6 types of HR documents every small business needs

  • Last Updated: February 24, 2022
  • 3 Min Read
6 HR documents every small business should have

No small business owner wants to worry about compliance issues. By keeping track of necessary HR documents, you can pass audits and other regulatory processes like a pro. Here are six types of documents that will strengthen your organization's compliance with local labor laws:

  1. Recruitment and onboarding paperwork

Hiring managers must accurately define employment terms and maintain relevant employee records. The following documents are crucial for successful recruitment and onboarding:

  • Job descriptions: outline the primary responsibilities and necessary qualifications for every role in the organization.

  • Job application forms: collect candidate details, including their educational background, prior work experience, contact information, etc.

  • Offer letters: detail the candidates' primary responsibilities, their base salary, compensation and benefits, probation period, at-will status, etc.

  • 1-9 forms: ensure candidates are legally eligible to work in the United States.

  • W-4 forms: allow HR departments to determine the amount of tax withheld from employees' paychecks.

  1. Payroll documents

Every organization must document key payroll records, including the offer letter, the employee's personal information and employment status, time and attendance data, and payment details. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must retain employee payroll records for a minimum of three years. Payroll laws differ from region to region, so it's important to check in with your local jurisdiction. 

  1. Employee handbook

Employee handbooks help employees understand company policies and regulations. The first part of the handbook might outline your organization's mission and values, while the second part clarifies general workplace policies. It's also important to explain how employees should manage confidential company and customer information, as well as the consequences of failing to adhere to these policies. The third part of the handbook should address compensation, raises, and promotions. It should also outline available benefits and eligibility criteria.

  1. Training documents

All organizations must carefully record compliance-related training programs for audits. Other documents associated with employee training and development can improve your small business's overall approach to training. For instance, creating a training handbook can help employees understand what to expect and how to complete assignments. Maintaining a budget document can help your small business understand the impact of the training on your organization's ROI.

  1. Performance paperwork

Retaining performance-related paperwork will help you evaluate your company's review process. Team leads and managers often complete annual performance reviews, and HR departments can help by providing appraisal forms that document employee achievements and feedback. The performance review process could also involve self-review forms that enable employees to evaluate their own performance. Once the performance review is over, you may choose to send out appraisal letters that recognize employees' hard work and detail salary increases, if applicable.

  1. Employee exit documents

Just like onboarding, offboarding involves essential documents. If an employee leaves your company voluntarily, it could be beneficial to collect a signed resignation letter. If it's involuntary, you'll likely want to provide them with a termination letter. A few days before your employee's last day at your organization, you can conduct an exit interview and provide the employee with an exit questionnaire. This questionnaire gauges the employee's overall experience with your organization. It's important to document the responses and use them to improve your organization's management style and internal processes. Finally, you may choose to write and file a reference letter for particularly dedicated employees.

Keeping it compliant

Getting HR paperwork right is key to making sure your small business abides by labor laws and treats employees fairly. Even a small error can put your organization through unnecessary compliance issues that can hurt your company's image. We hope this blog gave you a good idea about the different documents you need to avoid compliance errors.

Zoho People, our HR software, comes with a built-in document management system that allows you to keep all your records in one place. These documents can be accessed, edited, shared, and signed from anywhere, anytime. Learn more about Zoho People's document management system.

Also Read: 5 HR tips to grow your small business

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