How to Share Sensitive Information With New Hires



You found the perfect assistant and they start on Monday. The hard part is done right? Wrong, now you have to handle all the onboarding steps that go along with a new hire and perhaps one of the most difficult areas to handle with any new team member is the sensitive information portion of the onboarding. What do you share with that new employee and when? If they are going to have access to employee files, bank statements, credit card numbers and the like, it’s important that you have a plan in place to address these bits of information. 

A word of caution.

Before I go into how I handle onboarding with sensitive information it’s important to have a word of caution. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to sensitive documents and details, so take my advice and look at it through the lens of your own comfort level. First and foremost, I always hire for maturity. Hiring a good person will make all the difference. Paying for a background and criminal check might also be a good idea if they are dealing with financials on a day to day basis. We also have good contracts in place, which would include things like confidentiality clauses. This will protect your business and your information. And lastly, during the interview and on their first few days on the job I sit down and have a chat with them. I let them know what my expectations are for the role and what sort of behavior I expect of them. If you are handling financial or employee files for example, I ask that you keep those private.

Sharing Information.

Once you have the boundaries set, you may begin sharing the information and files that they need to do their job. I always set up new hires with an encrypted computer or laptop and we use cloud based files for many of our systems. We use a password management program that allows me to share access to programs without sharing the actual password. And new hires are told where to access things like credit card numbers, CVS codes etc that are updated as needed. I have one more password manager that’s kept just locally on my desktop computer that I don’t share.  Which is where I handle our banking transactions. There are very few people that should be allowed to move money for you so that is not information that I share with a new hire.  

Giving someone access to deposit money is a different task, and should be easy to set up. But they never have the ability to move money out.  That’s important.  That’s a financial control for yourself and your business.

If you hire well, have good contracts in place and set expectations early on about what is considered out-of-bound behaviors you should be in a pretty good place to share the information needed to onboard your new team member. And as they mature in your role, you may share other bits of information or give them access to more confidential information. Good luck. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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