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Avoid Penalties: Maintain a Legal Hiring Process

Last Updated on September 5, 2021 / Recordkeeping


We are continuously chasing paperwork for employees that a manager may have hired but didn’t include HR in the hiring process.  What problems does this present that we can share with the hiring managers?


​It is important to make sure HR is included in the hiring process to assure all items are completed and proper documentation on the process is maintained.  If steps are skipped or documents missed, it can come back to haunt the employer in the future.  Some of the items that are essential for HR review includes the following.

  1. I-9 Forms. ​ Legally, the I-9 form must be completed within 3 days of date of hire.  ​Not completing the form timely can result in hefty penalties for employers (​)​
  2. New Hire Reporting.  ​In Ohio, new hires must be reported to the state within 20 days ​ of hire​.  Each state has a different process or requirements for this. So, if you are in other states, check those requirements.
  3. ​Consistent Hiring Process. ​ Consistency can lead to legal issue​s​ as well.  For example, you run a risk that Manager A is not following the same procedure as Manager B for the similar role, which could be seen as discriminatory even if it isn’t intentional. This could be with regards to the interview process, background checks, drug screens, references, etc.
  4. Timely Benefit Enrollment. ​ If new employee​s​ do not receive ​benefit enrollment paperwork in a timely manner, they may miss the window to enroll.  For example, ​a client company offers Long Term Disability to ​their employees.  If the form is not completed and employee enrolled in 30 days, they have to do a full physical​ and could be turned down for coverage​.  
  5. Consistent compensation allocations. ​ Inconsistent compensation can lead to potential discrimination claims or just create internal equity issues.  If a manager does not check with HR or Finance before an offer is made, it could completely upset the compensation structure within the company and even cause inequity issues.
  6. Communicating employer policies.  If a new hire starts and is not provided the employee handbook and violates a policy, they could claim they never received the handbook​, leading to ​(potentially) ​a wrongful termination. ​ Employees must receive policy information and sign off on that receipt. ​
  7. Complete onboarding process. ​ In today’s job market finding candidates and keeping them is a challenge.  If new employees are not properly onboard​ed, ​from legally required paperwork to details about their job and the company, it could create a higher turnover rate.

​As you can see, some of these items are legal and some can result in fines for the employers.  Let HR “in the loop” on all hires before they happen and to make sure these problems don’t come back to haunt.


Employment recordkeeping does not rank high on the list of favorite human resources functions, but it is vitally important. Take the I-9 Form for example. Failure to complete this form on a new employee could result in a series of fines. Avoid the fines and minimize your stress level by having Strategic HR assist with your recordkeeping compliance. Visit our Recordkeeping page to learn more about our services.