Ask An HR Expert: How Can I Create A Paperless HR Department?

Hello, my name is Katie Stewart from Tandem HR. Welcome to Ask An HR Expert where we answer your HR questions. The question for today is “how can I create a paperless HR department?”

First, I’d like to go ahead and ask you a question. If you were required to pull documents from an employee’s file or personnel file to comply with an audit, how confident would you be that you could locate all the necessary documents?

According to a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM),  out of those individuals that use paper files, only 50% of them are confident they would be able to pull the necessary documents to be in compliance. Of individuals using electronic or paperless filing systems, 70% were confident that they would be able to pull those documents to remain in compliance.

How do you create a paperless HR department?

  1. Start with buy-in. You need to get buy-in all the way from your top managers down to the bottom. What I mean by this is making sure that individuals are on board with the process. Educate them about the benefits and make sure they know what they should and should not be doing.
  2. Get organized. All the paper files that you have should be scanned into your new electronic file system. Organize them in a way that will make this easy.
  3. Determine the electronic filing system. Will they be on a shared drive, a locked drive, or on your server? Will you utilize a software to track and store the documents? Either way, there are a few things you’re going to have to determine. You’re going to have to look at access levels. Who should have access to this information and at what level?  You’re going to want to determine how much information you’ll need to store and look at storage levels. Finally, accessibility: will your employees be able to access these files, if needed, from any device? Now obviously with electronic files, there is a concern with security with the access to these files and information being stolen. You want to make sure you have policies and procedures in place to protect all the information you are storing electronically.
  4. Create digital signatures for these documents. Looking at some different systems or software in order to do that will be beneficial as well.
  5. Find an appropriate applicant tracking system and determine a way to complete electronic onboarding for your new hires. Onboarding paperwork and employee files can be stored there going forward.
  6. Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you get rid of all printers and fax machines. This will help you remain paperless going forward.

According to there are many benefits to going paperless. Here are a few I’d like to share with you:

  • You will save money.
  • Your employees will save time.
  • You will be able to recover more quickly from a disaster.
  • You will be able to avoid lost documents.
  • It’s great for the environment as well.
  • And…
The number one top reason you need to go to a paperless HR department is to increase productivity and efficiency for all of your employees.

Thank you for joining me today.

If you do not have an HR PARTNER, Tandem HR is happy to help.
Give us a call today at (630) 928-0510.