This post is part of The Datamation Guide to Human Resources Records.
The staple of any Human Resources department is paper: paper employee files, medical records, evaluations, reports, payroll, and more. As a company grows, the amount of paperwork grows. It’s incredibly difficult to manage thousands of sheets of paper, much less utilize them to track performance, payroll, and so much more. Electronic forms, or E-forms, are designed to completely eliminate paper as a medium for a record, which also eliminates the need to process the paper altogether.
To use an example, let’s say that an employee needs to update a W-4 form. With paper files, this would require filling out a new form however often your financial situation changes. Then that paper would need to be processed and the information entered. Doing this for multiple employees as often as necessary takes time, and is also error-prone, which can be problematic down the line. E-forms make it easy to quickly adapt to ever-changing regulations without going through the entire process of filing and refiling.
Another scenario is the process of HR onboarding, which requires extensive paperwork. Whether you’re rehiring or hiring someone for the first time, it can be a paper nightmare. Gathering all of the employee records, job histories, resumes, evaluations, and work authorizations takes far too much time and effort.
The ideal situation would be that all of these documents have already been scanned, making them immediately accessible and easy to gather, or other documents can be filled out as E-forms, eliminating the processing of paper altogether. If some of your staff is seasonal or they work remotely, E-forms also make it easier to adapt to a wider range of employment types.
E-forms eliminate the middle-man, or in this situation, the paper itself. The information is entered straight into a computer, tablet, or phone, and because the employee themselves is entering the information, there is less error. Information can be entered anywhere, at any time, and involves zero data entry or processing—it goes straight into any workflow. This allows your business to save time that would normally be spent processing, space that would normally be used to store paper, and money that is spent buying paper and paying employees to process and enter information. The biggest benefit is a cohesive, seamless workflow that makes your business more efficient and airtight. With industry regulations in constant flux, E-forms make it easy to keep up effortlessly.