5 reasons your HR department needs ECM

Are you ready to become a digital insurer?

Every day, HR departments waste hours upon hours searching for, scanning, and refiling employee documents by hand. From managing new hire paperwork to maintaining employee files, it’s time to move beyond the constraints of paper in HR.

The best way to reduce the administrative burden of employee file management and audit preparation is by capturing and storing documents electronically in an enterprise content management (ECM) system. Managing employee files through ECM frees staff time to focus on the priorities that truly impact the employee experience, all while reducing the costs, time, resources, and risks associated with storing physical documents.

In fact, the right enterprise content management system will give you the ability to get rid of paper at the beginning of your processes by utilizing electronic forms. With the ability to control required fields, perform calculations and validate data as it’s entered, you ensure completeness at the point of entry. This speeds the hiring process, helping you identify and hire the best-fit candidates.

Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons why your HR department needs ECM:

  1. Disaster preparedness

Threats to your organization’s resources come in all shapes and sizes. If a flood, fire, or other natural disaster affects your organization, the impact of such an event could be tremendous.

Think of all the files and sensitive information you store on paper for every employee in your company. What would happen if these vulnerable documents (and employee information) were compromised by a disaster?

Relying on paper as a record for important documentation leaves your organization vulnerable. That’s where ECM helps. With ECM, you strengthen your organization’s disaster recovery and business continuity processes by ensuring you store your important documents and data within a centralized, protected system.

By managing your information electronically, you can easily duplicate copies to off-site servers, ensuring that your data survives an event in any single location. Access to your solution is available via a secure website as soon as users can get back online. This frees your IT staff to focus on getting your on-premises systems up and running.

To simplify and protect things even further, you can choose a cloud document management system. This way, your data is not tied to your physical location. In the event you need to abandon your premises, you retain continuous, uninterrupted access to everything you need.

  1. Audit preparedness

Audit letters can throw your company into a frenzied search for the documentation auditors require. Without preparation, manually combing through files, collating information for auditors, and searching for missing documents can take up hours of your HR team’s time – time your team could use to focus on employees and their career aspirations.

Enterprise content management systems reduce the stress of the audit process by helping you always be prepared to provide auditors with what they need, when they need it. Beyond easy document search and retrieve capabilities, you also have the ability to run reports to proactively identify missing employee documents (e.g., whether you have an I-9 for every employee in the system) and quickly address those gaps.

The most powerful ECM systems even enable you to create temporary files and folders so auditors can directly access the information they need online without your team serving as the middleman. It’s a huge time saver for everyone involved.

  1. I-9 compliance

In the last decade, I-9 audits have increased nearly 100,000 percent. So you need to be prepared.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers guidelines for I-9 storage, including keeping a detailed index of all data so both your organization and auditors can immediately access any record. This ensures an auditable trail of changes that show any alteration to a document. You also have the ability to implement controls to detect and prevent the unauthorized creation, alteration, or deletion of any form.

Managing your employee files with an ECM system helps you meet these USCIC guidelines and avoid the costly fees and fines of outdated documents and errors. Enterprise content management reporting tools can also determine what information is available and missing, and when coupled with archival and retention policy settings, automatically purge documents that you no longer need.

  1. Security

Companies large and small save hundreds of thousands of employee documents full of sensitive employee information. Storing that information on paper presents a huge security risk to both the company and individual employees.

Enterprise content management solutions provide an extra layer of security over employee information by allowing you to control who on your HR staff can and cannot access employee files. Robust systems allow you to assign rights by role or function, including what types of documents and folders employees can view, create, and update.

Even if someone gained access via a stolen login, they would only be able to access that particular user’s content. Additionally, document history functionalities provide an auditable trail of activity on each document.

  1. Policy and procedure management

Many organizations store company policy and procedure information in an individual or shared network folder, or worse, on a staff member’s desktop. Without a central location to store this information, it becomes nearly impossible to efficiently manage the distribution of information to new and existing employees, provide visibility to what documents employees have or have not signed, and manage delinquencies.

Enterprise content management systems resolve all of these issues. Sophisticated systems have accurate document acknowledgement functions that allow you to see which employees have reviewed the required policy documents. Look for a system that includes easily configurable workflow software that automatically notifies employees – and other key stakeholders – when they are delinquent.

By automatically tracking policies and procedures for your entire staff, employees are free to focus on high-value tasks instead of worrying about renewing certifications, training, or other important issues. 

If efficiency, security, and compliance are issues you need to address, then equipping your HR department with the right ECM system should be too.

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate paper-based processes and improve operations across accounting and finance, human resources, and contract management. Danielle joined Hyland after more than six years with a research and advisory firm devoted to helping senior executives manage their departments and teams more effectively. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

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