By Greg Bartels, President/CEO IPS. Helping HR digitize their business
HR divisions have a lot of information to manage, whether they’re dealing with employee records, recruitment efforts, onboarding, and more. In fact, the amount of HR information and documents (both electronic and paper) is only growing over time.
Is your HR document management process as effective as it could be? Document processes are a major cause of inefficiency, but according to AIIM’s Industry Report, many businesses are not making sufficient progress toward optimizing their processes:
- 74% of respondents reported that they could benefit from eliminating paper.
- Only 24% were actually taking initiatives to go paperless.
- The overall amount of paper used by respondents was only decreasing for 41% of respondents.
- For 19%, it has only been increasing—and you want to avoid being in that category.
An efficient process enables HR professionals to spend less time on manual tasks and more time on recruiting efforts and team building. It also allows HR to provide information that is more accurate and avoid clerical errors. Here are some factors to consider when taking steps to improve your information management processes.
1. Immediate tracking of documents
Tracking information is more successful if you do it as soon as you start a process. You should have a system in place that records applications and employee records immediately, not after the fact. However, according to AIIM’s survey:
- Only 31% of respondents reported that they scan documents before a process.
- 26% use paper and scan it later.
If you’re planning on filing away your documents later, you’re more likely to lose track of your information. An automated system that tracks forms as they are completed is ideal. Workflows with email notifications are also great for enabling HR to immediately communicate internally and with job candidates.
2. Making information accessible on mobile devices
Use of mobile devices has been increasing since 2013, when eMarketer found in 2013 that 50% of all internet access comes from a mobile device. The amount of time people spend on mobile devices is increasing every year. Any software that you use for HR should be as accessible from a smart phone or tablet as it is from a desktop. In fact, if they can, your employees and applicants are more likely to view your HR applications from mobile devices. A recent Forbes article noted that over half of all job searchers are beginning the application process via their smartphones.
Mobile devices also increase overall employee engagement. In the past, employees needed to sit down at a computer to access anything related to work. Now, if employees can easily access your HR system from your smartphone, they can be engaged around the clock. Communication between employees increases if they are able to quickly access a directory of employee contact information from their phones. Additionally, if employees think of goals or new ideas outside of their office hours, they can add them to the system within instants.
3. Secure viewing and sharing of documents
When viewing and sharing sensitive documents, it is paramount that you comply with government regulations as well as corporate policy regarding the storing of sensitive information. Noncompliance with government policies can result in hefty fines and liabilities. Sensitive information may need to be stored in a location separate from your other information in order to protect it. With an automatic system in place, you can be sure that each process is compliant before it’s too late.
4. Retention and deletion of information
HR departments keep track of enormous amounts of information, and losing that information would be disastrous. Your documents should be backed up and easy to recover in case of an emergency such as a natural disaster.
Some information may have a required period after which it should be deleted, such as records about recruits that were never hired or employees who no longer work at the company. If you are using paper, email, or documents on a share drive, these records must be manually addressed and then disposed of; however, in most cases, they are not addressed at all. With an automated system, you can schedule this information to automatically be deleted when necessary.
5. Following regulations and being prepared for audits
Annually, 2 to 3 thousand audits are conducted by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Audits can happen at any time to any company. No matter the size of your company, you should be prepared.
If your employee verification practices are up to par, you are less likely to be in for a surprise when you get audited. An automated system not only prepares you for the audit, but makes the audit much more efficient and less costly.
6. Integrating all of your systems and information
Using software is meant to make your job easier, not more difficult. If you’re using multiple systems that are not integrated, your process will be more confusing and much slower. However, handling a variety of systems like online recruiting platforms has now become necessary as the recruitment process has become much more digitized. When investing in software, you need to be sure that all of the tools you’re using can work together seamlessly.
Making changes to your HR system can be a big project, and all staff needs to get onboard with the change. This will be easier if your plans can be clearly communicated. Having a more efficient system in place will ultimately benefit HR and the entire company. After all, you have better things to do than rifling through piles of paper and electronic files.