7 Questions to Consider When Hiring Employees in New Hampshire

Barbara C. Neff

If it’s time to grow your New Hampshire business by hiring employees, you’ve come to the right place. In this 2023 guide for hiring employees in New Hampshire, we have seven questions you should consider before onboarding new employees.

Have I met all the requirements to be an employer in New Hampshire?

Before you hire any employees, you must apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). 

Additionally, the state of New Hampshire requires you to register as a new employer with New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES). Within the first 30 days of providing employment, New Hampshire businesses must file an Employer Status Report with NHES.

The state and federal departments of labor have created posters in an effort to inform employees of the rights and resources that are available to them. New Hampshire’s employment posters are located on the New Hampshire Department of Labor website and federal posters are on the U.S. Department of Labor website. The required federal and state posters must be displayed in conspicuous locations throughout your business.

In order to cover costs that might arise from workplace-related injuries or illnesses, New Hampshire employers are required to hold workers’ compensation insurance for all employees.

It’s important to regularly review the New Hampshire Department of Labor’s policies to stay up to date on the state’s labor laws. Check out this information from the Inspection Division to ensure your business remains compliant.

What rights do New Hampshire employees have?

There are more laws than we can reasonably cover here, but below are a few core rules to get you started:

  • The minimum wage in New Hampshire is the same as the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour for employees 16 years of age and older. In regard to overtime, unless an exemption applies, most workers must be paid one and a half times their rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in one week.
  • State law stipulates that if employees report to work in accordance with their employers’ request, they must be paid for a minimum of two hours of work per day. This FAQ sheet from the Department of Labor can help answer other questions pertaining to hours and wages.
  • Workplace discrimination is strictly prohibited. Employers must give equal pay for equal work and cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, race, pregnancy, national origin, disability—and more. See the full list on the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights.
  • Child labor laws in New Hampshire require minors between the ages of 12 and 15 to have a Youth Employment Certificate signed and on file before any work is contracted. Businesses employing minors who are 16 or 17 years of age must have a Parental Permission Form on file. This Youth Labor Brochure can help answer other questions you may have about the rights, requirements, and limitations of employing minors.
  • New Hampshire employers are not required to provide paid sick leave for their employees. However, their jobs are protected for up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave to care for a sick family member or newborn under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Also in regard to leave time, employers in New Hampshire are not required to provide time off to vote for their employees, but they must provide time off to participate in jury duty.

Should I hire an independent contractor or an employee?

As an employer, you may be more likely to consider an independent contractor for work that is temporary. On the other hand, having a regular employee can be beneficial if you would like more control over their working arrangements, time spent in the office, and how they complete their tasks. Additionally, employees may be better brand ambassadors for your business than someone who works for themselves.

If you determine that an independent contractor can best help fill your needs but you’re unsure how to go about it, we can help. Take a look at this article: How to Successfully Hire Your First Independent Contractor.

Another working arrangement that has picked up in popularity is hiring remote workers. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, you can hire employees located anywhere in the world to work for your New Hampshire business. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the employment laws and worker rights in whichever states (or countries) your remote employees reside to avoid violations and costly fines.

What should I do to get my business ready for hiring?

In addition to understanding what’s legally required of you as an employer in New Hampshire and what rights your employees have under state and federal law, there are several steps you can take to prepare your business for new employees.

First, take inventory of what areas of your business you need help with, the skills and experience necessary to achieve your company’s goals, and the approximate time it will take to complete the required tasks. This information will help you decide what type of new hire you need (part-time employee, full-time employee, or independent contractor).

Next, consider the amount you can afford to pay in terms of compensation (employee wages) and benefits. Popular benefits include robust healthcare plans, 401(k) matches, childcare subsidies, flexible work arrangements (hours and location), wellness perks, and much more. Poor compensation and benefits are two of the biggest reasons for employee turnover in the United States and New Hampshire is no exception. Stay on the cutting edge of recruitment and retention with Gusto’s smart solutions for modern benefits.

The next task is to write a compelling job description that includes what you are looking for in potential hires, and what value your business offers to its workers. When your job description is ready, consider how to find the talent you need to build your team. New Hampshire Employment Security offers a number of ways to find the best candidates for your job opportunities.

Ensure your business is prepared to make an offer when the time is right. Review best practices for writing a job offer letter. You’ll want to include work logistics, reporting details, any contingencies, and much more.

Another way to prepare your business for hiring employees is to create an effective onboarding program, as well as an employee handbook. Both are important components to welcoming new hires, ensuring they feel part of the team and getting everyone on the same page moving forward.

How do I make sure my new hires align with my company culture?

Company culture is a hot topic lately, especially in a tight labor market. Your company culture includes things like office structure, flexible working options, dress code, opportunities for socializing, and much more.

A healthy company culture can be an effective tool in recruiting and retaining top talent. In fact, many of the world’s most successful companies emphasize their unique culture as part of their brand—especially since a positive company culture can also influence consumers who make values-aligned purchases. Check out this A(pple) to Z(appos) list with 10 examples of great company culture.

The key to finding workers who fit in with your company culture is to first communicate your culture effectively. Be sure to incorporate it into your job description and interview process at a minimum. 

If possible, provide candidates with an immersive experience. Give them an opportunity to tour your offices, talk with current employees, and sit in on meetings or social events. Ask them questions about their working styles, thoughts on collaboration, and other topics that can help you assess how well they could thrive in your values-driven work environment. 

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a good fit doesn’t have to mean hiring more of the same. Diversity is one of the keys to every successful workplace—diversity in age, culture, race, skills, thinking, and so much more. Here are some best practices for building a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy for your business.

What paperwork is required for new hires in New Hampshire?

Once you have your new hires selected, there are a number of administrative tasks to complete.

First, every new hire will need to complete an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form. This is necessary for both citizens and non-citizens of the United States. 

Additionally, new hires must be reported to the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security within 20 days of their start date. This information is used by the Office of Child Support Enforcement to collect child support.

While it may not be required by federal or state law, it is good practice to have new hires read and sign your company’s employee handbook which includes your internal policies and procedures before beginning work. This information can include codes of conduct, communication and reporting procedures, policies revolving around social media, and other expectations.

How do I set up payroll taxes in New Hampshire?

At Gusto, we understand that withholding payroll taxes can be a taxing part of running a business. Check out our hourly and salary paycheck calculators for the state of New Hampshire as a resource for you in your quest to understand key factors you need to consider. These pages contain much of the information you need to withhold income tax, including links to federal and state forms.

It’s also important to be aware that New Hampshire requires most employers to pay unemployment insurance tax, which helps compensate employees who are out of work due to no fault of their own. Unemployment taxes in your state are paid quarterly to the NHES Web Tax & New Hire Reporting System.

There is a lot to know when it comes to providing employment, which is why the State of New Hampshire Department of Labor provides this compliance checklist

A successful hiring process can have a big impact on your production and your bottom line. Whether you are just starting out, looking for a new provider, or in the midst of growing your New Hampshire business, Gusto can help with all of your hiring, onboarding, talent management, and compliance needs.

Barbara C. Neff has been writing about a variety of legal and other topics since 2001. She has a law degree and a master's degree in journalism.
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