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5 Reasons Why it’s Time to Get Rid of Paper in Human Resources

by Kristin Logan | Jul 22, 2015

Human Resources workflow softwarePaper has always been a given in Human Resources. Yet, the sheer volume of documents that flow through Human Resources is enough to make any paper pusher cringe. Many HR departments continue using paper-based processes because it's what they know. They are often overwhelmed and overworked – and it doesn’t need to be that way.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s time to get rid of paper in HR:

Errors become more common with paper-based processes, especially when multiple people handle the document. Typos can create unplanned bonuses in employee checks. Documents in transit can wind up with the wrong person or in the wrong file or cabinet making them difficult to find later. Documents become difficult to find.  In a paperless environment, documents are scanned into a document management system and read by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. The OCR grabs text from the document and enters it into the system, making it easy to search later. A workflow system can then route the document to the right people for the next tasks, based on parameters that you set.

In a paper-based office, the average employee spends 40 percent of their time searching for paper documents. For each employee, Human Resources has to maintain a file folder stuffed with everything to do with that employee, like background checks, benefits and annual reviews. These files all mean transitions, data entry, copies made and filing. Information is more arduous to locate. In a paperless setting, you can search for information more quickly. Need to pull all documents for Jane Smith? Seconds.  Streamline payroll information for the pay period? A few minutes. Aggregate data and create a report about your demographics? Simple. All of those unnecessarily repetitive processes? No more need for it.

The information stored in Human Resources is confidential and sensitive. Therefore, it is vulnerable to prying eyes and bitter employees. Paper-based filing systems are as secure as the people who have access to the office where they are located and the lock on the door. A lock is much easier to break than the encryption and password protected files in a HR document management system.

Deadlines, Due Dates and Competencies
The ability – or lack thereof – to efficiently manage deadlines, due dates and job requirements is often overlooked or passed off to managers. This can result in the inability to prove training was completed, verify employee certifications and ensure internal deadlines are met. Paper provides little recourse with this problem – dates are scattered across multiple files, requiring data entry and manual monitoring. On the other hand, a document management system can simultaneously alert the manager, employee and Human Resources when training is due or a certification is going to elapse.

All of the other reasons boil down to one major consideration: cost. Where there is time wasted, there are dimes wasted. Employees with uncompleted training can bring hefty fines, unchecked poor performance brings down productivity and lack of efficiency means lost profit. In an efficient paperless environment, you typically require less storage space and fewer staff.

With the high volume of turnover in today’s workforce and the amount of paperwork generated for each employee past and present, HR departments are unnecessarily overtasked and understaffed. In a work environment still primarily relying on paper, HR is not using its staff efficiently and there is a struggle to manage important dates and information without error. Paperless technology can make staff more efficient and accurate, while securing confidential employee information and saving the company both time and money, making it clear why it’s time to get rid of paper in Human Resources.

Milner Technologies specializes in providing Human Resources with document management and workflow software that reduces the volume of paper and dramatically improves HR operations. Our solutions make information easier to manage and boosts staff efficiency and accuracy while securing confidential information and bringing down operating costs. Learn more about the hidden costs of paper or contact us for a free demo.