The ability to move forward and increase efficiency is critical in the HR department. But laborious paperwork processing can slow progress down considerably. It can create a drain on resources and manpower.
The good news is that there’s no need to suffer through these heavy-handed procedures. Thanks to HR paperless solutions like electronic signatures, your team can empower themselves for efficiency in no time at all.
With a system in place, the team can achieve better performance metrics. It provides much faster turnaround times on internal documents—allowing your business to continue innovating easily.
The Need for Paperless HR Processes
In the United States, businesses continue to produce and use an alarming amount of paper. An average office worker consumes around 10,000 sheets per year. Paper alone accounts for about 26 percent of total landfill waste.
Paperless solutions offer efficiency
While paper-based processes may seem traditionally reliable, they come with drawbacks. For one, they are often time-consuming. Employees spend hours searching through paper documents or filling out paperwork by hand. They can misplace or damage paper documents leading to significant setbacks.
However, transitioning to paperless HR processes can solve many of these issues. Teams using electronic documents can search, categorize, and update at the click of a button. It creates efficiency across departments, from talent acquisition to growth.
Moreover, the staff can sign and authorize documents in seconds rather than taking days or weeks.
Paperless solutions on their impact on costs and the environment
The need to transition to paperless HR processes has never been more pressing. Many businesses are making the shift to a digital workplace. Not only does it improve efficiency and save time, but it also positively impacts the environment.
In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transitioning to paperless processes can save about $80 per employee yearly.
The statistics speak for themselves. Companies that adopt paperless HR processes see an increase in efficiency. In payroll, for instance, you can save between $2.87 and $3.15 per pay when you send payments electronically.
How to Achieve a Paperless HR Department
If you still rely heavily on paper for HR operations, it’s time to consider making the transition. Here are six ways to achieve this.
1. Create an electronic signature policy
One of the primary ways to achieve paperless HR processes is to implement electronic signatures. This eliminates the need for printing, signing, scanning or mailing documents.
All documents can be signed and submitted online with an electronic signature policy. For example, employees can digitally sign and submit their offer letter or contract.
2. Implement an online document sharing system
HR personnel can securely share, store, and monitor employee documents. These include manuals, policies, and data.
Instead of manually transferring all the information, they can use an online document-sharing tool like Google Drive or Dropbox. It improves efficiency and reduces reliance on paper documents.
3. Develop an organization-wide communication plan
Create a well-structured communication plan that outlines paperless processes for HR staff and employees across the organization. HR staff can integrate other systems used by other departments, such as accounting software or email systems, within the paperless HR process.
Regular communication ensures that everyone is up-to-date and informed. For internal communications, Slack is an excellent place to start–add members to a channel to get the latest company updates.
4. Automate employee onboarding processes
Employee onboarding is one of the most paper-intensive processes in HR. Automating the process allows new employee data to be directly uploaded to the HR system, eliminating the need for paper forms.
New employees can also be onboarded faster and more efficiently, ensuring better HR organization. For example, Coda is an excellent choice for setting up documents for new employees. They can read all the materials in one place and access all links.
5. Use electronic signatures for essential documents
Just like creating an electronic signature policy, using digital signatures for critical HR documents like:
- offer letters
- discipline reports
- performance evaluations
can ensure faster turnaround times. These critical organizational documents can be instantly shared, approved, and stored electronically.
6. Invest in mobile accessibility for your HR department
A mobile-friendly HR system makes accessing employee information easier and faster, from anywhere.
With mobile accessibility, HR staff and employees can complete processes electronically. They can access documents without requiring office access, making time management effortless.
So, why are these practices useful in the business context? Going paperless in HR can save businesses money, time, and resources by reducing the need for paper-based processes.
In summary, digital solutions can optimize HR operations, attract top talent, and keep employees happy.
Different HR Paperless Solutions Available Today
Some paperless solutions can make the HR processes smoother and more efficient.
1. Electronic signatures
Electronic signatures are a secure way of obtaining signatures on documents without requiring hard copies or physical presence. This technology offers a simple and convenient solution for businesses.
An HR manager sends the contract to an employee to sign digitally, saving time and money and improving efficiency over paper-based signatures. Electronic signatures minimize the possibility of errors associated with traditional and wet signatures.
