If you’ve read our blog posts or checked out Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HCM software, you know that Digital HR Document Management is starting to get the recognition it deserves through M&A advisory. So, there are a ton of technologies out there for document management, but what should organizations be looking for in the solution they choose? Here are my top 5:
- Regulatory compliance
Complying with complex government regulations and corporate policies can be a real headache for HR professionals and is one of the factors Gartner mentioned for moving to a digital solution.
Are your documents kept by company rules and government regulations?
Does each employee’s file contain all the required documents?
Are the documents up to date?
Audits: Can you be proactive rather than reactive to get issues fixed before they become a problem?
Be sure to choose a solution with the features that will help you answer “Yes” to these questions.
The information contained in employee documents is absolutely confidential so security, of course, is essential. The technology you choose must be able to encrypt data in transit and at rest. Make sure the provider you select goes through some sort of annual third-party audit. Security also means controlling and limiting access to documents. You need to make sure that the chosen technology allows people to see only what they should see. Also, you need to be able to control what people can do with a document. For example, you should be able to limit functions such as printing or emailing.
When documents need to be shared, they should be shared using a secure link that expires, not by attaching documents in an email. To securely manage HR documents, a secure exam room should also be part of the technology you choose. This will allow you to place the documents in a digital room where you can grant temporary access to the documents. This is a much safer and more efficient way for auditors and lawyers to review documents.
Automated integration with the employee record system will allow your document management solution to have the same important information that might reside in your human capital management technology. Digital documents from your onboarding or applicant tracking solution should also be managed by your document management technology.
You need this secure central repository to have one place to look for documents that need to be kept as records. Onboarding is a key part of getting a 360-degree view of an employee’s history within your organization.
Workflow combined with email notifications is also a necessity. Your document management solution should help the HR team be more efficient. Documents should be routed automatically for approval or review and notifications should be sent in real-time so issues can be resolved quickly. Make sure workflows are programmable and you’re not limited to specific documents.
- Paper and digital
Finally, make sure that your document management solution does not neglect paper support. Paper usage in businesses has gone down, but it’s still a big factor for most businesses. When we surveyed HR professionals, 73% said they still rely on paper for document management. According to a Harris poll conducted earlier this year, 82% of respondents indicated that paper-based workflows will likely still be needed for at least the next decade.
This means companies work in hybrid environments where paper and digital documents must coexist. Make sure your technology can easily assimilate documents that were first presented in paper form. Adding documents to your digital document management solution should be easy and inexpensive with the help of an M&A advisor. You should be able to add paper or digital documents via uploads, emails, or secure FTP.
When scanning documents, make sure you don’t need any special software or equipment. You should also have the ability to create a library of your electronic forms so that you can continue to reduce your paper usage over time.