4 Ways Web Forms Compliment an HRIS

Gears Meshing, each labeled with a different responsibility of HR

If there’s one thing we learned in 2022, it’s that the rate at which businesses are digitally transforming is not going to slow down. The remote working conditions during the 2020 pandemic caused many companies to invest in digital solutions, but nearly 3 years later, with the option for employees to return to the office, digital transformation efforts continue to accelerate. According to Gartner, even amidst the economic contractions we’ve been experiencing, CFOs are still protecting and investing in digital assets because of the value they provide.

One area of business that can benefit greatly from digital transformation efforts is Human Resources. Many companies have already invested in Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) to help manage a broad array of HR-related tasks, but the depth to which they can transform these tasks is often limited by this breadth. For nearly any HR process involving documents, a Web Forms Solution can provide additional benefits to complement your HRIS such as:

1. Simplifying Onboarding for Everyone

According to Zippia, organizations with a strong onboarding process increase new hire retention by 82% and productivity by 70%. Yet despite the potential impact these benefits could have, that same study found that 88% of employees thought their company “doesn’t do a great job” with onboarding. Complex onboarding forms like I-9s and W-4s can be extremely confusing to new hires, and much of the information requested throughout the hiring process is often repeated on multiple forms. This repetitive information uses time that is valuable to your new hire and that could be used on other tasks. What’s more, the confusion caused by these forms often results in plenty of questions for HR staff, taking time out of their days as well.

A well-designed web form solution can simplify the onboarding process immensely, eliminating the confusion and time sinks involved in onboarding and leaving your new hire confident and ready to start their position. These solutions make the onboarding process much more easily digestible by guiding hires through the form completion process and displaying only relevant fields. Web forms may even allow for some fields to be automatically populated, either by automatically calculating them or by remembering them from previous entries. For example, totals and other tax calculations found on the W-4 form can be automatically filled once the data needed to calculate them is entered. In another example, information requested on multiple forms such as date of birth, social security number, and name can be automatically filled out on each new form once the system recognizes a single field from previous entries.

2. Collaborating on Forms from Anywhere

Remote collaboration is becoming increasingly necessary as shifts in the global work environment lead to a more distributed workforce. According to code submit, 62% of employees between ages 22 and 65 say they work from home at least occasionally, and an owl labs survey suggests that 80% of employees now expect a hybrid work environment. This shift to remote and hybrid work is far from the only factor distributing the workforce, though. Many companies also have multiple offices, and some locations may rely on others for certain needs such as human resources.

Collaborating on these forms remotely can often be a cumbersome process without a proper solution. Emailing these forms back and forth as PDFs often creates confusion as multiple versions of the form are created during this process. In addition, key fields that need to be filled are often missed as well. Even using some form management tools and HRIS solutions can result in this kind of confusion as often, once forms are submitted, they are no longer editable, forcing users to start from scratch and create another version if there’s a mistake.

A well-designed web form solution facilitates collaboration by keeping forms live throughout the approval process in case changes need to be made. A web form solution should also be able to enforce rules for filling out the form such as requiring a specific field be populated or requiring that field be filled out in a specific format. For example, a field asking for a social security number may require the user to enter 9 digits and may only allow numbers. These features drastically reduce the chance of mistakes and ensure that the approval process goes smoothly.

3. Helping Employees Help Themselves

Human resources staff have been incredibly busy in recent years. A continuing trend towards hybrid work has required HR specialists to rethink training and hiring strategies, and the job market is still feeling the effects of the record-breaking resignation numbers across industries that placed increased demand on HR departments to attract new talent.

These relatively new initiatives are often undertaken in addition to the department’s usual duties, often making it difficult for many human resources staff to keep up with their work. One way to alleviate this burden is by encouraging self-service among employees.

An employee, for example, may wish to enroll in benefits such as health insurance, dental care, or a company 401k. This employee may typically have to request an enrollment form from the HR department, fill it out manually, and send it back for approval. The employee may even have questions for the HR staff about the form which may go through several renditions, being emailed back and forth between the employee and the HR department because of missed information.

With a well-designed web form solution, employees can simply be directed to a link where they will be guided through the form completion process. Any fields that must be filled out will require an input from the employee and the form will be sent to the HR staff for approval. The lack of human resources intervention that this process requires allows the department to focus on more big-picture tasks, providing greater benefit to your company.

4. Staying Organized by Automating Key Tasks

In addition to facilitating self-service, web forms can also help alleviate the workload of HR departments through automation. What’s more, this automation not only further simplifies routine tasks, it also keeps human resources staff organized amidst the flurry of requests and projects they are likely managing during their day.

For example, once completed, expense reports, applications, and PTO requests can be routed directly to HR staff. A web form solution may have a form management screen where staff can approve, deny, or otherwise act on these completed forms, providing a central location for requests. The solution may even support receiving email reminders about incomplete forms and tasks.

A PTO request awaiting approval, for example, may be easy to lose track of if HR staff is preoccupied when it’s received. But by setting the system to email users after a set amount of inactive time on the form, HR staff can better manage these tasks amidst their increasing responsibilities. With a well-designed solution, these emails can even be sent at regular intervals, which can be very helpful for following up on inactivity reminders or for reminding staff of tasks to be completed regularly on set dates such as performance reviews.

Web form solutions can help HR staff create a seamless onboarding experience and facilitate remote collaboration, organization, and self-service during a time when HR departments are facing new and unique challenges. Square 9 is a provider of end-to-end digital transformation solutions including web forms, enterprise content management, workflow automation, and document capture. For more information on how we can simplify tasks for your HR department, you can view our human resources digital transformation guide or contact us.

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