Anybody who has spent anytime filing and shuffling through paperwork knows the nightmare that it entails. For human resources professionals, this nightmare is compounded by the requirements that employment compliance regulations place on maintaining personnel files and documenting activity and personnel actions. This leads to extra labor, costs and time-consuming activities for human resources departments.
Today’s human resources functions are trying to break the mold of the traditional administrative arms that are squirreled away in the corners of headquarters buildings around every corporation. True HR business partners need to be out front where people and managers are. They need to be visible. To truly be effective, today’s HR professionals need to focus on transformational activities and not transactional activities. This requires getting out of the nightmare of paperwork.
1 – Elimination of Filing Paperwork
The primary benefit of any cloud-based human resources technology is not having to print countless sheets of paper which then need to be filed meticulously. Most HR departments have a very structured filing system comprised of personal information, performance records, benefits enrollments, payroll and tax information, and United States work authorization. Additionally, some employers may have files for training records, education and other qualification information. Printing and filing all these documents can be cumbersome.
Employees spend precious time updating information and signing and completing documents. A high quality employee onboarding cloud solution will allow you to store standard employment paperwork and forms as well as provide parsing ability for new hire information. This means, the information entered into one initial form by new employees will auto-populate to various new hire forms and documents. No more repetitive entering of addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, etc. on multiple forms.
Paperwork completed via the cloud can also be electronically signed and confirmed as well. This eliminates the need for faxing, scanning, emailing, mailing and/or requiring an employee to be physically present to turn in paperwork to the corporate office. Most systems will safeguard and protect the privacy of the information as well–if not don’t partner with them!
2 – Easy Recall of Information
So once all that legacy information is put into a file, what do you do with it? Some of this paperwork is for compliance and record keeping requirements. However, employment documents having to do with performance, education, training and other similar information are useful. Managers may want to reference, an employee may want to reference and HR will definitely want to reference them.
A standard cloud-based solution will allow you to quickly reference this information via a reporting interface or dashboard. You will also be able to report on it to identify trends and data points for the entire organization, an individual department or a group of employees. If you relied on paper files for this task, you would have to manually go through personnel files, pull the required documents and manually aggregate the data.
What is the ultimate benefit? The ultimate benefit is that this information will actually be used for what it is intended. The danger of a paper filing system is that the information goes into files and then never gets referenced or used because it has to be requested, then analyzed, then provided–and probably dusted off in the process. Cloud-based systems put this information right at the decision maker’s finger tips.
3 – Bulk Transactions for New Employee Records
In many situations, human resources staff may find themselves needing to make multiple changes to multiple employee records at the same time. A traditional paper filing system would require access to all files to manually make the changes for all employees, and then all the new paperwork would have to be refiled. Think about the time involved with that tedious task! Alternatively, if all employee files are cloud-based, the processor could make one change and have it apply to multiple employees at the same time.
Setting up your new employees in different divisions, groups, etc. within a cloud system will allow fast changes to the groups of new hires you choose. The changes will be applied across all employees you’ve selected, and once processed, their records updated. There will be no further need to print and file paperwork as it’s all stored in the cloud.
4 – Connectivity of Systems
Many of today’s HR cloud solutions are integrated or can be integrated. This means different vendors of different software applications can pass data back and forth. The advantage of this for HR professionals lies with the ability to push information from one system to another. This greatly reduces duplicate entry into multiple systems. Most vendors of HR software do not provide a solution for every HR need, so if they can talk to each other through the cloud it is much, much better. For example, our HireCentric applicant tracking system integrates with our employee onboarding software.
5 – Self-Service
The days of the form library outside the human resources wing are long gone. Cloud services allow employees to update information from anywhere at anytime. In many cases, even from their smart phones. Likewise, HR representatives can review, approve and process these information updates with ease. The connectivity of systems described above also lets this information reach multiple platforms and vendors with a single update from the employee and/or administrator.
The advantages a cloud based system can provide are limitless in how they can help reduce time, improve efficiency and reduce human resources labor costs. As an added benefit, new employees are more satisfied with their onboarding experience as they don’t have to make a trip to the HR department during business hours to fill out forms just to submit their basic information. When selecting a cloud based system, make sure it provides you the analytics and recall of information you need. And, make sure it is user-friendly with a great user interface; otherwise, your employees won’t use it.