Companies who work strictly with human resource solutions providers may not have the same advantage as those who use API integration into HR software that utilizes a robust I-9 compliance tool. When an employer is found not to be compliant with federal hiring practices, it can come with serious punitive consequences. With so much at stake, modern companies want more than just API integration into their HR software. They also want to incorporate a reliable and dependable I-9 intelligence tool designed to help them achieve and maintain I-9 compliance.
What Is API Integration?
API is an acronym for the term application programming interface. Essentially, this type of software allows multiple applications to share or sync data. This means that information can be pulled from a main system and put into another, or vice versa, to streamline data usage.
In the business world, API integration is frequently used by human resource departments to extract personnel information from one application and sync it with another to allow the sharing of information for evaluation or reporting purposes.
Why Businesses Are Increasingly Opting for API Integration into HR Software
Human resource solutions are a critical component of business, and many providers such as Workday or BambooHR offer software that can help an employer configure a program to meet their needs. These powerhouses can often assist with financial, procurement, and HR challenges. However, employers are increasingly noticing that while some HR solutions programs may fit the bill for some processes, I-9 intelligence does not appear to be one of them.
For some employers, the next question is, “Does it matter?” It does. A lot. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which is still in effect today, stipulates that that employers in the United States cannot hire an individual without verifying their identity and employment authorization. Those employers who either knowingly or unknowingly hire an individual whose identity is fraudulent or whose employment authorization is invalid could face serious consequences for these violations.
Part of the process of verifying a person’s identity and authorization to work in the United States is filling out the Form I-9. Most human resource solutions will auto populate the fields of the Form I-9 via API integration. But using an API integration into HR software that has an I-9 intelligence tool takes things beyond just auto population of fields to also providing:
- Alerts regarding incomplete or blank form fields
- Alerts for missing signatures
- Reminders about upcoming deadlines for each section of the Form I-9
- Warnings about soon to be expired work authorizations
An I-9 intelligence tool not only has the capacity to digitally highlight the above problems but do so before the form is officially submitted. This prevents employers from having to deal with simple mistakes that then become a barrier to compliance. The tool should also be set up to interface with the federal E-Verify program used by some employers and auto populate like case fields.
Without a strong I-9 tool for API integration into HR software, the auto populating of form fields becomes just that. The program may not alert the user of common human errors before the form is submitted. In cases where a person does not manually catch a common form mistake, it then creates a compliance problem for the human resources department. What was intended to streamline HR practices could end up doubling the department’s workload.
Part of what makes working with a dedicated I-9 intelligence tool for integration different is the fact that it is built by individuals who understand the intricate complexities of I-9 compliance. They have an intimate understanding of federal laws that govern Form I-9 deadlines and record keeping practices.
From time to time, there may be modifications to I-9 protocol in unprecedented situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic that requires employers to pivot in order to maintain compliance. However, with the assistance of an I-9 intelligence tool that is updated to reflect these changes, employers can have one less compliance headache to worry about.
Benefits of API Integration into HR Software
Part of the attraction to API integration into HR software featuring an I-9 intelligence tool is the benefits it offers, such as:
- Decreased manual re-entry. API integration into HR software can assist with decreasing the amount of manual re-entry required by company personnel because the program is designed to auto populate certain fields with personal information. While this can be helpful, it can also be ineffective if the information being auto populated does not promote compliance by meeting current federal guidelines. By using an I-9 intelligence tool in API integration, compliance forms and procedures can be updated to reflect temporary procedural changes so that the auto population of fields becomes more effective.
- Improved reporting for auditing purposes. With AP integration built into human resource software, reporting should be a feature. However, basic software programs typically do not have an in-depth compliance reporting tool. Utilizing an I-9 intelligence tool in tandem with API integration should allow an employer to do periodic self-audits to learn more about their compliance status and implement any necessary changes before going through an official audit.
With an I-9 intelligence tool working together with API integration into HR software, employers can enjoy the best of human resource and compliance support.