Automated Digital Workflows in HR

Posted on November 18, 2021

A survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that over 40% of workers in the U.S. are actively looking for a new job and that almost half of executives said their organization has seen high employee turnover over the past six months. The hiring and retention of talent have never been more important for human resources departments. Paperwork-bound HR systems can make for slow approval processes when hiring and onboarding a new employee. Those same systems can lead to costly miscommunications, misunderstandings, or compliance risks once an employee has been with the company for a time. When employees leave – voluntarily or otherwise – lax employee exit processes can leave a firm at risk to lose equipment, experience data breaches, or worse. Using automated digital workflows in HR can help a firm be more competitive in bringing on and managing the talent they need. They can bring consistency, accuracy, and security to the hiring, onboarding, ongoing employee management, and employee exit processes.

Hiring and Onboarding

After recruiting and selecting a job candidate, the hiring and new employee onboarding process begins. Gathering, organizing, and managing the communications, forms, and records needed to successfully bring on a new employee can be time-consuming and complex for HR. Regularly communicating with the new employee and internal stakeholders about what to expect, and what steps are next, make for a smooth and productive start to a new job. Optimizing the hiring and onboarding process provides a positive experience for the new employee and can be the difference between keeping that employee for more than a month or having them consider another job offer before they even start. There are also compliance implications in properly filing documents such as I-9 forms and securing personal information per HIPAA mandates. Having a smooth process in place gives the employee and the firm the best opportunity for a good start.

Automating this process can begin with an HR system or electronic content management system (ECM) that has been set up with automated workflows to route the job offer internally for the appropriate approvals and send the job offer to the selected candidate. Required documents such as driver’s licenses, passports, certifications, and all other paper or digital documents can be gathered either electronically or using intelligent scan and capture solutions. These solutions can automatically extract data to populate HR systems and kick off other automated workflow processes including status updates, welcome e-mails to the new employee, and other preboarding or new hire packet deliveries to the employee. Automating the hiring and onboarding process removes time-consuming and error-prone manual processes, limits the risk of miscommunication between HR, the new employee, and the hiring manager, and can set the stage for long-term satisfaction and productivity from the employee.

Ongoing Employee Management

Clear communications and tracking that important documents have been received and, if needed, acted upon by the employee just begins in the hiring and onboarding stage. These tasks for HR continue during the entire time an employee is with a firm. From important compliance information and training requirements to skills training, performance appraisals, and career development, it’s important for HR to efficiently distribute, organize, manage, and archive these documents and records.

Creating automated digital workflows to deliver materials at the right time, gain the proper reviews and approvals necessary from employees and their managers, and securely organize them into an employee’s personnel files removes tedious and time-consuming manual paperwork steps that can cause errors or introduce data security risks. The time off request process can be automated using electronic forms and digital workflows that ensure approval protocols are followed, reducing administrative tasks and warding off misunderstandings and headaches. A well-implemented ECM and digital workflow strategy by HR means employee records are automatically and accurately updated, more easily retrieved when needed, and that the firm more readily complies with security and business regulations.

Employee Exit — Offboarding

When an employee leaves an organization, it’s important to have an employee exit or offboarding process. Whether an employee leaves on their own or is terminated, the organization must protect sensitive information and data the employee was working with to ensure business continuity after the employee is gone. Ensuring proper offboarding steps were taken during communications with the employee, that company equipment is returned and that the employee’s access to company systems, passwords, and other authorizations are successfully removed will help protect a firm from future claims by the employee as well as inadvertent or perhaps malicious data breaches.

Automating paper-based checklists into digital workflows provides a consistent, accurate, and secure way to handle the offboarding process. Workflows can be created to create and route the required documentation and get electronic signatures. Automated workflows that alert IT and security of an employee exit can ensure email and systems access, as well as that any other password or security authorizations, are removed. A solid digital HR system and ECM solution with automated offboarding workflows can help a firm maintain compliance by validating each step of the process and give HR peace of mind.

Automating HR processes streamlines the onboarding, employee management, and offboarding processes and can reduce costs, increase employee morale, save time and increase HR productivity, safeguard corporate information and assets, and help a firm more readily comply with regulations. The document management solution specialists at Centric can help you determine the best way to automate the various processes used in the HR department and get these benefits by using the wide variety of software, solutions, tools, and services they provide. To learn more about what Centric can do for your HR processes call us at 877-902-3301 or visit us at