Digital Document Management Helps HR Adapt

Digital document management is doing more than helping HR departments process candidate and employee records.  Digital document management is allowing HR to adapt to fundamental shifts in its day-to-day functions in terms of talent acquisition, payroll, compensation management and benefits administration.

In their report “Building a Seamless Employee Experience: Document Management and E-signature,” Aberdeen finds that best-in-class organizations are 6.1 times more likely than all others (67% vs. 11%) to have strategically reduced HR headcount.  As a result, HR is being squeezed by staffing levels and a need to increase how personal the employee experience is within the applicant cycle and within the organization.

This headcount reduction is manifested in the top challenges reported by HR organizations, as follow:

Challenge Best-in-Class All Others
Inability to bridge hiring and onboarding 76% 48%
Low candidate engagement 68% 73%
Low employee engagement 68% 60%
Low clarity in performance metrics 64% 60%
Low quality of employee relations 56% 42%


While this might seem dire for HR, Aberdeen finds that the procedural problems that interrupt their engagement efforts can be improved through the functionality found in digital document management.  Best-in-class HR organizations are four times more likely to use automated document management then to not have it available. Process improvement benefits include the following:

  • 54% of best-in-class HR organizations have reduced HR overtime as compared to 13% of all others
  • 59% of best-in-class HR organizations have reduced employee processing time as compared to 15% of all others
  • 42% of best-in-class HR organizations have reduced compliance costs compared to 11% of all others

In total, best-in-class HR organizations are 80% more likely than all others to realize time and cost savings from digital document management, automation and compliance checks.

Aberdeen also finds that best-in-class HR organizations are 1.8 times more likely to offer e-signature capabilities than to process verifications manually.  Where documents management has standardized, routinized, and digitized how HR tracks and manages process requirements for managing employee records, e-signature is allowing them to engage the records in real time as they enter changes into the HRIS system. In this way, the average HR professional is able to maintain a faster turnaround time to process employee benefits registration, as well as record compliance checks, tax and payroll filing, and information changes that require employee authorization.

Digital document management is helping HR teams cope with decreased headcount and increased pressures to improve the recruiting and employee experience

Digital document management is helping HR teams cope with decreased headcount and increased pressures to improve the recruiting and employee experience

Beyond the HR organization, e-signature is also enabling departmental managers to process data requests faster, allowing data to flow at a faster rate within the organization. Best-in-class companies are 18 times more likely than all others (73% vs. 4%) to find that automated data processing has eased the flow of information, and e-signature verifications are an important component of a full digital transformation. Freeing up the data flow comes with benefits, such as satisfying interdepartmental communications requirements, and improving the rate at which employees can be assigned to different projects both inside and outside the department.

Aberdeen reports that organizations are turning to digital documents management to further streamline the HR back office, improve employee data transaction timing, and keep HR personnel on the front lines Best-in-class companies are 14% more likely than all others (18% vs. 16%) to attribute the simplicity and engaging nature of their applicant experience to a reduction in complex documentation stages that, in turn, puts HR on the frontlines to communicate directly with vetted candidates. Best-in-class companies are also 18% more likely than all others (32% vs. 27%) to find that documentation processing and digital signature capabilities have reduced time-to-hire by more than 20%.