Four reasons to say goodbye to your paper-based HR processes

paper hr processes
By Anthony Wolny | 30th March 2021 | 3 min read

Whether you’re a dedicated HR professional or a small business owner who looks after the people processes, nobody wants to be trapped in one location.

But that’s exactly what managing HR via paper-processes will do to you!

We live in a document-heavy world, from internal employee records to workplace handbooks/files, and if you’re still managing these on paper – you’re going to be chained to your filing cabinet.

Before COVID-19, when full-time office working was the norm, overseeing everything from one location may not have seemed like an issue.

However, with remote working taking over and most workforces becoming dispersed across the country – the time to change from paper to digital is now.

If you’re still unsure about moving away from your old ways of working, below we’ve outlined four reasons you need to ditch the paper.

1) Difficulties with compliance

Paper-based HR processes make complying with key legislation such as GDPR far more challenging.

GDPR has a number of requirements your business must meet, such as:

  • Having a clear data protection policy
  • Responding to data subject requests
  • Obtaining consent to collect data
  • And more

See the full details regarding GDPR here.

If all your data is paper-based, the chances are that you’ll struggle to meet these requirements as tracking consent and finding specific files is incredibly difficult when everything is scattered around your office.

When you consider that the fine for non-compliance with GDPR is up to €20 million or 4% of your total turnover – that’s massively concerning.

2) Crowding your physical workspace

Businesses often underestimate how much paper is required, but it doesn’t take long for all your cabinets to fill up with HR documents.

Particularly for growing businesses, you’d be surprised at how many folders of paper you’ll acquire as more employees come on board.

Now especially due to COVID-19, the last thing you want is a home office crammed with towers of documents.

Also, the excessive amount of paper needed for HR is not environmentally friendly, which is currently a growing issue for many businesses.

3) You can’t empower employees with self-service

“If you think your small business can get away with bypassing employee self-service software without even a consideration, think again.” Small Business Trends

A benefit HR software provides that you can’t achieve with paper processes is employee self-service.

By entrusting responsibilities such as keeping records up to date and submitting holiday requests to your employees, you’re able to free up time not only for yourself but also for line managers.

Additionally, keeping records up to date in real-time helps key areas such as payroll because employees can update bank details and addresses as and when they change.

4) Lack of freedom and flexibility

A major benefit you lose with paper-based HR processes is freedom and flexibility.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you’re able to work from any location with very little notice, especially as 25% of workers are expected to be working from home permanently after the pandemic.

By sticking to paper and filing cabinets, you’re bound to a single location.

If you do need to either go back to the office or work remotely, you’re forced to bring a heap of documents with you, or you’re running the risk of an HR emergency.

Picture the scenario: an urgent issue has arisen, and you need to access an employee’s records, but you’re not sure if you’ve taken the required paper documents home or if they’re still sitting in the office.

By moving to a modern, cloud-based HR software, you can avoid this challenge as you’ll have access to crucial documents at any time, from any device with an internet connection.

Picking the right HR software

It’s a big step moving from your old ways of working and adopting a new digital solution, but hopefully, the above points have demonstrated why it should be a priority.

Don’t worry if finding an HR software to resolve the above challenges seems daunting – we’ve created a video outlining how our cloud-based software, IRIS HR Pro, can eliminate your paper-based difficulties.

If you’d like more information on IRIS HR Pro, click here.