COVID I-9 Compliance Flexibility Extended to July 31, 2023
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) extended the verification flexibility related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to continued precautions related to COVID-19. This temporary rule was set to expire October 31, 2022.
The temporary rule was first announced in March 2020 and has been extended several times since then as the pandemic has continued to impact workplaces. The temporary rule affects employees hired on or after April 1, 2021 who work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 related precautions. In such cases, the employer is temporarily exempt from I-9 physical inspection rules until the employee undertakes non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier. (ICE)
Which I-9 form should I use right now?
Until further notice, employers should keep using the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, though it was originally due to expire October 31, 2022. DHS will publish a Federal Register notice when the new version of the Form I-9 becomes available.
How can I verify employment eligibility remotely?
Remote verification options include: video link (Zoom, Teams), FaceTime, fax or email.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has allowed employers to remotely review — by Zoom, video chat, FaceTime, fax, or other electronic means — the identity and work-authorization documents that are necessary for workers’ Forms I-9, during the hiring and re-verification process. Fisher Phillips
Can I do I-9 verification through ApplicantStack?
Yes! ApplicantStack integrates with Verified First, a full-service background check provider. Verified First provides all background check services including I-9 verification through Tracker-I-9.
Every U.S. employer must properly complete a Form I-9 for each new hire working in the United States prior to finalizing the onboarding process. This form is an important part of adding a new employee to your team, and it isn’t always straightforward. Simple inconsistencies or even neglecting to enter “N/A” where required can have big consequences. Paperwork or technical violations can potentially cost your business anywhere between $234 to $2,332 per employee. Verified First
Employers Must Document Their Onboarding Process
Employers who take advantage of the remote verification rule must provide documentation of their onboarding process and remote work policy. If you haven’t created a formal onboarding process, learn how here: The Onboarding Process – Steps and Checklist. The onboarding process should also be included in the employee handbook. For a complete guide to creating and updating your employee handbook (including a template with a sample remote work policy) see How to Write and Update Your Employee Handbook + Template.
Our Ask Me Anything webinars provide a forum for users to learn more about ApplicantStack and receive live answers to their product questions. The ApplicantStack team presents the applicant tracking webinars which include a short demo of a product feature(s) followed by question and answer.
ApplicantStack AMA Webinar 10/27/2022
Application Stack Account Manager Carol Kennedy demonstrated how to access the Knowledge Base and submit a ticket to ApplicantStack tech support.
How To Access the ApplicantStack Knowledge Base
From the main dashboard in the upper right hand corner, click the orange box with the question mark. A dropdown menu shows: 1. New Features and Updates, 2. Help Center, and 3. Ask a Question. The Help Center (Knowledge Base) contains tutorials, articles, and quick start guides – many with videos and screenshots.
New Features and Updates: Enhancements to the system and new product features
Help Center (Knowledge Base): Enter topic in search bar
How To Submit a Support Ticket
In the upper right hand corner on the main dashboard, click the orange question mark. Choose Ask a Question from the dropdown menu. It will take you to a support ticket form. When completing the form, keep the following in mind:
Enter your company name just as it is listed in your account
Add Franchise/Branch Number (if applicable)
Be as detailed as possible when describing the issue. Include Job ID, Job Title, Applicant or New Hire Name, screenshots, etc.
Q & A
How can I delete repeat candidates?
We don’t recommend deleting an applicant under any circumstances. That said, we understand that you would not want duplicate candidates in your main job applicant pool. To flag duplicates and move them out of your main job, Carol explained two options:
Create a separate job and assign any duplicates to the job
Create a stage called Duplicate Candidates and move duplicates out of the main job to this folder
When I submit a support ticket, can I get a phone call?
Our ticketing system is the best method for resolving support issues. The ticketing system retains a detailed record of the issue and resolution process. Importantly, it allows any member of the support team to be able to access all pertinent information and ticket history for faster resolution.
Once the ticket is resolved, the system retains the documentation which can be used for training, product enhancements, or other purposes. For the quickest resolution, customers should include as much detail as they can in the support ticket form.
In very few cases, if the issue can’t be resolved through the ticketing system, a support tech may call the customer. However this would only happen after the customer had initiated the process by submitting a ticket.
What’s the difference between Basic and Premium texting?
Basic Unlimited Texting allows you to send and receive as many texts as you want and store conversations in the software. Plus, you can send batch SMS to multiple applicants. If you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Basic Texting in both modules for the monthly price.
