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How To Create A Paperless HR Department

Paperless HR, Human Resource, HR practices

The HR department has the most trivial role in a company or an organization. The HR department has to go through a number of steps and processes for its functioning. Most of the HR functions include heavy recordkeeping activities like the information about current employees, past employees, legal documents, contracts, and many more documents and with recordkeeping comes the use of paper.

In short, if we were to have a competition for the company that uses the most paper in a company, HR would definitely win. All forms of paperwork, from forms, handbooks to memos and hiring checklists, all these can potentially can jam it’s functioning and even create big hazards when an important document goes missing.

Of course, the other option is to go paperless. Paper documents and filing cabinets have been the old school way to organize employee information for decades. Though it’s been many years since the advent of computers and the advancement of technology, a paperless HR department still remains a slippery goal for many companies. And they’re not to be blamed because most of their processes and procedures are very much paper-based. Most HRs take a step back due to security, accuracy and accessibility concerns when it comes to going paperless. 

Despite all the reasons why paper-based HR is preferred, it’s high time to get serious about sustainability. A very good thing for HR departments is that paperless technology has come a long way from simply just organizing files digitally through scanners. Reliable mobile hiring and onboarding software and tools are available which can solve the nagging issues and speed up the hiring process. The paperless office as a sustainable business measure has gained quite a lot of traction in the world of HR since 2014. 

This will definitely become more emphasized if we shed some light on some facts

  • A survey was conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management ( SHRM) and according to it almost 77% of HR departments have preferred going paperless and that’s why almost 35% of them spend less time on administrative tasks. 
  • According to a Towers Watson Survey, almost 74% of HR managers have been reported to switch to an electronic performance Management system.

Change is never easy for anyone. But going paperless is a way of surviving and thriving in the current as well as future competitive recruitment scenarios. Using paper not only is harmful to the environment but also is high cost and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We have here a bunch of great tips to help you create a paperless HR department which is more efficient and easy to control.

1. Go For Electronic Signatures

We’ve all been through the crazy procedure of filling out a form on the computer only to find out that we actually need to print it, sign it and then scan it back again and upload it back. As an HR professional, there is an enormous amount of documentation that needs to be signed by a number of people. From employment contract, performance appraisals to checks and onboarding, there are many documents involved that need to be signed in the conventional paper-and-ink-way. But the thing is that it’s a very time-consuming process and results in delays. 

That’s why e-signatures is the new and advanced way to not only save loads of time and money that is spent on the conventional signature procedure but also is a more secure and safe way. There are a couple of tools and devices available like a Signature Capture Device (which is like an electronic pad where people sign), or even more secure devices that can help simplify the life of HRs. 

2. Teach Your Staff How to Go Green

This should be the very first step that the managers of any department in a company should follow after the automation of its processes. And since the HR is the one department where the paper is used the most, they can lead the charge on going paperless. HR managers can send a company-wide memo. 

The staff should be properly navigated through the elements of the automated systems that they’ll be accessing. This can be effectively done by a short and intuitive training that will show them how easy-to-use the system is and how it’ll make their job a lot easier. Share the importance of sustainability and going paperless in each department. To make it more interesting, this whole process can be turned into a game in which the lowest per-capita print rate will get some sort of prize. 

3. Replace Paper with Automation Tools

Undoubtedly, paper documents are an integral part of a company. But in order to go paperless, this fashion needs to change. All the important documents should be converted into its digital form. Earlier, to create a digital form, IT supervision was required, but it’s not the case anymore. All the forms like evaluation, feedback, application, reimbursement, all forms can be digitized. There are a couple of tools for creating online forms like JotGorm, Google Forms, etc. 

Heavy paper documents can be digitized by using PDFs. PDFs are a great way to get rid of the paper that is required for documents. In an age where almost every employee read material on their phones and tablets, creating a PDF allows HR managers to stay digital irrespective of the device used. 

All the paperwork that includes the storage of information about employees, about a certain project or anything should be stored in the cloud. Gone are the days where there was a need for physical file-keeping. Various Cloud Storage Software like DropBox can be really helpful in keeping your storage data safe and secure. 

4. Scan And File Electronically

Once you have trained and motivated your employees ongoing digital, HR managers can scan in documents and filing them electronically. It also gives time for them to assess how to handle incoming documents while catching up on the previously existing documents. When the scanning of the first document takes place, all the incoming documents get scanned and filed automatically.

HR managers shouldn’t be constantly playing ‘catch up’ when it comes to being paperless. They should always be moving forward with the paperless process already in place. There are many tools available and are compatible with various devices used in the HR department of a company. Once the employees are familiar with the software used, it’s a huge step towards being paperless.

5. Use Smart Recruiting Tools

The technological advancement has not spared the recruitment scenario in the business world. There are plenty of recruiting software and applicant tracking systems available today that can automate the whole recruitment process from scratch to the end and ensure that the lives of HR are simplified. And of course, the hiring process also becomes paperless in this way. Right from the job posting to onboarding, along with maintaining a digital talent pool, the whole process can be digitized and automated. 

The Recruiting Software Market has grown a lot in the last few years and there are a number of options available for the HR managers today. According to Gartner  Digital Market, Recooty has been rated #1 Applicant Tracking System in 2019, where almost 320 recruiting software were compared with over 1k genuine customer feedback. Recooty can digitally automate the whole hiring process.

If all these tips sound simple to implement it’s because they are. By making your HR department, you can not only save trees and money, but you can also save headaches. A paperless working will help the HR department to focus on various other crucial responsibilities like employee engagement and retention.



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