Human Resources – Going Paperless

Are you ready to “Get with the times” and go digital? Don’t fall behind on this game-changing HR trend!


I am getting more and more requests for HR assistants and HR professionals to assist companies going paperless. It is important to stay current on these kinds of trends and to utilize only the ones that will benefit you and your company the most. While going paperless may seem like an easy task, there are some pros and cons as well as basic steps to take. Globally, about 24% of organizations are in the process of going paperless.


To keep you up-to-date on this compelling trend, here is my quick guide to paperless HR:


Start with Onboarding

Sometimes, it’s easier to start by implementing a new process in only one area of HR. A great place to start is with the onboarding process. This is one of the most paper-intensive activities for HR and luckily there are now several digital platforms that allow for a seamless, digital onboarding experience.


Do a quick google search for “Digital HR Onboarding Software” and a whole myriad of recommendations will pop up, including some of the bigger players including Workbright, Kin, and Spark. Key benefits to look for when selecting a software are the training and implementation support. This can make a big difference in getting your team on board and saving you countless hours spent answering questions and holding one-on-one or team training sessions yourself.


In addition to using less paper, digital onboarding software can help reduce costs by eliminating time spent on data entry, filing, and obtaining signatures since all of this is stored and accessed through an online system.


Work Back Through the Archives

Once you have started onboarding new employees digitally, the next step is taking all of your physical files digital. To start, find a file organization system that works for your team, company, security and IT Department. Setting up an organized and easy to maintain digital filing system, in the beginning, will save you headaches and potential lawsuits down the line. I always recommend consulting with your legal team or an attorney to understand state-specific HR laws.


There is a large amount of paper that needs to be scanned so it can be helpful to hire outside help or a professional service for this process. Be sure to set access levels so only people with specific clearance can retrieve the sensitive files.


Keep the Momentum Going

Now that your onboarding system is fully digital, and you have scanned all of your physical files, you can move onto transitioning the rest of your daily HR activities to paperless. Here are a few ideas of additional ways to go paperless:

  • Digital Signatures – There is no need to print out, sign, and scan contracts when there is widely-used software that allows people to use a digital stamp or e-signature online.
  • Digital Surveys and Reviews – There are many times when performance reviews and company sentiment reports are performed via interviews with the results going on a piece of paper. Instead, use an online review system or create a survey via Google Surveys or Survey Monkey to eliminate wasted paper and easily file the results in your online system. You can also use anonymous surveys for feedback from employees.
  • Applicant Tracking System – Many of us already use ATS programs, but we are still guilty of printing out resume’s, cover letters, and other information to bring into interviews or meetings. Instead, use a tablet or bring your laptop for notes and updates to eliminate the need to print these documents.


Going paperless may seem like an uphill battle, but once you have updated your systems, you will find yourself working in a more effective and eco-friendly manner.
What other HR trends have you noticed?

Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page with recent trends you think are important in shaping the HR industry. 



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