Human resources departments are centralized focal point for LOTS of data. They store files on each employee and those files are constantly updated as changes occur including skillsets, promotions, addresses and more. Traditionally, employee files were just that…file folders filled with pieces of paper that detailed every bit of info the company has on that employee. As new forms were added, the folder got thicker, and the potential risk of data being compromised increased.
These days, however, such paper files are becoming increasingly scarce as companies have moved (or are in the process of moving) all data storage and even data collection online. Such processes have revolutionized the HR departments of companies as automated data collection and storage make human resources processes much more efficient and infinitely more secure than traditional paper-based data collection and filing.
Instead of mailing a form to an employee to request updated information as had been done in the past, now automated data collection programs routinely send out emails requesting such info. Once the employee fills out the information and submits it back to the company, their virtual “file” is updated. The process is quick, efficient and because the data is encrypted and stored digitally, it is incredibly more secure than the traditional paper files.
In addition to the efficiency and security of automated data collection and digital file storage, there are two other reasons that make this technological advancement such a positive one. Firstly, is the savings. Human resources departments that utilize computer programs vs. paper can realize tremendous cost savings in just a short amount of time both through the amount of paper they no longer purchase AND the amount of time their employees don’t have to spend on the tasks. The other positive is the GREEN aspect of using computers vs. paper products. Discontinuing paper usage is so much better for the environment as it saves on the amount of tress that must be destroyed to make the paper not to mention the harm to the air considering the processes of harvesting trees and utilizing them to produce paper in manufacturing plants.
The positives of going purely digital are extremely obvious so if your HR department is still using paper files and manually collecting employee info, it is likely only a matter of time until they make the switch.