Top 3 I-9 Compliance KPIs Every Organization Should Track

Organizations complete the Form I-9 for new hires because it’s the law. While the legal requirement seems simple: every new employee hired on or after November 6, 1986, working in the United States must complete form I-9 to prove identity and work eligibility, failure to meet the requirement could result in fines and criminal penalties. So how is your organization measuring up?

Compliance starts rather than ends with the completion of the Form I-9. Continued vigilance and monitoring of key performance indicators is essential to a successful I-9 program. This is particularly true for organizations in which the responsibility of form completion shifts to non-HR staff, a necessity for
many decentralized organizations.

We’ve compiled three KPIs that serve as a foundation to the success of your I-9 program, regardless of size or process.

#1: An I-9 for each employee
Sounds straightforward enough. However, this can be easier said than done. Organizations relying on a hiring manager alone to complete the process risk a single point of failure. The situation is compounded if the form is completed on paper, and worse yet, not stored in a central location. Oversight is a necessity to ensure you remain 100% in compliance with this requirement.

The formula for this key performance indicator is simple: new hire plus completed I-9 equals objective met. The rub is in it execution. There are a multitude of ways to track this information, some more laborious than others. First, the organization must have an understanding of the employee population and the new hires, in particular. This understanding forms the baseline with which to compare actions. Many organizations rely on a centralized HR system to document staff (i.e. who is on our payroll). The next step is to determine how I-9 completion is tracked. For instance, an organization may require field offices to send completed, original forms to a central location for processing and storage. Others may request confirmation via email, fax, or even snail mail. Each, though requires human intervention and is error prone.

With a dedicated electronic I-9 system like LawLogix Guardian, the task of documenting I-9 completion is automated and supported with robust reporting. However, while the system serves up this information effortlessly, it may not be the complete picture. After all, I-9 completion is only half the equation. To confirm that an I-9 is completed for each employee, organizations should leverage the power of the systems utilized to attract, hire, and retain talent to complete the equation. For those utilizing an electronic I-9 solution, one recommendation includes synchronizing new hire information from a backend HR or payroll system so that the organization’s system of record, i.e. employee tracker, captures all new hires. With LawLogix Guardian, such transfer of information can be automated through available integration services.

Absent such an integration, program managers should routinely audit their tracking process to identify the differences and potential missing I-9s. The KPI to monitor is the number or percent of missing I-9s for a given on-boarding period. Organizations with seasonal hiring or short-term assignments should adjust the audit interval to ensure that findings can be remediated, keeping in mind that I-9s cannot be completed for employees once they no longer work for the organization.

Ultimately, know your employees first. Define a process for documenting I-9 completion. Marry the two to improve visibility into this KPI, and utilize technology to gain efficiency within the process to reduce human error and valuable resource time.

#2: Timeliness of I-9 completion
Now that you know whether an I-9 has been completed for each new hire, it is important to track if it was completed on time. Sometimes extenuating circumstances are unavoidable and section 1 of the form cannot be completed by the new hire’s first day of work, or the verifier is unable to complete section 2 within three days after the employee starts work for pay, but those situations should be few and far between. A process that re-enforces the I-9 deadline is step one. This could include providing the new hire access to the form ahead of the first day, or requiring the entire form to be complete on day one (exceeding the government requirement!).

Determining completion timeliness is all about our favorite subject: math. As example, John Smith started work on x date, if section 1 was completed less than or equal to x, the objective was met. The equation gets a bit more complex when determining section 2 timeliness as organizations have three business days from the start date with which to complete section 2. This means that the calculation window isn’t as simple as whether section 2 was completed on a date that was less than or equal to the start date plus three days. Instead, take the scenario in which the start date lands on a Thursday and the organization does not conduct business on the weekend. The deadline then is not that Sunday, but the following Tuesday. Not the most fun KPI to manage, but with the power of technology and integration of an electronic I-9 system, this information can be captured, computed, and queried with ease.

If the I-9 is completed on paper, consider transcribing the signature dates to a spreadsheet or database, or build in confirmation steps to the on-boarding process to acknowledge the dates of completion. Once the information needed to establish the KPI is place, it’s a matter of number crunching.

