As the stress of increasing daily tasks and commitments begin halting that initial, rapid upstart growth of your company it may be time to consider hiring your first set of employees. Delegating these day to day obligations to other individuals will become essential to letting you continue working on the most important piece of the business, your company’s growth. Although daunting at first due to the numerous regulations and guidelines to hire employees in Massachusetts, the process can be broken down into three distinct sections: Interviews and Screening, State and Federal Legal Documents, and Employee Record Keeping.
Out of these three pieces to recruiting the most important to proper growth is how you conduct your Interviews and Screening. This process will become the backbone of how you consider reliable personnel that are needed to give you freedom for other, more pressing activities. One of the first items companies consider in the hiring process is usually the background and screening checks to verify employee compliance with Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI). Given your type of business this information can prove vital and selecting a reliable candidate to perform their job duties, but should be kept until the end of the hiring process. These background and screening checks cost roughly $45 – $55 which can prove cumbersome to finances if the interviewee being screened has not been fully considered for the position. To avoid spending excess money without intent the use of Personality Quizzes, Phone Screenings, and Multi-Stage Interviews can be implemented to better vet the application pool. These types of initial interactions with your applicant will ensure the character, skills, and description of the person you’re considering line up to your own values for the company. Performing these checks multiple times with the same applicant will also help determine which applicants stay true to their initial interactions with you and haven’t simply “told you what you wanted to hear” in the first impression. Following these personality and value checks with the background and screening process will provide a more solid understanding and ground of your new employee, pending any legal issues that may arise. Regardless of your ability to properly hire via state guidelines and keep records for tax purposes, without the right base for selecting employees to push through this process you may find yourself spending more time relieving the improper personnel of their duties in the firing process.
Once you’ve done due diligence in selecting the right candidate for the job you’ll have to provide the correct State and Federal legal documents to make the hiring official. In Massachusetts the employer is required to present a new hire with the following forms:
- W2 Tax Form
- M-4 Massachusetts Tax Withholding Form
- W-4 Federal Tax Withholding Form
- I-9 Employment Eligibility Form
- Employee Protection Information (Describes the rights of the Employee)
- Industry and Occupation Information (Dangers or specific requirements of the job)
Failure for an employee to complete or acknowledge these forms in their entirety will prevent the employer from reporting the new hire information to the Massachusetts New Hire Reporting Program which must be completed within 14 days of the employee’s start date. In addition to these required documents it is always important to check if your city or county requires additional forms or information to be presented during the new hire process.
With legal paperwork and company screenings completed, it’s important to keep an accurate record of all information provided to and provided from the employee. In the event that any adverse actions are being made by the employee it will be important to reference these past materials as a self-check to your own process. Did you request the correct information to make a proper judgment on the new hire? Were there red flags that should be addressed in the future that relayed these potential adverse actions? The nature of selecting individuals to grow your business is an always improving process that may require a change in the early stages of implementation. Aside from helping to improve your initial hiring process it will also be important to hold this paperwork for legal reasons. By being able to prove that the employee was made aware of all company guidelines and procedures while also demonstrating that the company is following State and Federal guidelines will become essential in winning or preventing legal disputes. These disputes could stem from employee dissatisfaction, state audits, or tax filings and being unprepared for these instances could prove disastrous to the business.
Although this is just a short summary of items that should be included or discussed, it is always important to perform adequate research in the assembly of your hiring process. This article focuses on hiring in Massachusetts and should only be used as a basis for hiring in other states. Always do your research to make sure that your particular state or county does not have additional or separate guidelines to follow. For more information regarding legalities of questions, postings, or required disclosed information for jobs in Massachusetts please refer to the 2019 Employment Laws For Massachusetts found here.