How Soon Do Employees Need to Fill Out Employment Paperwork?

Ideally, new employees will fill out any job-related paperwork — employment applications, at-will employment agreements, stock options agreements, confidentiality agreements and a consent to arbitrate all claims — before their first day of work. To speed the process, give a new employee his or her paperwork the day he or she accepts the job.

If employment paperwork isn’t filled out prior to a new employee’s first day on the job, make completion of paperwork the person’s first on-the-job task. As their employer, you can tell them to spend an hour or two completing it.

Never wait more than a day or two after an employee’s hire date to get important documents signed. If you wait too long, the paperwork could be rendered ineffective.