Small businesses often don’t have the budget or resources to hire an in-house HR professional. But, that’s not an excuse not to stay compliant with state and federal laws. To ensure your business is protected, you must keep important business documents such as employee handbooks, performance reviews, and employee contracts on hand. The following documents below are essential for every small business’s needs:

Recruitment and onboarding paperwork

Hiring managers need to be able to clearly define the terms of employment and keep accurate records of each new hire. To ensure a smooth onboarding process, the following documents should be kept on hand:

  • Job description: A job description is a report of the duties, tasks, and qualifications expected of a job. It is usually written by the manager or HR director. The job description must accurately indicate the essential tasks of a position and list the job requirements and responsibilities.
  • Job application forms: A job application form is a document or form that applicants complete and submits when applying for a job. These forms may include basic information such as name, address, and contact details, requiring more personal information, such as educational background, work experience, and references.
  • Offer letter: Hiring someone for a job is exciting, and you’ve spent a lot of time looking for the right person. But before you sign on the dotted line, you’ll want to make sure you have all the paperwork you need for employment. This includes an offer letter, which outlines the job and salary, as well as the employee handbook or company policy handbook.
Employment Agreement

It’s important to have an employment agreement when hiring employees, whether you’re hiring a part-time assistant or a full-time executive. Employment agreements lay out the rights and responsibilities of an employer and employee. These documents aren’t just for large corporations. Business owners with 1-2 employees should also have employment agreements.

Payroll Documents

Small businesses are often short on resources and could miss some key documents like employee handbooks and employee manuals. These documents can be essential, especially to your employees, but are often passed over in favour of more strategic documents like company presentations and proposals. That’s why we recommend creating a document for each of your employees that outlines your company’s vision and values and also contains instructions about important company procedures, like payroll. This document should be signed by both the employee and the owner and should include contact information for Human Resources.

Employee Handbook

It’s essential that new employees are on board right from when their first day starts. But proper onboarding can be time-consuming and costly, so naturally, small businesses want to try to reduce this cost wherever possible. For companies that need to onboard a large number of new employees, having new employee documents, employee handbook, etc., ready at the beginning itself can help set clear rules and regulations for them. However, while making these documents, as an employer, you can make sure it complies with state and federal laws.

Performance Paperworks

As a small business, it’s your responsibility to run a tight ship. More than likely, you utilize all kinds of different performance documents to keep tabs on how your employees are doing, project costs and deadlines, and more. And while you may have a system in place for keeping everything organized, all that paperwork can get in the way of running the business.

Training Documents

Training documents should be an essential part of every small business’ HR plan. Whether you are a new business or a well-established one, training documents need to be created in order to keep your employees informed and up to date on the company. Even if your business consists of only a few employees, these documents are vital for preventing accidents and further training needs in the future.

Exit Documents

Every small business should develop a set of needed employee documents. Exit documents, also known as exit interview forms, are an essential set of documents for any business. They form the cornerstone of employee exit interviews and record an employee’s honest opinion when they leave your business.