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5 Ways Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Makes Your Human Resources Department a Well-Oiled Machine

Human resources departments face many different challenges on a daily basis, but there’s one consistent presence that affects HR teams of all shapes and sizes: a mountain of paperwork. Whether it’s a government-required tax form or a signed copy of a non-disclosure agreement, HR departments are tasked with collecting, maintaining and organizing vast amounts of information pertaining to their organization’s employees. HR departments that still depend on outdated paper forms aren’t just wasting resources — they’re putting their company’s time, government compliance and employee security at risk. ​

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software changes this equation by moving HR functionality into the cloud. Using tools ranging from automated document capture to web-based digital forms, a comprehensive ECM takes an HR department firmly into the 21st century by making common processes more efficient, streamlined and secure. ​

Here’s a look at the top five reasons your HR department needs enterprise content management software: ​

Regulatory Compliance

Maintaining proper HR records isn’t just good business practice — in many instances, it’s the law. ​​

HIPAA health insurance information, I-9 employment eligibility forms and employee personnel records are among the many federally regulated documents required to be collected and kept by employers. With ECM software, these documents can be captured, stored and organized electronically, allowing HR teams to keep an organization’s crucial information in one centralized repository that helps keep the business in full government compliance.  ​​

Data Security

A stack of forms filled out with pen and paper isn’t exactly secure: One quick glance at an open folder could give intruding eyes a look at an employee’s Social Security number, salary or other sensitive personally identifying information. Worse, physical records can be lost or destroyed in an accident or due to theft, eliminating your only known copy of a document. ​

ECM software keeps your HR data safe and secure from the ground up. Beginning with a secure user-based sign-in, access to employee archives, databases and documents can be granted only to those with designated permissions. And with cloud-based ECM software, documents are regularly backed up on a secure, always-accessible server. In the event of an unexpected disaster, this means the information critical to keeping your business running will always be available over the internet. ​

Software Integration

Is your HR team on the same software page as the rest of your organization? ECM software enables an HR department to collaborate across a wide variety of popular business software suites using powerful software integrations. Using platforms such as Dropbox, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Office 365, QuickBooks and Salesforce, ECM software can share documents through the applications your organization is already using and present them as needed in a singular UI — all without the hassle of a massive migration project. ​

Audit Readiness 

No company enjoys the unpleasant surprise of an audit letter. But being caught off guard by the very prospect of an audit can be even worse. This situation requires employees to take time away from their everyday tasks to assist in tracking down information or missing files. ​

One of a company’s best defenses against an audit is ECM software that collects all of an HR department’s important files in one place. Bolstered by full file system integration and powerful search capabilities, this highly effective tool can find even the most obscure documents at a moment’s notice. ECM software also offers a complete audit trail, creating filterable and exportable logs of all document actions by date and user to ensure full transparency into your business records. ​

Workflow Management​

Is the very task of data collection slowing down your business practices? Whether you need properly completed forms or are seeking that one last signature, having to wait on a colleague to complete one simple task can have a ripple effect on an entire organization’s productivity. ​

ECM software includes powerful workflow management tools to maximize an HR department’s efficiency. Through digital forms and data collection, employees can collaborate through an electronic workflow that invites users to access documents electronically. And to cut out the times when you’re waiting on an employee to finish looking over a document, automated reminders can be scheduled and sent on a recurring basis to ensure work gets done on deadline.

Summary of Main Benefits to an HR Department

Paperwork

Challenges:

  • Copious HR paperwork can be problematic to manage
  • Time-consuming manual processes, like manual data entry
  • Large files lead to high storage costs
  • Old-school document retrieval through file cabinets

Solution:

One of the most productive benefits of ECM software is automation in the workplace, especially automation of manual paper-based tasks. It enables HR staff in that they have every document they need in-context and at their fingertips. ECM software reduces time-consuming data entry and workflow processes. At the end of the day, your HR team can get more work done in less time with fewer resources — all by improving document creation, storage, and retrieval.

Processes

Challenges:

  • Lack of standard onboarding or employee exit processes
  • Records with frequent changes
  • Post-hire activities need to be scheduled and documented

Solution:

The average U.S. employer spends about $4,000 per new hire, according to GlassDoor. ECM software helps standardize the onboarding process. It also helps with the hiring process in applying process to applications and interviews, automating the delivery of documents to interviewers and stakeholders.

Policies

Challenges:

  • Health insurance information is bound by HIPAA
  • Likely fines for not producing the proper documentation
  • Retention schedules associated with employee records

Solution:

HR professionals are burdened with the paperwork required to justify costs and satisfy government regulations. Out of all company departments, HR staff is the most likely to experience fines if paperwork is filed improperly. Staffers can secure sensitive documents with user permissions.

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