employment packet for new hires should include detailed information about these needs. Include a copy of basic insurance rates for different individual and family plans. Give instructions on using the time tracking system, a list of payroll dates and information about where to direct questions about payroll. Include a comprehensive directory of all the benefits available to new hires with important benefit deadlines.

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    Uniform and Equipment Forms

    For workplaces where new hires must wear uniforms or use special equipment as part of the job, a new hire packet should include forms for gathering this information. Use a simple order form to get the employee sizes, equipment needs and more. Be sure to include all the pertinent information to make this process easier, now and in the future for uniform replacements. Keep a copy of these forms in the confidential employee file and refer to it often, when needed.

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    Emergency Contact Information

    No employee packet for new hires would be complete without an emergency contact information form. This will be an invaluable resource if and when an employee becomes ill or experiences an accident on the job. Use this form in the new hire packet and update this annually for all employees to keep information current.

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    Resources and Photo Credit

    Resources

    * IRS: Updated Employment Tax Forms (I-9's, W-4's, and more)

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99194,00.html

    Gross, Barrie, "Important Documents to Include in a New Hire Package", Allbusiness.com, retrieved on March 26, 2011 from:

    http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/contracts-bids/12278219-1.html

    Photo Credit

    http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1338212