How to reduce paperwork in HR

Reducing paperwork in Human Resources (HR) is a matter of embracing and utilising available technology and empowering staff.

Functions that were once many step events that needed manager and HR intervention, such as booking leave, still need oversight but are hugely streamlined by appropriate software.

Gone are the days of wall charts and calendars, sticky dots and endless checks of how many days leave remain for specific individuals. Appropriate software allows the information to be viewed by the team member, HR leads and management at the touch of a button. Team capacity is more visible allowing less friction on booking and cancellation of leave.

The same is true for processes across the HR portfolio: important and sensitive personal data can be stored securely and retrieved easily. Updates and amends can also be easily achieved and tracked, while performance records are updated on a continuous rolling basis. This allows for real value and attendance records can be analysed with ease to flag issues and allow remedy.

As with most good computerisation processes, HR software doesn’t necessarily replace jobs, rather it often moulds roles. Less hands are needed for manual filing and processing and more space is created for ingenuity in assessing, understanding and improving teams and therefore workflow and profitability.

Going paperless or at least aspiring to means:

  • less storage is needed for physical files
  • access to information is available from multiple locations and potentially by multiple people at the same time and more quickly via digital search
  • record retention requirements, one of many particular focuses of the stringent General Data Protection Regulation, can be more easily adhered to via automation
  • further increased need for strict and effective computer security systems and software
  • investment in appropriate HR software

Finding the right HR software

Finding HR software to meet budget and need takes time and resources. Many firms invest in a tool they later find does not fully meet their requirements or has more features than they can or will make use of.

Software Advice lists hundreds of reviews of HR software and allows you to filter by industry, number of employees, price and rating.

It’s vital to consider:

  • how HR software connects to existing business software and hardware
  • ease of use and level of training required
  • levels of follow-up and ongoing support from the supplier

Desirable software features may include:

  • a joined up approach for job advertising and applicant tracking
  • training and onboarding functions
  • payroll and benefits functions
  • personal development mapping
  • scheduling and shift planning
  • scalability to grow as the business grows
  • reporting and analysis functions

Is any office truly paperless?

It still seems like an achievable dream to make offices entirely paper free and to move all ‘paperwork’ into a digital sphere.

The reality is that there are few offices that have been brave enough yet to dump printers and the regular toner cartridge order altogether. With continued developments, though,  perhaps that moment is on the horizon.

Author: Editorial Team

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