I-9 Verification for Remote Employees
The increasing use of remote workers in recent years has provided a distinct advantage for businesses of all sizes and industries, enabling greater flexibility, cost savings, employee engagement and productivity, and the ability to hire specialized talent regardless of geographic location. According to a survey conducted by the London Business School, 34 percent of business leaders expect more than half of their full-time employees to be remote workers by 2020. However, despite the benefits for companies, employing remote workers can also present challenges, particularly when it comes to verifying employment eligibility during the onboarding process. Thankfully, the use of cloud-based onboarding software can help to prevent common Form I-9 errors for remote employees to keep businesses compliant and avoid costly government penalties.
Here are three ways onboarding software helps prevent Form I-9 errors after you hire remote employees:
1. Keep Your New Hires on Track
Once a candidate is hired by an organization, they are required to complete a Form I-9 within three business days of their start date to verify their identity and eligibility to accept employment in the U.S. While in-house employees would usually handle this task with their human resources department on the first day of work, a remote employee working far from the office would not have this same opportunity, leaving the possibility open for delayed completion of the form. However, by using automated onboarding software, the remote employee can receive a customized task list of required activities to complete after accepting a job offer, and can complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 prior to their start date. In addition, through the use of integrated I-9 and E-Verify software, they can also coordinate logistics for completion of Section 2, which must be handled by an authorized company representative. Finally, as completion of the Form I-9 is reaching its due date, remote employees can receive automated reminder notifications to ensure they complete the form in the required timeframe and ensure no detail is missed. According to data from Aberdeen Group, 78 percent of businesses use onboarding programs to provide new hires with necessary forms and other relevant employment documents.
2. Complete Required Onboarding Forms with Ease
Another common issue that remote employees face when filling out the Form I-9 is they are unsure of the information required in Section 1, leading to incomplete documents that create a liability for the organization. Possible errors include forgetting to list date of birth, checking multiple boxes regarding citizenship status, or not signing and dating the attestation. Using onboarding software, remote employees can benefit from seamless candidate profile data transfer from their company’s applicant tracking system to auto-populate fields, intuitive guides to ensure forms are completed correctly the first time, as well as electronic signature options that eliminate the need for having to physically sign a document. As businesses have errors on about half of their Form I-9 documents, these important features can help to avoid unintentional mistakes that can cost businesses thousands of dollars per year.
3. Verify Employment Eligibility in Seconds
Using onboarding software that is integrated with I-9 and E-Verify software also speeds up the employment eligibility verification process when using the U.S. government’s E-Verify program. By having the ability to automatically transfer new hire data between systems, businesses can benefit from substantial time savings when verifying a remote employee’s identity against information on file in government databases. As more than 195,000 businesses throughout the U.S. utilize E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility, this represents a tremendous opportunity for process improvement and simplification nationwide. Additionally, as 30 percent of recruiters say disparate systems resulting in redundant data entry and loss of data integrity is their biggest talent acquisition technology challenge, incorporating integrated onboarding and employment verification software to enhance productivity and engagement should be a top priority for all businesses.
Although verifying employment eligibility for remote workers continues to remain a challenge for many organizations, using cloud-based onboarding software can offer a simple way to help reduce the likelihood of employee or company errors, save time and money, and ensure compliance to avoid costly government penalties. With a 600 percent increase in both random and targeted audits for Form I-9 data by ICE, employers must do everything they can when onboarding remote employees to protect their businesses while continuing to abide by government regulations. For more information on the benefits of using cloud-based onboarding software, be sure to read our Hiring Insights article, “Don’t Get Left Behind: Why You Should Invest in Employee Onboarding Software.”
Authored by:Glen Braunsdorf, Content Strategy Associate, iCIMS