HR trends

Document Storage vs Document Management: What is best for HR?

document management

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In today’s world, HR must reinvent their skills to keep pace with changing business trends and labour-saving technologies. HR is encouraged to focus on work that impacts engagement, culture and talent. It’s vital to switch to digital employee files. However, it is not just simply scanning paper documents. How HR works with files once they’re digital is what determines whether going paperless translates to productivity gains.

There are several options for storing and managing digital HR files to handle day-to-day work, compliance and security risks:

Static Document Storage

Day-to-day work: Document collaboration solutions allow multiple people to access and work from the same document. They’re designed to be used by any department within the organization. But: These systems don’t allow HR to create digital forms.

Compliance: Document collaboration offers limited search capabilities. The result of a search query is determined by the information captured in the file name. It’s not possible for HR to stay ahead of compliance by searching for employee documents that are missing or expiring.

Security: HR can restrict access to folders, but not to certain document types. When individuals change roles within the company, HR must manually add or remove their names from the documents they have access to.

Generic Document Management

Day-to-day work: Enterprise content management systems allow companies to collect, store and publish digital content. They’re suitable for generic documents across the organization.

Compliance: Enterprise content management provides better search capabilities than document collaboration.
But there are limitations when it comes to the proactive management of compliance. If HR wants to run a report on any missing employee files, they will need to search for each individual document type or inspect each employee’s file.

Security: Enterprise content management offers more security than document collaboration. But access management is manual. HR must remove certain individuals from accessing files when roles change. One small oversight could make the difference between protecting employees’ data and a possible security breach.

Active Employee File Management

Day-to-day work: Employee file management systems are the most sophisticated tools for digital employee files and designed for the sensitive nature of HR-related documents. They allow HR to generate, store and actively manage documents or forms, without creating more paper.

Compliance: These systems are built to help HR manage document expiration dates. It is easier to spot employee files with nearly expired documents. The system allows to place a file on legal hold and define document retention schedules by geography. Active file management keeps HR ahead of compliance.

Security: Employee file management protects against risk. Access is set by role, not by individual. As soon as a title or employment status is updated in the HRIS, access management rights are automatically synced, reducing the chance that employee data falls into the wrong hands.

So, what is the best for HR? The right solution depends on how many resources HR has to manage administrative work, compliance and security. When HR is under pressure to contribute to business results and focus on employee experience, the less time managing paper, the better.

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