3 reasons why HR files should be moved off-site or transitioned to an electronic document management solution

4/10/2014 in Human Resources

In Human Resource departments managing paper employee files in a secure space is a constant battle. File rooms are over-flowing and HR professionals are drowning in paper.  Most organizations have an HRIS but that doesn’t address the paper or provide the automation and governance to truly manage electronic employee files.

There are many benefits to why paper employee files and most paper business records should either be moved off-site or transitioned to an electronic document management solution. Let’s take a look at three of them –Cost, Access, Security.


If you think about the cost of office space for file storage versus the cost of off-site record storage, it’s pretty easy to see which is more economical. We’re talking dollars versus cents.  $30 per square foot versus $0.30 a cubic foot.

By combining the right technology with off-site storage, expenses related to managing paper documents are reduced or eliminated.Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicated:
  • 7.5% of docs get lost, 3% are actually misfiled
  • It costs $120 to find a misfiled document and $250 to reproduce a lost document
  • $14,000 in productivity lost per worker per year because if the inability to find information
Of course costs related to paper copying, handling and delivery are also reduced. 
Consider the access needed to documents in an employee’s personnel file. Employees have the right to request a copy of any document they signed that is in their file.  In many states when an employee leaves a company there are documents in the employee file they can request a copy of.  Also employees will often need to update documents in their file. Managers also need to access documents in an employee’s file to review things such as performance reviews, training, promotions and certifications. 

Files containing sensitive information should be in locked cabinets or a secure room. For Employee files that level of security is a must.  A log should be maintained detailing who accessed employee files and when.  This provides some level of chain of custody, but not nearly enough. Employee files are frequently accessed and some documents may need to be shared with people inside or outside of the organization.  This need to share access creates security risks if it’s done using paper documents.

So these are just some of the reasons companies should reduce onsite file storage. To learn more, sign up for our webinar, “Moving or Consolidating? What to do with all of those HR Files.

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