By Andrea LaPlant, PHR, SHRM-CP, HR Services Manager at Trüpp
Over the last 20 years, we’ve become increasingly dependent on technology for business operations. Technology provides improved connectivity, streamlined and efficient processes, and makes everyone’s job easier. However, our reliance on technology rose to a whole new level in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to transition to a remote workforce overnight.
The impact of this seemingly temporary transition has had a permanent effect on how we do business. Regardless of the future state of your organization, technology will play a significant role in the delivery of HR services. Here are a few of the critical areas where HR should be adapting to a technology solution:
Electronic Personnel Files
Many organizations have confidential personnel files stored on paper that HR professionals are not able to access remotely. Digitizing personnel files allows you to electronically search and store confidential information while meeting federal and state record retention requirements. Transitioning from paper to digital employee files may seem like a daunting task; an organization can choose to scan and index employee files internally or engage a reputable service provider that digitizes and indexes all current and former employee files.
Once employee files are in a digital format, you will need to select a secure storage solution. You may choose to store files internally, select a file storage platform, or integrate with the organization’s payroll and HRIS systems if they offer this functionality. It is critical to ensure the storage system you choose has the appropriate security features in place and includes a secure backup system.
Recruiting and Hiring
Applicant Tracking Systems
Gone are the days of paper employment applications. Transitioning to an applicant tracking system (ATS) with electronic employment applications makes it easier for candidates to apply for openings. A good ATS facilitates quick and easy dissemination of candidates’ information to hiring managers and key stakeholders, regardless of where they are working. HR pro tip: Be sure to include instructions on electronic job postings and in application systems that inform applicants how to request an accommodation when applying for a job.
Conducting in-person interviews during the current pandemic is challenging, especially with social distancing requirements in place and a large portion of the workforce working remotely. In the current climate, many organizations have transitioned to video interviews. In addition to providing a vehicle for conducting interviews remotely, this technology gives HR professionals and hiring managers a sense of the candidate’s comfort level with using technology – a vital skill in today’s workforce.
Electronic Onboarding Paperwork
New hires need to complete a lot of paperwork on their first day of employment. Transitioning to a paperless onboarding process is not only helpful for a distributed workforce, but it also provides added convenience and efficiency for any organization. Electronic signatures (e-signatures) are now valid on all types of documentation, including Form I-9 and W-2. Some payroll, HRIS, and applicant tracking systems include electronic onboarding paperwork in their platform. Organizations may also choose to use a secure e-signature platform like DocuSign or Adobe Sign. Trüpp sets up and facilitates electronic onboarding for all of our HR outsourcing clients!
Manual processing of benefit enrollment forms, setting up premium deductions, and updating elections with the various carriers is time-consuming, cumbersome, and subject to human error.
Technology has made considerable improvements to benefits administration. Automated solutions enable online, paperless, benefit enrollments that automatically feed to payroll systems and benefit carriers. If you are not currently using this type of technology, it may be available through your current payroll/HRIS systems or benefits brokers. Clients of Trüpp’s benefits outsourcing service gain this functionality with our proprietary HRIS system!