With 12.7% of employees in the U.S. working remotely and a further 28.2% working on a hybrid model, it is more important than ever for HR departments to implement effective remote onboarding procedures. One challenge to remote onboarding is form I-9 compliance.
Completing Form I-9 can be a time-consuming and complex process, especially for remote hires. However, there is a solution that can help to accelerate the hiring process and improve accuracy: remote I-9.
HR onboarding software with remote I-9 integration allows employers to complete the process without bringing the new hire into the office. This can save time and money, and it can also help to speed up the onboarding process.
What is Form I-9?
The Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services document that every U.S. employer must complete within three days of employment and retain for every person they hire in the United States, regardless of their immigration status.
The advent of remote I-9 verification has streamlined the hiring process, making it faster and more efficient, particularly for companies employing remote workers or those located across various locations.
Remote Process with Physical Inspection: A Shift in Hiring
The traditional process of I-9 verification involved in-person meetings, where HR personnel had to physically inspect and verify the original documents produced by the employee. This process is time-consuming and presents challenges for hiring remote employees or those who couldn’t come to the office for verification.
However, due to the impact of Covid-19, the U.S. government implemented relaxed I-9 inspection guidelines to accommodate social distancing measures and minimize in-person interactions.
As a result, employers were given more flexibility in verifying employment eligibility, allowing for alternative methods such as virtual verification and extended deadlines.
It’s important to note that those relaxed I-9 inspection guidelines have now come to an end, with the government reinstating the requirement for physical inspection.
Despite this, there are still alternative ways to maintain a remote process. Employers can now use authorized representatives to inspect their eligibility documents without having to do it themselves.
How Remote I-9 Accelerates Hiring
During COVID, the remote exception allowed for I-9 forms to be completed remotely, however, with the reinstatement of in-person inspections for many, numerous employers are left wondering how to proceed. Luckily, there are still remote options available!
In addition to those enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing, who can continue to virtually review documentation via live video calls using E-Verify after verifying previously reviewed I-9s, employers can also utilize authorized reps through services like notary networks and remote I-9 software to facilitate and streamline the I-9 process.
These processes can save employers time and money, and improve the candidate experience. Some of the benefits of using remote I-9 software include:
- Efficiency: Remote verification reduces the time required for the verification process. Traditional methods require scheduling and conducting face-to-face meetings, which can be logistically challenging and time-consuming. Remote verification can be done in a matter of minutes over a video call.
- Flexibility: With remote verification, geographical barriers are no longer a concern. Companies can hire from anywhere, widening their talent pool and expediting the hiring process.
- Streamlined operations: Remote verification allows HR departments to streamline their operations. It eliminates the need for physical document storage, as forms can be completed, signed, and stored electronically.
- Accuracy: Remote I-9 software often uses advanced scanning technology, such as optical character recognition (OCR), to scan and transcribe identity verification documents. This helps to reduce the risk of data entry errors.
- Compliance: Remote I-9 software is designed to be 100% compliant with all federal regulations. This helps employers avoid fines and penalties. Penalties for I-9 paperwork violations range from $252 to $2,507 for the first offense for uncorrected technical errors or substantive violations.
- Reduced candidate drop-off: Research suggests that candidate drop-off rates are around 30%, with many candidates citing a long recruiting process as the main reason for abandoning the company. The I-9 completion and verification process can be time-consuming and stressful. Remote I-9 software reduces candidate drop-off by making the process more convenient and efficient.
- Saves money: Notaries to verify I-9 documentation can cost around $100 per employee. HR onboarding software can save employers money on notary fees and travel expenses by offering I-9 verification programs for just a fraction of the price.
The Impact on Remote Hiring
Remote I-9 verification has had a transformative impact on remote hiring. It has allowed the hiring and onboarding of employees from different parts of the world and reduced the time taken to onboard these employees.
As a result, businesses can quickly fill vacancies and maintain operational continuity, providing them with a competitive edge.
Easing the Burden on HR Teams
The remote verification process relieves HR teams of the logistical burdens associated with traditional I-9 verification. The ease of digitizing documentation and storing it securely, combined with the compliance features of remote I-9 software, allows HR professionals to focus on more strategic tasks.
Transform Your Hiring Process
The shift to remote I-9 verification has been a boon for businesses, speeding up the hiring process and enabling the onboarding of new employees in a timely and efficient manner.
Remote I-9 verification is an indispensable tool in today’s rapidly evolving and globally dispersed work environment by making the process more streamlined, flexible, and legally compliant.
The benefits are evident: faster hiring processes, broader talent pools, eased HR workloads, and increased operational efficiency. As a result, remote I-9 verification is likely to become the new norm in the world of recruitment.