For those using the LawLogix Guardian solution, details related to each I-9 are stored so that it is easy to measure completion timeliness. Organizations simply define their business schedule, complete the form electronically, and let the system do the rest.

Regardless of method used for Form I-9 or completion tracked, to shore up timely completion of the day one obligation, you may wish to integrate section 1 completion into the on-boarding/pre-orientation process as this section is the responsibility of the employee and can be completed upon acceptance of the job offer. New hires who begin the on-boarding process prior to their first day of work and do so electronically, reduce errors made on the form and go through a modern on-boarding experience, all the while capturing essential information vital to this KPI.

In all instances, to track this KPI, aggregate completion timeliness information to determine the percent of I-9s completed on time. Maintain a set frequency of reporting so that your organization can track trends. Like the first KPI, a minimum frequency of monthly is the recommended interval, but may need to be shortened for organizations with a high volume of hires.

Once the KPI is in place, if it is less than the desired performance level, separate the information by geographic or functional areas. This allows you to surface pockets of non-compliance to carry-out additional training, or identify impediments that negatively influence completion timeliness. Identify if problems exist with completing section 1 by the first day versus the more lenient three-day rule for section 2 and dive deeper to uncover any roadblocks that are preventing your organization from meeting the day one requirement.

#3: E-Verify Completion
The third of the essential KPI trifecta relates to E-Verify. With federal, state, and local governments continuing to institute laws requiring E-Verify, employers are becoming less and less immune to this additional new hire rite of passage. Yet E-Verify has its own rules, requirements, and monitoring division (E-Verify M&C). For organizations that establish a blanket policy, requiring E-Verify across the board, the monitoring requirement mirrors KPI #1: ensure an E-Verify case is created per new hire. Oversight becomes more complex when factoring in the federal contractor “FAR E-Verify clause” which requires certain existing employees be submitted to E-Verify, or when organizations selectively use E-Verify only where required by law.

What is important to track? First, that a case is registered with E-Verify for each eligible employee and a determination of the employee’s work eligibility is logged. Second, submission timeliness. It is important your organization diligently submits, monitors, and closes each case in a timely fashion, and/or processes tentative non-confirmations (TNCs) as a priority. Like the I-9 requirement, information must be submitted to E-Verify within three days after the employee starts work for pay. Similarly, each case must be closed. This requires an individual to select the appropriate E-Verify case closure statement which provides the final outcome of the case. Lastly, though not a KPI, ensure a policy exists and is enforced when a final non-confirmation is returned so that such situations can be handled timely and consistently

It is recommended that E-Verify policies and procedures be embedded within the I-9 program and those program managers set the methods, means, and expectations related to E-Verify processing. Each case created in E-Verify requires many pieces of information from the I-9 form. Organizations that do not use an electronic service to submit the I-9 data to E-Verify or pay independent designated agents to process the I-9s, must manually transcribe the information from the form into the E-Verify web site. When such activity is centralized and fed up the chain for processing, a lag time can exist between I-9 completion and E-Verify submission. This can be problematic given that E-Verify M&C division is mining information for trends such as late submission. When a submission is late, E-Verify requires the organization provide a reason for the late submission.

Defining a process that re-enforces E-Verify case creation expediency is critical. Identifying staff to monitor this process is equally important. Whether accessing E-Verify directly or utilizing an electronic solution like LawLogix Guardian, retrieve information related to submission timing, reasons for late submission, TNC handling, and final case outcome. If utilizing an application that houses your E-Verify information with your electronic I-9s, gain detailed insight about the specifics of your organization by including employee information such as location assignment. Look for trends such as numerous “invalid” case closures, many late submissions, or a high number of open cases. Tease this information out of a report and document what trends emerge when viewing this piece of the compliance puzzle. Similar to the I-9 KPIs, segment organizational information to identify training opportunities or root out compliance blockers.

Embedding routine tracking and auditing as part of your organization’s overall compliance initiative delivers powerful objective metrics that exemplify the health of your new hire I-9 on-boarding process. Track the above KPIs at minimum on a monthly frequency, while weekly may be preferred based on your frequency of hiring. Identify geographic or functional areas that have an incidence of non-compliance and provide further targeted training or coaching. Publish the results across your organization to encourage alignment.

To learn more about how LawLogix electronic I-9 software tools can influence your organization’s compliance efforts.

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