The Compliance Perils of Onboarding Remote Workers
Remote onboarding can quickly and easily become a nightmare for ill-prepared companies. Broken onboarding processes can lead to glaring omissions, disgruntled new remote employees, and tremendous liability.
With over 57 million Americans engaged in the gig economy and the explosion of tech-enabled side hustles and work from home opportunities, the need to handle onboarding for remote workers is only going to continue to grow. Your organization needs an onboarding process that’s automated, consistent and standardized for your remote workers to ensure full compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
Here are the 4 most common perils – and how to avoid them!
1. Tax regulations
Federal, state and local tax regulations vary and change, and organizations must provide new employees with the correct, up-to-date forms.
Antiquated onboarding processes that rely on paper forms can easily be outdated or incorrect. Don’t risk the liability of incorrect taxes by relying on uncertain forms. The key is to have a centralized library of standardized forms that is automatically updated every time there is a change, so there’s never a worry that new employees are filling out the wrong form.
2. Data compliance
New remote employees share sensitive information with your organization as they complete the onboarding documentation. They are essentially sharing their entire legal existence with you – from their social security number to their banking information – and trusting your organization to keep it safe from fraud, identity theft, and more.
It is your duty to have their data transmitted to your organization and stored in a SOC 2 Type 2 compliant manner, where it can be protected from hackers, data miners, viruses, and malicious intent.
Don’t risk your remote employees’ sensitive information with unsecured transmittal or storage practices. New remote workers should be able to log into a secure, password-enabled site to upload and store their documents.
3. Process breakdowns
Paperwork and manual onboarding processes are risky and often get waylaid. Busy hiring managers and HR can easily miss a step in the onboarding process, use outdated paperwork, or be too busy to input new employee’s information into the system, which can lead to payroll and benefit delays.
Late payroll and insurance delays are unfair to new hires, paint the organization in a very unflattering light, and are not compliant with federal regulations.
4. Decentralized onboarding
If your onboarding process is a manual beast with paperwork that’s stored in multiple locations – you’re likely at risk of onboarding packets that differ by location and difficulty finding employee information in the event of an audit or legal need.
Ensure the onboarding process is consistent and standardized for each remote worker by centralizing onboarding and having one digital, mobile-first, guided process for every single employee to follow – with automated data flow from your ATS to your onboarding system to your HRIS.
Don’t worry – the onboarding process can still be tailored to each role and location. This standardization speaks to the process and delivery, not the experience.