A new staff member has been hired. An employee has received a promotion to manager. The long, slow paperwork process begins. Someone has to be responsible for that process from beginning to end, no matter how many approval signatures and sheets of paper are involved. And once all those signatures have been collected and verified, the final documents will be stapled together and shoved in a file drawer, where they may prove difficult to find next time they are needed.
But there’s a better way. Secure electronic signatures are not only more secure than paper signatures – they are now expected by law in many countries; and that list of countries is growing every year, as data security becomes a more serious concern and electronic signature technology continues to bolster security and simplify every stage of the process.
Here are three of the many ways in which electronic signatures can streamline your human resources workflow.
A single delay can drag out a pen-and-paper approval process until everyone is frustrated. Someone has to print all the documents, send the hard copies to everyone who needs to sign – including the manager, the new hire, and specialists in the human resources and legal departments – collect all the signed copies, verify their validity and store them in a secure location. And if any approver happens to miss the memo, or forgets to sign a page, the entire process grinds to a halt until someone addresses the hold up.
With a self-contained electronic signature solution like SignWise Portal or SignWise Services, all files and signatures are kept in a single secure digital folder. Both solutions automatically alert each person whose signature is required. It allows them to sign in, verify their identity and sign the document electronically – even from a mobile device. Once signatures are collected from everyone, you’ll receive an alert that the final signed documents are ready to collect and print. It’s that simple.
How much does your organisation spend every year on document storage? How many work hours do you spend tracking down old documents and entering them into new systems? Many large companies still store much of their human resources data on outdated paper printouts, filed in cabinets in storage rooms. This often happens because startup companies don’t consider the costs of failing to store and organise their human resources data efficiently until it’s too late and mountains of forms have piled up around the office.
Managing your documents within a secure digital environment means you will never have to worry about costly storage or outdated paper forms. Documents are stored automatically and securely in your own private folders, in formats that integrate seamlessly with any personnel management platform you choose, on-site or in the cloud. And with automated time stamping you will always know exactly who signed each document and when.
With new regulations like the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS), many European countries are cracking down on electronic identification data, including electronic signatures. As more regulatory bodies recognise the effectiveness of secure electronic identity verification, many other nations are likely to follow suit over the coming years.
This means secure employee data is far more than just a convenient digital tool. Verified electronic signatures are rapidly becoming essential for compliance with local and international laws.
Although many companies continue to use email to send and receive contracts, many of which include private information (address, financial history, social security number, terms of an employment agreement or even bank account and routing numbers), email has never been a secure channel for sharing personal data.
One of simplest ways to protect your business against legal entanglements is to protect every agreement in your company with a simple document storage platform. It’s even better if you can sign and request signatures on the same platform.
For all three of these reasons – and many more – secure electronic document signing platforms, like are a crucial component of any modern human resources department for a company of any size.
POST IS WRITTEN BY
manager @SignWise Services and electronic identity expert
I have primarily worked as an R&D visionary and adviser for PKI-based authentication, eSigning, eSignature validation and eAuthorization services. I was part of the team that worked on the Estonian electronic identity for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, creating service portals for local authorities and annual electronic reports submission system for the e-Business Registry – winning the Best e-Government Solution award at the World Summit Award in 2011.
Learn more about electronic identity and document signing trends and how you can get the support for your business by contacting SignWise Services team now.