4 ways a content services platform improves HR compliance and security HR handles a staggering amount of sensitive information every day. Improper (or even inconsistent) management of it can have massive consequences.

For just over seven years now I’ve been working remotely from home, managing a team of largely remote workers. I was hesitant about a home office at first, particularly when the kids got out of school (Summer is now my least favorite season!). However, I quickly realized that if anything, I was able to focus far more on work than I could in an office. Tools like instant messaging and video chat allowed me to still be connected to those in the office, but at my own pace. It also didn’t hurt that it cut an hour out of my commute!

When Hyland (like many companies) shifted to a fully remote model, you might expect that nothing changed for me or my team, but it was a radical shift. Even remote workers frequently come in for face-to-face meetings, but overnight we were all on video calls only. Processes that relied on physical presence had to adapt overnight – things like new employee onboarding suddenly looked very different. But we, like the rest of you, made it work. And along the way, a lot of people got their first taste of remote work.

Moving a huge portion of the workforce remote was a massive disruption at an unprecedented scale and pace, and there’s no denying that it challenged the way organizations approached productivity; specifically, the fact that many employees don’t need to be in the office to work efficiently.

It’s also clear that remote work is here to stay: 98 percent of employees now say they would prefer to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, citing flexible schedules and the ability to work from anywhere as the biggest benefits of remote work, according to “The 2021 State of Remote Work.”

98 percent of employees would prefer to work remotely at least some of the time

As a result of the pandemic, organizations invested in connectivity tools to ensure productivity and business continuity. In fact, improving work-from-home capabilities is a top priority over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a survey of IT decision-makers.

But this “connectivity first” approach means there’s one area in HR that organizations are potentially ignoring: Risk and compliance.

With the sheer volume of HR content available — which is expected to triple in the next two years — it’s not only unfeasible to keep relying on manual, paper-based processes in a remote work environment, but it also leaves confidential information unnecessarily vulnerable.

The good news is you can solve you HR risk and compliance headaches with the right technology: A robust a content services platform.

How content services and HRIS work together

Human resource information systems (HRIS) are systems of record: They store the key data for every employee in an organization. But your HRIS is simply not designed to do everything you need it to do. Incredibly, 74 percent of HR departments use four or more systems in addition to the HRIS, according to HR.com.

Although the HRIS can (and sometimes does) manage some processes, a robust content services platform manages all the unstructured content for employees — everything from resumes to tax forms and employment contracts. It also automates processes like employee onboarding and offboarding, file retention and records management, policies and procedures administration, employee status changes and more.

That’s important, because in the U.S., people are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Meanwhile, the job market is booming. In the race to find and hire the best-fit candidates for your organization, automating manual processes lets you streamline the paperwork to get them hired faster. It could be the difference between gaining a valuable employee as soon as possible and keeping them waiting for an answer — if you don’t lose them to a competitor first.

In the booming U.S. job market, more people are quitting their jobs in record numbers

Paper-based processes in hiring, onboarding and offboarding are not only inefficient, but they also risk non-compliance of document retention policies and privacy regulations, which vary across industries, states and organizations. Unless you can say with absolute certainty and confidence that every incoming document is retained, purged and destroyed when it should be, your HR professionals could probably use some help in this department.

4 ways a content services platform solves HR’s compliance headaches

Let’s take a look at the four ways a content services platform improves HR compliance and security.

1. Protect sensitive employee information

A breach of confidential employee information can be disastrous. But the right content services platform ensures the security of all your employee documents, guaranteeing they never get into the wrong hands.

Content services platforms accomplish this by being very granular with user access — down to the metadata level — to ensure that only users with the correct rights and privileges have access to those documents. User access is based on the principle of least privilege, in which users only have the minimum access required to do their jobs every day.

Every single document comes with a complete audit trail, letting you know who accessed the document, what they did with it and the date and time they accessed it. The information is also encrypted whenever data is at rest (not actively being used), in transit (moving between servers within the database) and in use (being accessed by authorized users).

2. Minimize risk with records management and policies and procedures

In the complex world of human resources regulations, how long you retain documents matters. Audits are stressful, and the associated fines can be hefty — especially if they’re charged per violation.

The complex time and event-based retention policies that HR departments must maintain for different employee files require a better-than-average solution to manage. The right content services solution removes the burden of records management from HR staff — minimizing compliance risk and giving HR professionals the time to focus on creating a valuable employee experience as well as an effective recruitment process.

Here’s how it works. When a document enters the system, the solution automatically identifies and assigns a record type, applies the appropriate retention policies, and purges the document when required.

It also gives you the benefits of:

  • Time/event-based document retention
  • The ability to place holds on records
  • Destruction certificates

3. Expedite the audit process

Audits can be painful, especially when you don’t have complete visibility into where your employee documents are. And since the cost of the audit is likely based on how much time the auditor needs to perform the audit, a disorganized records system tends to mean higher audit costs. If it takes you a long time to find documents, then it will take your auditors three times as long.

Imagine going into an audit with confidence that all documents are complete, in order and secure on one central, digital repository. Imagine that audit compliance is as simple as granting auditors limited access to this system so they can perform their work without distracting your staff with requests. With content services, this isn’t a pipe dream.

A robust content services platform delivers solutions that allow an HR department to:

  • Reduce or eliminate pre-audit prep
  • Set limited, secure, time-based access for an auditor
  • Eliminate administrative burdens

You can limit the auditor’s access to only the documents they’ve requested. This helps auditors focus on the scope of the audit, instead of finding potential gaps in the system. Even a remote audit can be a seamless process — simply provide the auditor with limited, time-based remote access.

4. Case management capabilities keep sensitive information secure

It’s true that HR deals with a lot of paperwork, but some processes are more complex than just creating a document and routing it. For example, processes like employee onboarding and offboarding, handling a harassment claim or investigating a safety incident involve multiple stakeholders who need to take specific actions. You may need information from different people, which you may also need to track for reporting or compliance purposes.

Case management capabilities allow HR to store, track and access all the information and activity surrounding these complex processes. This gives you a complete view of your organization and increased visibility into those processes — which can be dynamic and unpredictable.

Let’s take a harassment incident as an example. It’s never easy when an employee files a harassment complaint to HR, but relying on paper-based processes makes it that much slower and more complex at a time when you likely want to act swiftly. Think about the paper trail involved when you need to conduct an investigation, interview all involved parties and witnesses, collect supporting documentation, take notes and manage checklists of the follow-up steps required — and the likelihood of something being overlooked in a manual process.

The amount of sensitive information HR must manage just from one incident — from the initial report to all the content and data that surrounds it — is overwhelming. And every step of the way, with every additional party involved, comes with additional risk of mismanagement and inconsistency, which can lead to employee morale issues, financial loss and irreparable reputational damage to your organization.

Taking a case management approach to employee relations with a content services solution provides HR with a “single source of truth”: A single view of all information surrounding an employee issue or incident, so you never lose any information.

Content services: A natural choice for HR

A content services platform not only takes the guesswork out of document security and compliance, but it also removes the burden from your HR staff, empowering them to focus on your organization’s most important assets: its people. This means working efficiently to find and hire the best talent — and, crucially, keeping them engaged and motivated even through times of unprecedented disruption.

Wes Keller

Wes Keller leads the Solution Marketing team at Hyland. He spent over a decade implementing enterprise-scale solutions in IT before joining Perceptive Software (now part of Hyland) in 2012.

... read more about: Wes Keller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.