In today’s digital era many business processes still include paper-based workflows. The digital storage and maintenance of business related documents is not only a more reliable solution, but can actively boost productivity within any company. Although, creating and managing business documents is a necessary process of any department, there are certain fields that can definitely benefit from going paperless, and HR is one of them.
Recruiting, hiring and onboarding employees, handling annual vacations, business trips, application approvements, personnel evaluations and trainings are just a few examples that have their own rules and constantly generate documents. Managing all these processes on paper could result in lengthy approvals, errors in producing documents, expanding space of premises used to store paper archives, costs of printing and transporting documents. The large-scale impact of automating the process of hiring new employees becomes immediately evident through one of Softline Group project.
A major retail chain had to speed up the process of hiring new staff with the minimum number of HR personnel involved. Timing was especially important as the company required seasonal workers ahead of the peak season and labour influx had to be supported with appropriate documentation.
Softline’s task was not only to automate routine operations and data systematization, but to set up the employee register in an automated mode with real-time synchronization, and to make it instantly available in the company's records. As their HR department was already overloaded with everyday tasks, to achieve the automation with HR’s minimal involvement was a major criteria.
In order to provide a seamless transition, Softline implemented the project in several stages. Firstly, the architecture of the business application was developed. During this time, Softline experts collected and analysed all the systems that were to be combined into a single network. This resulted in the integration of the financial accounting system, the payroll system, as well as the applications of the HR outsourcing partner.
The creation of personal accounts for applicants was a crucial step. Job applications can be submitted directly in stores using tablets. At the same time, the personal data of potential employees are protected using encryption technologies. If an application form is approved, a package of documents is automatically generated for them based on templates. The information is sent to the HR department to be checked and collated. The next step is the automatic distribution of the prepared documents to the store where the new employee will work. This includes a contract and various official forms.
As part of the test run, which lasted 3 months, 1,000 applications were processed, and 500 people were hired. A total of 12,000 documents were generated without any involvement from the HR personnel. The system has now been approved and is fully operational.
The company’s HR department of seven people is able to manage the total workforce amounting to several tens of thousands of employees. A huge volume of routine operations has been transferred to the electronic document management system and is being implemented automatically. The company was able to:
Reduce the time of preparing documents for hiring new employees
Simplify and optimize the processes involved in sending documents for signing to regional stores and returning completed documents
Minimize shipping costs
Decrease the time spent creating scanned copies
Link together several key IT systems for HR processes
Thanks to automation, HR procedures are being carried out faster, errors are being eliminated when producing documents based on a template, and the approval of applications is easier. HR managers have noticed an overall increase in transparency and accountability. By digitalizing the hiring process, the time for hiring new employees has been reduced by 60%, while the total labor costs of the HR department have been cut by 45%. The proportion of correct data received in the HR department is now a record 97%.
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