2. Document management tools:
Document management tools help HR departments to store, retrieve, and manage large amounts of paperwork electronically. This solution saves space and facilitates access to necessary data more efficiently.
When HR departments receive employee requests, they can access the needed digital files, such as employee records, contracts, and performance appraisals.
3. Payroll software
Payroll software is a digital solution that HR departments use to manage employee payments efficiently. This solution ensures that there is timely and accurate payment of employees.
An example is processing employee payslips and paycheck deductions. HR departments embracing payroll software can save time, reduce errors, and improve employee satisfaction.
4. Online forms
Online forms are digital tools that enable HR departments to collect employee data for different purposes. The forms are customized to suit the requirements of the company. They make accessing data more straightforward but secure.
Say employees want to update their personal information or submit leave requests. Then they can fill in online forms instead of completing and submitting manual forms.
5. Document templates
Document templates are preformatted. They are designed to eliminate the manual process of creating documents from scratch. HR departments can create templates such as HR policies and procedures, job descriptions, and performance appraisals.
An example of using document templates is when an HR department prepares an offer letter for a new employee. Instead of creating the letter from scratch, they can use a pre-designed template and customize it per the requirements.
Organizations that adopt paperless HR processes will experience improved productivity. But there’s also the need to comply with regulations in data management.
Ensuring Compliance and Security in Paperless HR Document Management
Security and compliance are essential concerns when adopting a paperless HR solution. Businesses must ensure electronic documents comply with requirements and regulations. Documents must be secured against unauthorized access, alteration, or deletion.
This section will outline key strategies for achieving compliance and enhanced security.
1. Define access controls
Access controls are user permissions that restrict access to HR documents based on the users’ roles and responsibilities. These controls enable prescribed individuals to access, modify, or delete sensitive employee information.
Access controls can be set up using software tools that require authorized users to log in. These include a username and password. There are also two-factor authentication or biometric credentials for added security.
2. Deploy encryption technologies
Encryption technologies use algorithms to encode and decode data before, during, and after transmission. Encryption helps ensure that unauthorized third parties do not intercept and read sensitive employee data.
Organizations can deploy encryption technologies. How? Investing in secure document management software, encrypted messaging, and an always-on SSL (Secure Socket Layer) connection.
3. Implement audit trails
Audit trails record how and when HR documents were accessed, modified, and deleted. They help HR professionals track changes made to employee data. They detect unusual activity that might indicate a data breach or unauthorized access.
To implement audit trails, HR departments can use document management software to track document changes and modifications. It enables quick discovery of security breaches within the organization.
4. Ensure compliance with laws and regulations
Compliance with laws and regulations is critical for an organization. HR professionals must comply with GDPR, similar organizational documents, and data management regulations.
To ensure compliance, HR professionals must stay updated with changes in laws and regulations regarding HR documents, such as:
- Immigration forms
- Confidentiality clauses
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Legal policies related to social security numbers, bank account details, or employee identification documents.
HR departments can work with legal and cybersecurity teams to secure and update documents as per policies.
Streamlining HR Workflows With Fill
Discover the advantages of going paperless in HR and how Fill can streamline workflows. As a leading eSignature provider, Fill offers a range of capabilities to support your goals.
1. Seamless integration
Fill makes it easy for HR teams to integrate electronic signatures into their existing workflows. Thanks to its robust API and support for popular apps like BambooHR. This feature helps reduce the time spent on manual and repetitive tasks, allowing more focus on the overall recruitment and hiring experience.
2. Compliance and security
Fill app offers the highest level of security regarding electronic signatures. Its platform complies with various international regulations, such as HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA. Additionally, all signatures are encrypted, ensuring data privacy and protection throughout the signature process.
3. Mobility and accessibility
Fill’s electronic signature platform allows users to sign documents from anywhere, anytime, as long as there’s an internet connection. This feature enables employers to shorten onboarding time and make it hassle-free for remote workers.
4. Robust analytics
The platform’s analytics dashboard provides deep insights into signing trends, document status, and employee experience. These analytics aid HR managers in enhancing workflows and employee experience.
Integrating eSignatures via Fill in HR workflows decreases admin time, streamlines the onboarding and signature process, and enhances employee experience.
Ready to experience the benefits that Fill can bring to your HR department? Sign up for a free demo today and see the platform in action.