What does mean to be paperless during the onboarding process?
When you think of onboarding, do you often picture filing loads of documents, scanning them to email to your human resources department, or even mailing these said important documents through snail mail? What if I told you there was a better, easier way? It is called paperless onboarding. Paperless onboarding means all important documents could be stored online in a secure, easy location. This would eliminate important documents from getting lost because businesses are only keeping paper copies. Paperless onboarding makes finding records faster because you’d simply type in a keyword instead of rummaging through lots of different papers by hand throughout a day of work. This won't just benefit the employee but will benefit the company as all data will be cloud-based and, there will be better time management for HR personnel as HR processes will take less time to complete or be found.
We will see in this article what are the key benefits of paperless onboarding, how to set it up and its benefits that help with the hiring process.
Paperless Onboarding: The Benefits
Most businesses currently use the standard onboarding documents- W-4 Employee’s Withholding Certificate, I-9 Employment Eligibility Confirmation, Employment Contract, Confidentiality Agreement, Non-Compete Agreement, employee information forms, employee payroll details, etc.
If you make the switch to paperless onboarding, you’d have the power for your forms to be more customizable to better fit your business needs and make filling out tedious documents easier and more fun. This will increase organization and the time you have for all your HR processes.
Paperless onboarding could help pave the way to assist businesses in taking better care of our planet. Paperless onboarding virtually eliminates any waste of paper and therefore saves more trees. Also, if new hires could fill out their paperwork in the comfort of their own home, there’d be no need to hop in the car and spend more gas.
Improves consistency and accuracy
Paperless onboarding can ensure that all new-hires’ information is inputted correctly. Using a simple pen and paper is subject to human error, and usually requires another set of eyes to look it over and confirm that the new hire didn’t forget anything or make a mistake. Imagine technology that would alert a new-hire immediately once something was forgotten or inputted incorrectly. Paperless onboarding would eliminate the need for a second set of eyes altogether. This all can be done through an HR system, the management system will become a self service for employees to accelerate the recruitment process. You can then go into detail of an employee lifecycle to have better talent management solutions for a newcomer to have a better transition into the company.
It can take a considerable amount of time to have all new staff complete all of their new hire paperwork in addition to receiving and reading their employee handbook, filling out their direct deposit form, and going through orientation. Not to mention, scheduling a time to meet with the new hire and double-check everything was completed correctly. Paperless onboarding lets new hires do everything on their own time. Businesses could even start holding their employee orientation online as well so that the new employee has a seamlessly balanced lifestyle and make it more accommodating to them.
Traditional new hire paperwork is unreliable, messy, and can take up a lot of resources. New hire paperwork also contains lots of sensitive information which can put businesses at risk. Especially with I-9s, if someone’s social security number ends up in the wrong hands, it could lead to identity theft. Paperless onboarding greatly reduces risk because employees would only have access to their own documents, besides other authorized personnel.
Boosts Employee Retention
Paperless onboarding makes it easier for new hires to track their progress. Receiving stacks of papers to fill out can seem endless but with paperless onboarding, new hires could see exactly what step of the process they were on and how much percentage is left to complete with this automated paperless onboarding lets new hires know exactly what areas they are required to fill out, and if they made any mistakes. This gives new hires a great first impression and establishes trust within the company which would ultimately lead to a higher employee retention rate.
How to Set Up Paperless Onboarding
Take all forms you would usually print out on paper and digitalize them. Don’t limit yourself to just the mandatory state and federal new hire paperwork. Digitalize all payroll forms, employee handbooks, confidentiality agreements, acknowledgement forms, etc.
Start using an applicant tracking system. This will make it more efficient for new employees for their onboarding process and to keep them up-to-speed. It’ll help you and new hires keep track of new hire paperwork deadlines and make sure all sensitive information is secure.
Create an electronic onboarding checklist to continue the process of onboarding new employees. This will keep new employees engaged in their onboarding process and help them stay organized.
Equip your Business with the Right Software
It’s important to use the same new hire onboarding process for everyone. Especially if your business has multiple locations or is even international. That way all employees across the board could be consistent and makes moving and transitioning within the company a seamless process.
Use software that is compliant with I-9 forms. This compliance is only applicable to the United States. But if you are a US-based business or have offices in the United States it is something important to note. New hires are allowed to fill out their I-9 form digitally, but an HR professional is still required to physically check a new hire’s identification.
Create Forms Online
You should first take a look at your current new hire onboarding process. Delete any steps that seem redundant or unnecessary. You can then create a template that is easy to follow and is customized to your specific business and new hire. Once it is automated, it will make the new hire onboarding process clean and easy to understand.
Remember after launching your new paperless onboarding process, test it as if you were the one doing the onboarding such as in training and orientation! Have an HR professional pretend to be a new hire and see if it really flows and is easy to understand. Make the necessary changes until you are satisfied and confident.
Launch Onboarding Workflows
Once you launch, keep getting feedback from users! Even if you think it’s perfect, there is always room for improvement. Companies lose about 25% of new hires due to a bad onboarding experience. Think about how much lower that number could get if new hires felt heard throughout the process. This would also contribute to the company culture because new hires could easily engage with HR professionals, ultimately raising employee retention levels and decreasing turnover.
Through an HR software, you can automate the new hire process. The only problem is if you already multiple systems to perform new onboarding, employee training, recruitment, employee development, and keep track of time&attendance.
Do you use multiple systems to complete your hiring and onboarding processes? PeopleSpheres is an HR platform able to unify all your HR tools and software and create a harmonious workflow throughout the employee experience.