Compliance specialists, HR experts and even the government all agree: Automated I-9 systems are the best choice to simplify the employment eligibility process. In high-volume, high-turnover workplaces, a solid I-9 solution can save significant time and prevent the mistakes that open your business up to fines, arrest and massive indirect costs.
So, how do you determine the best automated I-9 system to keep your business compliant? Here are 5 non-negotiable I-9 software features every restaurant, retail and hospitality employer should look for when evaluating systems. And not to toot our own horn, but Snag’s invested millions in making sure our onboarding platform—with these 5 features and several more safeguards—is the best in the industry (toot toot).
Get a closer look at the top automated verification software features that thousands of the industry’s top brands are using in Snag to minimize risk, ensure company-wide oversight and get new hires to work faster:
1. A consistent process, automatically
Guided, controlled verification workflows make sure that all managers across all locations are consistently and correctly completing the Form I-9 every single time. Pre-built task checklists in Snag clearly outline verification to-dos for both new hires and hiring managers. And automatic notifications and reminders keep everyone on task and ahead of deadlines.
You can even configure these onboarding checklists at the company, location and/or job level, helping both standardize and customize your new-hire experience. Need all new hires to sign a company HR policy? Done. Only want E-Verify turned on for locations where it’s required? Boom. Want different workflows for your FOH vs. BOH hires? No problem.
Plus, user-specific admin dashboards—designed with HR leader and location manager needs in mind—help you keep track of all overdue, outstanding and upcoming verification tasks. You can even keep up on the go, with the Snag mobile app—helping busy managers quickly review and prioritize the most important tasks they need to do that day.
2. Electronic I-9 paperwork and centralized storage
Electronic I-9 form completion is a win-win for everyone involved in employee onboarding. New hires can complete essential paperwork before they arrive on their first day—all online. Huge for both convenience and overall experience. Now, instead of sitting down with a stack of paperwork, new hires are able to spend their first shift training, learning about your culture, and actually getting their feet wet.
For managers and above-store leaders, automated I-9 software does a lot more than save a lot of time. With the right platform, electronic Form I-9s also provide proactive protection and oversight. For example, at Snag, we know the bulk of your hiring happens at the store level. That’s why we designed a step-by-step, electronic Form I-9 process that’s super straightforward—even for workers with zero HR experience.
Additionally, electronic document storage provides a centralized, organized and secure database for all of your I-9 documentation. Electronic paperwork is accessible 24/7 and can’t get lost, stolen, damaged or tampered with. So whether it’s a routine internal review or an actual I-9 audit request from USCIS, you’re able to quickly and easily pull together all relevant I-9 paperwork. Plus, you can always print hard copies if you need to.
3. Easier verification with integrated E-Verify
Whether currently required in your state or not, using E-Verify can give your org an additional layer of compliance protection and goes a long way in showing good faith in the event of an I-9 audit. E-Verify is the federal online system that instantly confirms employees’ eligibility status by running Form I-9 and SSN data against government records.
Using I-9 software with E-Verify fully integrated into it is huge for efficiency, time-to-hire and compliance oversight. Managers don’t waste time re-entering employee data or dealing with issues and delays due to data-entry errors. Form I-9 data automatically syncs to E-Verify cases. And you can track, resubmit and manage E-Verify cases from the same system you’re doing everything else. Meaning you can move on to the next step, without losing time or focus.
4. Automatic form validation and change-tracking
There are a million ways to mess up the Form I-9. Look for solutions that make that really, really hard to do. Best-in-class I-9 systems feature automatic compliance checks and safeguards that can catch form errors, data discrepancies and incomplete fields…before they’re submitted.
For example, real-time data validations in Snag alert you if an employee’s last name entered in Section 1 varies from what’s on their application. Managers can send back I-9s for corrections…and bypass the hassle of making updates after Section 2 is complete. Additionally, Snag forces the correct mix of List A, B and C documents and will catch if managers enter a document number in Section 2 that doesn’t match that doc’s standard format.
Another big I-9 software feature to check for is automatic audit trail tracking for form changes. Every update, correction or change to any Form I-9 requires a record of that change. And there’s a whole host of requirements around how it needs to be documented in order to be compliant. Providing accurate and complete documentation of any form changes is where a lot of I-9 systems can fall short in ensuring compliance.
5. Compliance monitoring and instant updates
Keeping up with passed and pending verification changes is a huge time suck. Especially when requirements vary from state to state. Automated I-9 systems take the burden of monitoring for—and complying with—these changes off of you and your team. Snag automatically updates your platform with the latest forms, changes and legislation to ensure your team always has the correct, most up-to-date information.
No more tracking down outdated form versions. No more trying to translate legal mumbo-jumbo. You can rest assured knowing everyone, at every one of your locations, is following the correct, compliant process.
Where are your biggest I-9 compliance gaps? Worried how often your frontline managers are getting it wrong? Let’s connect so finishing your next batch of Form I-9s is a (100% compliant) breeze.