HR Departments Are Going Paperless

Original Post: SHRM Written by Steve Bates

Improved technology and security are prompting HR departments to shift more functions to paperless processes. In the not-too-distant future, “Everybody will be paperless. It’s inevitable,” said Matt Peterson, president and CEO of Utah-based document management services provider eFileCabinet.

Technology experts and HR professionals say implementing computer-based systems that eliminate the need for paper can save time and money. “Productivity and efficiency are the No. 1 reasons for people to go to a paperless system,” said Peterson. Such systems significantly reduce the storage space needed. And they are designed to accommodate the vast and changing array of compliance issues that keep HR professionals awake at night. For example, some systems can alert HR when an increase in an employees hours might have implications under the Affordable Care Act.


There are risks with going paperless.

If you go outside for a paperless solution, there will be security and integration issues, said Morgan Yeates, research director for the HR business process outsourcing market at Connecticut-based IT advisory company Gartner.


Security is a concern with any electronic records.

Databases housed in the company headquarters can be hacked. Employers might inadvertently gain access to documents they shouldn’t see such as private employee medical information. Data must be backed up to avoid catastrophic losses. Security controls must take into account employees who access databases remotely through mobile devices.