Paper Vs Electronic Employee Records Keeping

By hrlineup | 09.01.2020

Turn back the clock around a decade, and you will find that employee file record keeping was done manually. Imagine an organisation with over one hundred employees. The process of keeping all their files up to date must have been time consuming and tedious. Today, there is still a need for some paper records to be in place, however, electronic personnel records have elevated human resource management.

Paperless systems are what you can expect to find in organisations today. These systems make it much simpler for the human resource manager to improve their efficiency.

Benefits of Electronic Employee Files

As companies evolve, a comparison of paper vs electronic record keeping will make it easier to understand the benefits of an electronic system. These benefits include: –

  • Convenience – this is experienced in several ways including space saving and retrieval. Paper systems require room to separate the records for everyone. Furthermore, they normally need to be maintained for five to seven years after an employee has left the organisation. With electronic employee files, all that is needed is a folder within a computer. It is much more convenient and cost effective to purchase more space for hard drive, or pay to save on a cloud, than it is to build and maintain a room full of files.
  • Confidentiality – It is possible to keep information highly confidential by using passwords or passcodes to access files. This restricts access to a select few.
  • Sustainability – More organisations are now concerned with sustainability, especially in relation to the environment. Electronic HR records are much more sustainable and better for the environment.
  • Affordability – When transforming paper files into electronic employee personnel files, there is a high initial cost to create and customise the system. Once done, the maintenance cost is quite low.

There are some concerns when it comes to employee file record keeping, especially around legality. Therefore, even with an electronic system; it is necessary to maintain some paper documents. This is especially the case where documents have original copies that are signed or stamped to authenticate them. Therefore, some provision needs to be made for storage and proper filing.

Tips of Getting Electronic Employee Files Right

One main concern of keeping electronic employee files is them getting destroyed when a system is down or following a cyber-attack. To alleviate this concern, a human resource manager should ensure that all electronic files have been backed up in several different places.

Just like with paper files, there should be rules in place that dictate how long digital files should be kept. Since all it needs is a small digital space, most files can be kept perpetually. However, the minimum also ensures that the company keeps within legal rules.

As technology continues to evolve, electronic files will soon be the only way to have and keep files, making them as relevant as paper files. This will avoid the need to double up the files, and overall, result in efficient and convenient all-round systems.