Taking your Human Resources department paperless can bring a multitude of benefits. Here are the types of companies that will see the highest ROI from paperless HR software.
As HR technology improves, more and more companies are taking their processes paperless. Going paperless can open up a world of unexpected improvements in efficiency and organization. However, moving away from a time-tested system for storing and managing your critical staff information can seem daunting. Will a paperless office work for my HR department? Here are the types of companies that can benefit the most from paperless HR software.
Paper filing system or network file share
Paper filing systems are extremely tough to manage. Keeping your files organized in an overflowing filing cabinet is never an easy task. This makes finding a critical document a time-intensive and stressful operation. Plus, when it comes time to audit your personnel files, manually combing through all of those folders can be brutal. Paperless HR software can help eliminate these pain points as you'll see later in this article.
Network file shares offer easier access, but come with their own problems. Converting your files and adding them to the file share is a tedious, multi-step process. Part of this process is adhering to strict naming conventions and ensuring that every single document is filed in the correct location. The problem is that some documents will inherently be filed incorrectly, making them very difficult to find down the line. Finally, unlike paperless HR software, most network file shares do not offer the level of security required to be considered a HIPAA-compliant storage solution.
High turnover or rapid expansion
Companies with a seasonal workforce often have a high turnover rate. If your company has a high turnover rate or is in a stage of rapid expansion, it's critical to have an efficient way for onboarding new employees and maintaining file retention. Paper onboarding packets are bulky to deal with and take a lot of time away from both your HR team and your new hire. Both of these things equate to high costs. Additionally, managing file retention requirements can be a nightmare when there are always new employees being added to the team.
With paperless HR software, employee onboarding can become completely electronic. Digital forms, esignatures and online workflows replace pen-and-paper processes. Signed and completed forms can be automatically filed in the new hire's folder and; best of all, retention requirements can be completely automated. For example, you can set the system to automatically delete an employee's personnel record 3 years after termination, but to keep their I-9 form on file for 7 years.
Multiple office locations or remote staff
When you have staff working out of multiple office locations or working remotely, getting critical information back and forth can be a challenge on paper. Over-nighting is slow and costly, but emailing can throw up a compliance flag. Paperless HR software allows your team to streamline the sharing of information.
With your personnel files stored in the cloud, your staff can access the information they need from anywhere at any time. You can use segmented access permissions to ensure different types of employees can only access the types of files and folders that they are authorized to see. So, for example, you can rest easy knowing managers can only view Time & Attendance information for just their own staff, but all other documentation in the system is hidden from them.
Frequent audits on employee files
An HR audit can be one of the most time-consuming projects of the year. Combing through each individual's personnel record to ensure everything is in there is an extremely taxing process. Unfortunately, it is also completely necessary to ensure your company maintains compliance with regulations laid out in HIPAA, HITECH, etc.
One of the best things about paperless HR software is the ability to run automatic audit reports. Instead of going through every single folder in your filing cabinet, simply run your automated report to tell you which employees are missing required documents and which employees have a time-sensitive document expiring in the near future. These audit reports can replace your manual audits and become your automatic audit protection.
Furthermore, since all of your files are electronic, you can actually make them available to your auditor no matter where they are located. That's right, there is no longer any need for your auditor to come on-site to conduct their audit. Simply make the files and folders they request available to them through your paperless HR software.
Annual acknowledgements or contracts
Similar to the employee onboarding process, getting your annual acknowledgments or contracts filled out and signed on paper can be a true challenge. Paperless HR departments can use the same electronic onboarding process to get many other types of forms and documents completed as well. Offer letters, PTO requests, annual policy acknowledgements and more can all be completed using the same process.