Document Signing Stage

Document Signing is a stage type you can add to your hiring workflow that enables applicants to sign documents such as agreements, contracts, W9 tax forms, etc. You can insert merge keys to pre-fill the form with the applicant's unique data, which could optimize and simplify your document signing process.



Our document signing solution providers are secure and compliant with all major eSignature laws, including ESIGN, UETA, European Union eIDAS (EU No.910/2014). Additionally, all access is over HTTPS and all documents are encrypted at rest.


What's Covered 

For pricing information, go to your Company Settings by clicking on your profile name on the top right, and select Document Signing under the Add-Ons section.



Document Signing Provider Options

When using the document signing stage in Fountain, you have the option of using our native document signing tool or DocuSign. The differences between these document signing options are displayed below.

Fountain DocuSign

When configuring the Document Signing Stage, any user can start creating document templates, and setting up their document signing process directly within Fountain.
If you prefer to use a separate DocuSign account, you must create that account through the DocuSign site itself. Refer to this DocuSign article for more details about how to use DocuSign in Fountain.


Fountain also offers HelloSign as a free alternative to DocuSign. HelloSign allows users to create custom message templates to send to applicants as well as Merge Key options to auto0-fill data provided by applicants.



Create Document Signing Templates

Before you can add a document signing stage in the workflow, you'll need to set up the document as a template by uploading the document file(s) and adding form fields and signature areas.

Best Practice

If you have several documents for applicants to sign, we recommend setting them up as separate templates opposed to combining multiple documents into one long document. Applicants get overwhelmed by long documents, which can cause higher drop-off rates. Separating your documents also allows the applicant to complete some of your paperwork, even if they don't have the necessary information to finish all of the forms.

  1. Navigate to your Company Settings.
  2. Click on Document Signing in the menu on the left.
  3. Click on the Templates tab and then click the Create Template blue button.
  4. Upload your document into the file box by dragging and dropping or by clicking on the box.
    Note: You can upload multiple files of different file types (PDF, JPEG, PNG, Docx) and Fountain will combine them all into one long document for the applicant to complete. Images of different dimensions and sizes may be compressed or stretched to fit standard letter size, so please preview and try to use the 8.5 x 11 dimensions. File size for this upload must be smaller than 15 MB.
  5. By default, the applicant is always required to sign the document. If additional internal signers are needed, click + Add Role and give the role a name e.g. Manager. You'll be able to assign an internal user to this role later in the stage setup.
  6. If there is information you would like to automatically populate into the template via Merge Keys, select desired applicant data from the Merge Keys dropdown.
    NOTE: The Merge Keys feature is available in DocuSign only with their Business Pro plan. Merge Keys are available as a default option with HelloSign.
    1. You can add any custom merge key that is available to you, as well as any standard key to a document signing template. This includes things like Applicant Name, Address, Phone Number, Date Of Birth, and answers to questions you've asked in your Application form or Data Collection stages. Be sure to add all relevant merge keys now, as you will not be able to add more to your template later.

  7. Enter a title for your Template, and include a message or brief description of the template. 
  8. Select Prepare Template, and a new window of your document will appear where you'll be adding fields to make it a template.
  9. Click on the form field type you want to add on the top, and then click the document in the location you want the field to be placed. You can also drag and drop the fields into your document. To resize the field box, drag on the lower right corner.
  10. Select Continue and your template will be created.

The following example displays how to add Merge Keys to your template in DocuSign.


The following example displays how to add Merge Keys to your template in HelloSign.



Form Field Settings in HelloSign

You can choose who completes each form field. After you have added a field to your document, you can click on the drop-down under Signers and select one of the following:


Me (Now) Fountain
(when sending)
Applicant Additional Roles
This setting allows you to add permanent text, check a box, or add a date to your template that other signers can't adjust. This is great for pre-checking required boxes that are applicable to everyone, or editing the language in a contract.
  1. Select Continue and your template will be created.


Document Signing Stage Settings

Now that you have added the document signing template, you can add the Document Signing stage to the workflow and link that stage to the template.

  1. Click Add Stage > Create New Stage and select the Document Signing Stage.
  2. Within the Default Documents section, click Add Document.
  3. In the opened window, select the document you would like to use and click Add Document.
  4. Click Save Changes.

When a new applicant completes this Document Signing stage, a new button will appear on the Applicant Table so your team will know when a document needs to be signed by the internal team member. Click on the X signatures needed blue button and you'll be able to see the status of all the documents that need a co-signature and the applicant's signature status.  Only the internal user assigned to the role be able to sign the document.



Applicant Experience

When applicants land in the Document Signing stage, they will be prompted to sign the templates you initially selected when adding the document signing stage to the workflow.
Once the applicant selects Review & Sign, a window containing the document will appear and the applicant will be prompted to complete the required fields and/or sign the form.

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