Premium Texting includes everything in Basic Texting plus two powerful additions: Workflow Embed and Text-to-Apply. With Workflow Embed, you can include text messages in hiring workflows and trigger them with stage changes. For example, when you move an applicant to the Interview stage, trigger a personalized text inviting the candidate for an interview. With Text-to-Apply, when candidates click on Apply in a job posting, the system will send a text with a link to a mobile friendly application. If you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Premium Texting in both modules for the monthly price.
When searching for an applicant by phone number, should I use a specific number format?
We don’t recommend searching by phone number. However, if that’s your only option, you would need to enter the phone number in the same format originally entered in the system.
Can you get open or read notifications from outbound emails?
This isn’t available right now, but possibly a great suggestion for a future product update.
When an applicant uses text-to-apply, will the system create a candidate record?
Yes. The system creates a candidate record regardless of online application method.
In ApplicantStack Onboard, how can I create a separate process for union and non-union hires?
In Onboard, you can make multiple workflows and checklists. In this scenario, create a custom workflow for each type of hire – complete with necessary new hire paperwork.
How do I stop candidates from applying more than once to the same job?
If they are using the same email, the system won’t let them apply a second time. If they use multiple emails, put a note into their history and make it global, which will ensure the note will show across all applications and jobs in the system.
Is there a way to create screening questions in applications that will block the applicant if not qualified?
When building a screening questionnaire, add KO to desired elimination questions. Keep in mind, however, that an applicant might mis-click. If in doubt, compare the questionnaire answers to their resume. Otherwise, you might eliminate a candidate that meets the qualifications.
Emails sent from ApplicantStack often end up in spam folders by default. Is there anything I can change on my end to prevent that?
In the job description, instruct candidates to whitelist emails from ApplicantStack. Whitelisting directs emails coming from the ApplicantStack domain to go into the recipient’s primary folder. If you need help with changes to an application, you can submit a support ticket. If the support tech clones an existing application and modifies it to include the whitelist instruction, be sure to use the new application.
Upcoming ApplicantStack Webinars
We invite you to join us for our upcoming events. To register, click the following links:
We are excited to announce that Premium Texting is available in ApplicantStack Recruit & Onboard as well as WorkforceHub Plus.
What is Premium Texting?
Premium Texting includes everything in Basic Unlimited Texting (discussed ahead) plus Text-to-Apply and Workflow Embed.
With text-to-apply, candidates can apply with their mobile device at the point of initial engagement. When the candidate clicks APPLY in the job posting, the system will text the candidate a link to a mobile friendly application.
Why is Text-to-Apply a Game Changer?
More and more people find a phone more convenient for online access than a laptop or desktop. In fact, most of us have our phone within arm’s reach day and night. Today’s job seeker uses their mobile device to search job boards, research companies, communicate with recruiters, and submit applications. Because of this, text-to-apply is critical for employers trying to attract more applicants or speed up their hiring process. Furthermore, companies competing in the same labor pool as their local Walmart or Amazon warehouse will have an uphill battle without providing text-to-apply.
Candidates can apply immediately when they see your job posting on their mobile device
Applicants experience a modern, convenient candidate journey that reflects well on your company
You will have fewer abandoned applications because candidates can apply without delay
Add Automated Texting to Workflows
Automated texting makes it easy to engage with candidates as they move through the hiring process. With Premium Texting, you can embed SMS in workflows and trigger texts with hiring stage changes.
Advance applicants and inform them of next steps with automated personalized text messages
Speed up the hiring process and avoid slowdowns due to poor communication
Never accidentally ghost another candidate
Premium Texting is sold at the account level, which means that if you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Premium Texting in both modules under the monthly price.
Basic Unlimited Texting
Basic Unlimited Texting has been available since 2019 and our users love it. It makes hiring faster, easier and more engaging for candidates. Just as important, it improves efficiency for hiring teams. With texting, our customers extract even more value from our hiring platform. ApplicantStack Basic Unlimited Texting, not surprisingly, lets you send as many texts as you want for one monthly fee. The software saves the conversations and several members of the hiring team can text as if from one person.
Send a text instead of an email any time you need to communicate with an applicant:
Confirm an interview appointment
Send a link to a screening questionnaire
Send a quick text as a follow-up to a call, email or interview
Send interview instructions – parking, building access, etc.
