If you’ve been reading our blog posts or checked out Gartner’s Hype Cycle for HCM software you know Electronic HR Document management is starting to receive the recognition it deserves. So there are a ton of employee document management technologies out there, but what should organizations look for in the solution they select?

Top 5 Features HR Document Management Software Needs to Have

1. Regulatory Compliance

Complying with complex government regulations and corporate policies can be a real headache for HR professionals and is a driver Gartner mentioned for moving to a digital solution.

  • Are your documents being retained according to government and corporate rules and regulations?
  • Does each employee file contain all the required documents?
  • Are documents up to date?
  • Audits; Can you be proactive and not reactive so issues are addressed before they become a problem?

Make sure you select a solution with the features that help you answer “Yes” to these questions.

2. Security

The information on employee documents is incredibly confidential so, of course, security is critical.  The technology you select must encrypt data in transit and at rest.  Make sure the vendor you select goes thru some sort of annual audit by a 3rd party.  Security also means controlling and limiting access to documents.  You need to be sure the technology you select only allows people to see what they should.  In addition, you need to be able to control what people can do with a document.  For example, you might want to restrict functions like printing or emailing.

When electronic documents need to be shared it should be done with a secure link that expires, not attaching documents in an email.  To securely manage HR documents a secure review room must also be a part of the technology you select.  This will allow you to place documents in digital room where you can grant temporary access to documents.  This is a much more secure and efficient way to let auditors and attorneys review documents.

3. Integration

Automated integration with the employee system of record will ensure your document management solution has the same important information that might reside in your human capital management technology.  Digital documents in your onboarding or applicant tracking solution should also be managed by your document management technology.

You need that secure central repository so there is only one place to look for documents that must be maintained as records.  Integration is a key component in achieving that 360 degree view of an employee’s history with your organization.

4. Workflow

Workflow combined with email notifications is also a must.  Your document management solution should help the HR team be more efficient.  Documents should be routed for approval or review automatically and notifications need to be real-time so issues can be addressed promptly.  Be sure the workflows are configurable and you are not limited to specific documents.

5. Paper & Digital

Finally, make sure your electronic document management solution doesn’t ignore paper.  The use of paper in businesses has decreased, but it is still a factor for most businesses. When we surveyed HR professionals 73% said they were still relying on paper to manage documents.  In a Harris Poll conducted earlier this year 82% of those who responded said paper-based workflows would likely still be needed for at least the next decade.

This means companies are working in hybrid environments where paper and digital documents must coexist.  Make sure your technology can easily ingest documents that may have started off as paper.  Adding documents to your digital document management solution should be easy and inexpensive. You should be able to add paper or digital documents by uploading, emailing, or secure FTP.

When digitizing employee documents make sure you are not required to have any special software or hardware.  You also must have the ability to create a library of your own electronic forms so over time you can continue to reduce your dependence on paper.