Unique HR Cases: Hiring Solutions for Employees without an Address

June 7, 2021 - minute read

Hiring employees can be a laborious process dependent on a multitude of factors, including industry trends, the experience or skills of candidates, and the number of open positions needing to be filled. The last thing any employer wants is to come up against complications that keep them from hiring qualified candidates.

As a primary example, it can be a confusing HR situation when an employee is unable to provide a mailing address. For one reason or another, some candidates don’t have (or wish to not provide) a physical address on their new hire forms. Because addresses are necessary for things like Form I-9 or mailing out W-2 information, it is important to have a plan in place to avoid unnecessary hiccups.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons an employee may not have a current home address and what your options are as an employer!

No Home Address… but Why?

As with all HR-related topics, there is a certain amount of flexibility and open-mindedness required for managing unique employee circumstances. To secure a worthwhile candidate, you may have to be creative in identifying effective solutions for the extra hurdles they may present.

There are several reasons a jobseeker may not be able to produce a home address:

  • They may be facing a life transition. The employee could be in the process of moving or looking for a new home and is therefore experiencing a major transition. If they are staying with their friends or family, they may not feel comfortable providing that short-term address as their own.
  • Area does not have a traditional street address system. Some rural locations aren’t part of a standard street naming system, so the residents (like your new employee) don’t have a conventional address to submit on your forms. In such cases, your employee’s mail should be able to be delivered to a centralized mailbox or post office.
  • They are homeless. Someone who is currently experiencing homelessness may not be able to produce any form of address, regardless of whether he or she is staying at a shelter. In some cases, homeless shelters with live-in residents do include resident mailboxes or P.O. boxes at their facilities, but that is no guarantee.
  • It is a personal choice on the part of the employee. In some cases, an individual may have a home address but be reluctant to provide it. Concerns about how private information will be used, especially when linked to personal security and physical location, could be enough to compel an employee to withhold it.

Solutions When Employees Don’t Have an Address

According to HR Advisor, here are some simple solutions for helping employees complete hiring forms without an address:

  • Identify a temporary address. See if your new employee has accommodations with a friend or family member or a temporary P.O. Box to receive mail. Either of these can be used to receive work-related information until the employee settles somewhere more permanent. O. boxes can now be entered as a new employee’s address on the I-9 form.
  • Seek P.O. Box or describe residence location. If an individual has a residence but no street address, ask about a P.O. Box. As previously mentioned, a P.O. box is acceptable to use on Form I-9 and should be an effective solution for employees located in rural areas. If the person does not have this as an option, the I-9 form allows for a residence location description. Ex. “5 miles northeast of [town name] post office near water tower.”
  • Work with the individual to determine best option. For someone who is homeless, seeking a P.O. box or the establishment of a P.O. box is ideal. If the person is staying at a shelter, they should be able to determine their mailing options with the organization housing them. If not, many post offices also have a general delivery option where mail can be sent. Failing those options, the I-9 form does allow a description of the location where someone is staying as seen in the previous example.

Flexible Workforce Management to Improve Hiring

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When it comes to managing the hourly workforce and its unique challenges, your business deserves to have certified experts watching its back. Check out a quick overview of our entire workforce management system and schedule a demo today!

Filed Under: Compliance Onboarding Analytics Human Resources