Answer candidates’ questions
Send a bulk text to a group of candidates
Improve the candidate journey with quick communication that keeps them engaged – applicants can respond immediately or at their convenience. Many top candidates are currently employed but looking for a better opportunity. With many job positions, the employee can communicate with text in situations where they couldn’t necessarily take a voice call. With texting, you can engage a larger hiring pool. This makes it quicker and easier to find the perfect hire for the job.
As with Premium Texting, if you have both ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, you can use Basic Unlimited texting in both platforms.
What is WorkforceHub Plus?
WorkforceHub Plus is the small business time and labor solution from Swipeclock. (ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard are also part of the Swipeclock product suite.) WorkforceHub Plus includes Timekeeping, Scheduling, Hiring, PTO Management and Human Resources. The Applicant Tracking module in WorkforceHub Plus has similar functionality as standalone ApplicantStack Recruit. However, it syncs with additional functions in WorkforceHub Plus.
Over one million people use Swipeclock workforce management solutions every day. To schedule a demo, visit WorkforceHub Plus demo.
G2.com, Inc. recently announced their Fall 2022 awards and we’re excited to announce that ApplicantStack garnered awards in 6 categories!
Leader – Overall
Leader – Mid-Market
High Performer – Enterprise
High Performer – Small Business
Fastest Implementation – Enterprise
G2 rates products and vendors based on reviews they compile from their user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. ApplicantStack has received multiple G2 badges for the past four years based on ATS reviews.
As always, we appreciate our customers who took the time to leave ApplicantStack ATS reviews and share their experiences using our solution. While we appreciate all industry recognition, awards based on our customer’s recommendations are especially gratifying.
“It’s fantastic to earn these G2 badges as they validate how our solution truly helps small businesses thrive with the key functions of timekeeping, scheduling and hiring. The Fastest Implementation badge is the one I’m most proud of, as it demonstrates our rapid time to value and ease in use for employers as they scale.” Trish Stromberg, VP of Marketing, Swipeclock
For hiring, the most beneficial feature is their easy-to-use integration with the most common third-party job boards. The ability to have everything in one interface has been a big time saver. As far as onboarding goes, we have been able to move new hires through the process more quickly with ready-to-use paperwork checklists.
I like that multiple users can see what the other recruiters are saying to a candidate so we know where we are in the process with them. It makes it easy for others to step in and help or take over where one recruiter left off.
Simple to set up. You can create workflows for each job and pre-screen candidates much easier before ever meeting a staff person for an interview.
I can track new hires from the time they apply through hiring and Onboarding. Having all the documents done online has decreased the in-office time for training, and new employees can get on-site and train sooner.
In terms of recruiting on Applicant Stack, the pipeline page is very clear and allows you to see easily where you are with all your jobs. It keeps all your requisitions very organized.
The texting feature on Applicant Stack has been game-changing for us, as it has allowed us to cut our time trying to contact candidates substantially.
Intuitive software, Easy to post and track applicants. I like that you can assign different postings to different people within the organization. Managers can easily review applications.
G2 is the largest and most trusted software review site, helping 60 million people every year make smarter software decisions based on authentic customers reviews.
Looking for an Applicant Tracking System?
If you are interested in ATS reviews while researching a hiring solution, we invite you to start a free ATS trial with ApplicantStack. ApplicantStack can be used as a standalone platform, or as part of WorkforceHub, our small business HR solution.
To help clients improve their hiring process, the Swipeclock team searched for a background screening provider that could deliver an efficient solution to match our award-winning Applicant Tracking. The Verified First Partner Program fit the bill and has proven to be a valuable integration for both Swipeclock and Verified First.
Verified First Provides World-Class Service to Our Applicant Tracking Clients
Verified First recently published a case study on our partnership. In the article, you can learn how Verified First delivers streamlined background screening backed by the best client support in the market.
The Verified First integration helps our clients lower the risk of a bad hire while supporting Swipeclock as the top people management tool for small businesses.
“Business partnerships often come with lofty goals that are quickly swept aside in the reality of day-to-day work. But Verified First has lived up to the initial promise, executing on each planned activity with great communication and follow-up.” – Swipeclock VP of Marketing, Trish Stromberg
It’s a pleasure to work with the Verified First team and we appreciate the recognition in their case study. To read the article, visit Verified First Partner Program.