The Problem with Paper-based HR

The Problem with Paper-based HR

Whether it’s content created internally or documents and files received from customers, partners and suppliers, businesses today are drowning in a sea of information that grows bigger and bigger each day.In particular, the HR department must manage and control a large volume and variety of information that is often highly-confidential. Employee records, contracts of employment, payroll information and learning requirements barely scratch the surface when it comes to the plethora of information and related processes managed by the HR department. Yet how much time are HR professionals spending trying to find and manage this information rather than concentrating on managing the process of hiring and training employees?M-Files conducted a survey of 100 UK-based decision makers, from companies with more than 50 employees to better understand how HR departments are coping with managing such vast amounts of information.

HR staff can’t find the information they need

According to the survey findings, quite simply, many are not coping effectively.

Of the HR decision makers questioned, 41% waste over 10 minutes a day searching for the documents and information they need to carry out their jobs. Of those people, almost half actually spend more than 20 minutes!

Clearly this is a hugely inefficient use of time, but what is driving this wasted time spent looking for information?

HR departments are still wedded to paper

65% of people surveyed admit that HR information is still managed using paper documents, paper based processes, and stored in filing cabinets. In fact, when it comes to managing HR information, paper is the go-to-method, used more than any other approach or solution! It’s no surprise that HR departments are having such problems finding, sharing and updating information.

In addition, 47% use files and folders on network drives. With 65% of respondents managing HR information in more than one location, it’s no surprise that finding information becomes even more challenging. Not to mention the risk of duplicate information being stored across multiple systems or locations, which makes it challenging to ensure you are using the latest and most up-to-date version.

Painful HR Processes

We also asked respondents about the typical HR processes that they found to be the most inefficient. The top three identified were:

  1. Employee reviews, remuneration and benefits administration
  2. Posting job vacancies and managing applications
  3. Interviews and on-boarding of new employees

Given the heavy use of paper, it’s no wonder that HR departments are finding their manual-based processes time consuming and inefficient. By digitising these processes and automating manual activities as much as possible, HR can free up vast amounts of time, enabling them to work more efficiently.

80% of respondents admit to using a paper-based process for documents that require approval via signatures (for example, employee contracts and offer letters). Many HR professionals find hiring and on-boarding new employees such an inefficient process, but by implementing electronic signatures, these processes could be vastly improved, streamlined and automated. Not only would this save time, it would also improve auditability and compliance.

The problem with manual HR processes was further emphasised as we asked, “What are the biggest challenges with your role?”

Manual document processing was the top response with 44% of HR decision makers citing that the printing, scanning and hand-signing of documents — along with emailing documents and moving information to reside in different locations — was particularly challenging. In addition, 41% of those surveyed struggle with managing paper and filing.

Curious to learn more about how to better manage HR information and remove the headache of manual HR processes? Call us at (603) 7451 5696 OR email us at /