Overcoming Payroll Integration Challenges: Navigating Tax Withholdings in a Staffing Application
04. 05. 2020.
In the ever-evolving landscape of HR technology, building a seamless and efficient staffing application involves integrating various third-party services to provide a comprehensive and user-friendly experience for both employers and potential workers. However, these integrations are not without their challenges.
The app was designed to connect potential workers with job opportunities, streamlining the hiring process for employers and job seekers alike. As users downloaded and registered on our platform, they became part of our potential workforce. However, an intriguing challenge emerged when it came to integrating the payroll third-party service from Check.
A crucial onboarding step for the Check service involved completing tax withholding forms. Traditionally, this step assumes that users are already employed or have prior experience with taxation. But in our case, potential workers were registering before actually landing a job. As a result, they lacked the necessary context to accurately complete the tax forms, leading to confusion and potential errors down the line.
The Solution: A Two-Step Onboarding Process
To address this unique challenge, we devised a creative two-step onboarding process that not only solved the problem but also enhanced the user experience.
1. Programmatic Onboarding: Recognizing that our users may not have prior work experience, we allowed them to complete the initial onboarding process within our platform. This included providing essential information, uploading relevant documents, and understanding the basics of tax withholdings. By guiding users through this initial step, we laid the foundation for a smoother transition to the Check service.
2. Job-Specific Onboarding: The breakthrough came when we realized that users would have a more informed perspective on tax withholdings once they were actually employed. Thus, we delayed the completion of tax forms until users applied for their first job through our platform. At this point, the context would be clearer, and users could confidently complete the necessary tax forms through the Check service.
Implementing this two-step onboarding process yielded several notable benefits:
- Reduced User Confusion: By allowing users to familiarize themselves with tax concepts during the initial onboarding, we minimized confusion and potential errors when completing tax forms later on.
- Improved User Experience: Our approach eliminated unnecessary complexity for users, making the onboarding process smoother and more user-friendly.
- Faster Job Experience: Completing the onboarding faster allows users to see a list of jobs sooner and encourages them to complete the remaining steps when applying for a job, without committing too much beforehand. We could get new employees to see the quality of the work in the platform before deciding to invest their time with tax forms and bureaucracy.
- Seamless Integration: Our creative solution seamlessly integrated with the Check third-party service, enabling a more harmonious experience for users transitioning between our platform and the payroll service.
Overcoming Webhook Latency: An Additional Challenge
While our primary challenge revolved around integrating tax withholdings seamlessly, we encountered an additional challenge involving webhook latency. Our initial strategy relied on webhooks for real-time updates on user tax form completion. However, we discovered that webhook latency could cause untimely notifications, potentially prompting users who had just completed their tax forms to encounter prompts to do so again when applying for shifts.
Instead of relying solely on webhooks, we had to integrate a request to the Check service immediately after a user completed their tax forms. This request was specifically designed to confirm the user's onboarding status. By directly querying Check’s service upon tax form completion, we obtained an instantaneous verification of the user's onboarding status, bypassing potential webhook delays.
Integrating a third-party payroll service into our staffing application presented a unique challenge due to the nature of our user base – potential workers not yet employed. By devising a two-step onboarding process that empowered users to complete tax forms when they were contextually ready, we not only addressed the challenge but also improved the overall onboarding experience. This case study underscores the importance of innovative problem-solving and tailoring solutions to suit the specific needs of your user base, ultimately leading to a more efficient and user-friendly application.