What are your people worth?
“PEOPLE ARE OUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET.” How many times have you heard that? More important, how many times upon hearing it have you nodded politely and then changed the subject to something more, ah, important? Human resources receives far more lip service than respect, but economic factors factors are making HR the subject of some truly substantive executive discussions-and expenditures.Human resources as a lowly cost center
The Human resource department is traditionally inundated with excessive hard and soft costs. This single department is a necessary evil. HR is not part of any company’s core line of business, which creates these hard and soft costs. These costs revolve around management of documents for each employee. If the career of an employee is broken up into 3 phases, HR’s document lifecycle looks like the following:
- Pre-employment: 15 to 20 documents including – job description, application, search agency contract, interview checklist
- Employment: 14 to 18 one-time, and 3 to 5 annual documents including – nondisclosure, non-compete, handbook acceptance, performance reviews
- Post-Employment: 3 to 6 documents including – termination, COBRA election, exit interview.
The above documents, and many others travel extensively throughout an organization during the career of a single employee. A simple example is the interview process. A manger generates a request to fill any open position on a preprinted form. That request is manually distributed to upper management for approval. Once approved, the request is manually distributed to the HR department. As applicants submit resumes, qualified prospects are manually distributed to managers for interviews. Manual notes are taken and then the interview checklist is manually distributed back to the HR department to repeat the same process for as many interviews as it takes to fill the position.This repetitive back and forth flow of HR documents is only interrupted by the monumental task of physically filling, tracking, and securing these documents. Most companies will have independent filing cabinets containing documents, such as resumes, letters of recommendation, performance reviews, and more, for each employee. Some organizations will have another set of filing cabinets dedicated to medical benefit documentation. Managing multiple sets of records requires clerical support and administrative overhead.
The Human Resources Department is outmanned. Studies indicate that there are 85 employees for every 1 Human Resources representative. Every year these numbers become even more lopsided by 3 to 5%. This coupled with the fact that every employee has a permanent file containing between 32 to 44 documents, proves that Human Resources is drowning in paper.
Throwing HR a Lifesaver
Human Resources can be saved. Document Management solutions were specifically designed to handle the overwhelming flow of paper. HR documents no longer have to originate in a paper format. They no longer have to be manually distributed back in forth through the organization. They are free of being stored insecurely in outdated filing cabinets.
Implementing a proven document management solution would positively affect the following areas of an HR document lifecycle:
- Creation – Documents are created on web forms, not Paper.
- Distribution – Documents are distributed electronically via rules based routing, not manually.
- Storage – Documents are securely stored electronically, not on someone’s desk or filing cabinet.
- Retrieval – Documents are retrieved from a desktop with the correct security clearance, not after a manual expedition to records room.
- Security and Compliance – Multiple levels of passwords and rights restrictions secure documents, as well as automatic audits trails, and not inaccurate fallible manual efforts.
Benefits of Automating the HR Process
Improved Management – All HR related information is available on-line providing managers more information to base their employee management decisions.
Increased HR Manager Productivity – Human Resource’s self-service capabilities reduce inquiries to HR from employees and managers, freeing HR managers for other tasks.
Lower Administrative Costs – Document transportation costs are eliminated, as are the cost of physical storage space: office space, filing cabinets, offsite storage, microfiche equipment, etc. Clerical time is no longer spent looking for lost or misfiled documents.
Leverage Existing ERP Investments – HR managers, line managers and employees continue to use their existing ERP interface and tools, assuring rapid adoption of the optimized processes and reduced training time.
Improved Control and Compliance – With the system’s workflow enforcing accountability and all actions automatically recorded in an audit trail, compliance with corporate standards and legal regulations is improved.
Enhanced Security – Human Resources restricts access to personnel file information, enabling adherence to regulations such as HIPAA and EEOC.
Smoother Audits – With all HR related documentation available on-line from within the ERP system, internal and external audits are completed in less time with fewer people affected.
What Are You Waiting For?
As you can see, fallacies behind the phrase “business as usual” are not immediately apparent. When companies take the time to look for ways to improve business, these problems are discovered, especially when it comes to Human Resources.
Managing documents will make your business run more efficiently. Moving from a manual process to an electronic process leads to a better managed, more profitable business. What are you waiting for? Let us help you uncover your hidden document costs.
Cornerstone Communications has helped over 800 CFOs streamline their document processes. We do not know your specific situation or if we can help you. Contact us today to explore how document management might affect your company’s Human Resource process.