HR comes only after Finance in being slow to switch over to being paperless. Sales, Marketing and IT lead when it comes to contributing to a paperless office. Surprisingly HR and Finance are also the two departments that are most involved with sensitive information.

So maybe the correlation is right there why they are still hesitant.

The average US office uses up to 2 pounds of paper each day. This means that office printers are working hard. Sensitive information may get filed away taking up space. However, most of this paper is also thrown away as waste. Just imagine the amount of paper getting thrashed! In fact if it is stacked up, it could create a 12 foot wall between New York to California – every year.

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The number one reason why HR should go completely paperless is a big one – It improves productivity and efficiency. So here are a few insights from paperless HR teams who have moved from traditional systems.

1.HR electronic filing systems

The first step to going paperless is to get rid of all those filing cabinets. This means scanning all your existing documents and filing them electronically.

Initially this could mean a lot of work but once done, going forward it becomes much easier. However, you need not wait to get this backlog to be completely. Start with the documents you are getting today. You can set a target time to get your file cabinet cleared. There are also numerous paperless HR software available that have inbuilt security and data back-up that make them powerful as HR electronic filing systems.

2. Embrace digital signatures

As more and more organizations are going paperless and with remote vendors becoming a common thing, the need for digital signatures is increasing. Cloud computing technology, data storage and recovery has made business owners confidently switch to digital signatures for faster processing.

HR deals with a number of documents which require signatures – employment contracts, performance appraisals and time sheets are just a few that are still usually signed in the traditional pen and ink way.  A paperless HR makes this much easier and can be accomplished in a few minutes when done electronically. Today. HR electronic document management systems allow for employees also to download and digitally sign documents across devices.

3. Catering to remote employees

Normal offices are evolving for new workplace challenges. Today, more and more employees are working from home or even located in different countries and need a paperless time sheet system.

Even for industries which have many of their employees working from the field, it becomes important for them to remain connected.  A paperless HR solution becomes a must that allows for digital time entry, as well as absence reporting. Mobile access has now become a priority and look for HR solutions that provide this.

4. Recruitment software

When you go paperless it often always means that you are streamlining processes and saving a lot of time.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the recruitment process. A lot of paperwork is involved right from manually screening candidate resumes to getting copies of a large number of documents during the on-boarding process.

Recruitment software are what HR teams are actively using to reduce the time from candidate sourcing to hiring.

Free recruitment software like those offered by Resumemantra makes it easy for job posting to multiple job boards through one click. You can also parse candidate resumes from different sources into one centralized database.

Inbuilt search features and tools make digital collaboration within the hiring team much easier. Find an appropriate applicant tracking system to begin electronic on-boarding of your new hires.

Most HR teams already have implemented some of this in one way or another. Catching up with the Sales and IT teams in going paperless is not that difficult. It needs to be done sooner rather than later to keep pace with the rapidly changing work environment.