In my current Human Resources role, I work in an office that is on a university campus. As such, we see schools and schools (get it 😉) of students who come through our doors on a given day applying for jobs. Something that became very clear to me early on, is that in general, parents and guardians are not helping to prepare for certain things they will need to know to help the hiring process move swiftly!
Like almost every job that ever was, there are loads of onboarding documents A.K.A new hire paperwork (”skee wee”) that must be completed in order to officially be hired. While many of these documents are easy read and sign or fill out this section with the contact information that they could likely write down with their eyes closed (name, birthdate, address etc.), others require detailed information and knowledge. It is these forms that cause frustration for the students and shows the lack of understanding and preparedness.
Three forms that cause the biggest commotion:
Direct Deposit Forms- With a greater push to implement processes that reduce the waste/use of paper, mixed with the current and future of automation, many employers are moving towards a preferred, and in some cases a required direct deposit payroll process. Due to this, the direct deposit form may be required. Students will need to know that…
****The routing and account number are NOT the series of digits found on front of a debit card!****
The routing number and account number can be found on the front of a live or shall I say an actual check! I know sound the alarm!!!!! Yes, I did say it (or rather write it) the front of a p.a.p.e.r check!
Who am I kidding though, many adults don’t even carry checks around these days let alone college students. For students who do not know these numbers by heart (perhaps another alarm sounding comment), find the information out in advance and save if someplace safe.
While the routing number is generic to the specific financial institution and can therefore be found on the website, account numbers are tougher to come by. Some institutions make it quite difficult to obtain, especially over the phone.
I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)- The I-9 form which determines an individual’s authorization to work in the United States, is a required federal document that must be filled out by all new employees. While the form itself is quite self-explanatory, with the form must be accompanied by a supporting document/s (identification) in their original form.
Contrary to some popular belief, no matter how convinced one might be, or how many times and ways one asks, or even no matter the level of frustration felt and expressed, original does not mean a self-made photocopy. The only acceptable copy, is a notarized copy of a birth certificate.
Are you unsure of which documents are considered to be acceptable? If so, please click here for more information.
If you do not have an original birth certificate, you can go to the Town Hall where your child was born to get one, and if it the social security card that you need, you can go to your local Social Security Administration to get a replacement.
Tax Forms- This Item is by far the most painful. Painful for the students, most of whom have ZERO idea of how to fill them out, and painful for those of us working in the HR department who are not permitted to provide the level of help that is often needed. Parents and guardians PLEASE talk to about this.
Thought: You can even print both a state and federal tax form and fill them out before your student heads off to school… just in case. If you are nervous about the privacy of the information, leave the name, birth date, and social security information blank and your child can fill that part out upon being hired for a job.
There are many factors that determine whether your child can be exempt from taxes (no taxes taken out of their pay), or whether they need claim a number of exemptions/allowances and if they do there just as many factors that determine the exact number. We are HR staff and not tax professionals, and so please know that it is outside of our scope to provide advice on filling out tax forms.
Parents and Guardians: Please help prepare your students accordingly with the three items above that are requirements for all employers (possible exception is the direct deposit requirement). Not having the necessary information and identification will slow the hiring process down, and I am not a fan of molasses! More important than my taste however which is irrelevant and unimportant here, is the fact that on-boarding documents must be filled out fully and timely, and in quick hire setting like the one I work in, an immediate start is often crucial.
Although I am directing this post to students, please note that the above information pertains to all new hires.