Managing I-9s with a Workforce of Thousands

For many small businesses (with fewer than 100 employees), managing the I-9 Forms process may be cumbersome yet still achievable. Multiply that workforce by thousands and you’ll find yourself in a logistical nightmare. How do large corporations manage their I-9 Forms when they have a workforce of thousands of employees and even more I-9 Forms to track? The logistical challenge is not finding out the answers but knowing what questions to ask from the very beginning. For many organizations with a workforce of thousands of employees, managing I-9 Forms usually involves implementing a smart, electronic I-9 system. The best way to ensure an electronic solution is worthy of review is by asking questions that will help you better understand your organization’s challenges and help find solutions for those challenges. The following are samples of questions you may be interested in asking:

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

There are many different vendors when it comes to electronic I-9 software but not all vendors possess the expertise needed to help large organizations navigate through the I-9 management process. For example, large organizations usually requested tiered access into the I-9 software based on the structure of its HR teams across multiple worksites. In those situations:

  • How can executive leaders know what’s going on at a glance?
  • How will temporary Section 2 authorized representatives obtain the necessary access levels?
  • How will the software help manage remote hires?
  • How will the software help manage the E-Verify process?

MANAGING RISKS

While it is not always the case, larger organizations with a workforce of thousands tend to have a workforce that is also comprised of foreign nationals. This means in addition to managing I-9 Forms for U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, the HR Teams will also be managing I-9 Forms for workers who are authorized to work based on numerous work documents issued by USCIS. In those situations:

  • Which HR Team Members will be tracking the expiration dates?
  • How will expiration dates be queued and notifications sent?
  • Who will be tracking re-verifications of Section 3?
  • Will I-9 Forms have the right type of auditing trails required by law?
  • How much knowledge should the vendor have about immigration law?

VENDOR SPECIALTY

Because of the volume of I-9 Forms HR Team Members must manage, securing a smart electronic I-9 software is critical to ensuring complete I-9 compliance. However, with the variety of options on the market today, how does a larger organization with an enviable workforce know their vendor is in it for the long haul, willing to become a true partner? Ask these questions:

  • When the law changes but only affects one of your worksites, how will the software adapt?
  • Who are the legal experts behind the software’s development process?
  • What is the financial viability of the vendor (will they be around in a few years)?