Guide For Taking HR Digital

In ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, organisation expert Marie Kondo touts the benefits of keeping a neat house. By using her KonMarie method, she explained how keeping organised can help simplify ones’ life, build a forward- looking mindset, and of course… spark joy.

Now, we don’t think that it’s outrageous to say that sparking joy is not a statement that is generally synonymous with human resources. HR is often a tough, sometimes thankless job, that can be filled with time-consuming and repetitive tasks. From endless spreadsheets through to piles of documents and hundreds (thousands) of emails from employees and job candidates, it’s a lot to juggle. Not to mention the ever- increasing effort to support and motivate your team – it’s a huge role that’s critical to keeping an organisation running.

We’re not going to suggest you neatly fold each HR document that you receive and place them thoughtfully in a filing cabinet. We’re going to suggest you go digital and ditch those paper documents for good. Digital HR is here, and it’s capabilities just keep getting stronger.
With a long list of benefits; from giving you back some much- needed time by streamlining operations, to helping you manage staff from anywhere and, most importantly, saving your business a whole heap of money – digitised HR can make the process, dare we say it, a little more joyful.

In this guide we’ll walk you through the traditional roadblocks that can make different areas of HR tricky and explore the possibilities of digital solutions.

Ready to take HR digital?

Traditional HR is Falling Short

According to KPMG’s 2019 The Future of HR Report, two thirds of HR professionals said the sector was undergoing a digital transformation. Despite this, only 40% had a roadmap to approach this new style of working.

HR is an area that’s steeped in time- honoured structures. HR existed long before the tech boom, and pre-dates any digital roles. As long as modern companies have existed, there’s been an established way to complete HR tasks. Coming through and disrupting those processes isn’t always straightforward, and it can be a challenge to demonstrate the worth of digital HR to a company.

But when we look at how outdated traditional HR is, we can really see the value in going digital.

Paper is no longer practical.

Whether your team is embracing remote work or only using the office on an adhoc basis, paper forms are simply not practical in the modern office. Of course, mailing forms around is not reasonable, nor is expecting your employees to take time out of their working days to visit the office space simply to sign a form. Paper forms are slowing you down and costing your employees time which ultimately means costing your business money.

Physical filing also doesn’t cut it anymore. Organising papers upon receiving and then needing to rifle through cabinets to find them? What a time suck.

Human error is inevitable with manual processes

Human error in HR can be a real pain for everyone involved. When details are
manually entered into systems from paper sheets, the chances of making a mistake are high – and this can be costly to your business and staff. Say someone incorrectly enters a staff member’s student loan details and their payments are missed throughout the year. Maybe there’s a mistake in making sure all relevant employees receive their needed policies. These small errors can be costly to your staff and business.

Doing things the old way can also pose a considerable risk to your information
security. Swapping personal HR details via paper or email can leave huge gaps for information to end up in the wrong hands.

Doing anything strategic takes hours or days

Want to put together a snapshot of your retention rates over the last five years? Maybe it would be helpful to pull a report of previous candidates to identify recruitment trends? With traditional HR, you’re going to be looking down the barrel of a long process to source this information. This valuable information will likely go unregistered simply due to the time needed to find it.

Businesses resistant to the digitising of HR can risk being left behind and losing their competitive edge amongst other businesses.

“What’s worrisome is that as the paradigm shift we are in continually accelerates
the pace of change, one or two years in this digital age might compare to a decade or two in the analog era. You can fall perilously behind before you realise what’s happening,” says Robert Bolton, Head of People and Change Center of Excellence, KPMG UK

So how do we take HR digital? The answer is by using an HRIS.

HRIS stands for Human Resource Information System. An HRIS is a system that streamlines all of traditional HR’s clunky processes. A cloud-based software, an HRIS is a paperless way
to manage every aspect of HR, from recruitment and onboarding to employee engagement and admin, from anywhere.

Sound good? Let’s walk through some of the benefits.

Digital HR can yield company-transforming insights

Data hasn’t always played a powerful role in HR. As this role has often been incredibly administrative, with lots of hours dedicated to repetitive manual tasks, creating considered strategies hasn’t always been possible. When you automate and digitise repetitive and time-wasting tasks that have always bogged down an HR team member’s day, you open up the potential for strategic thinking. Detailed people analytics are suddenly at your fingertips,
giving you statistical backing to make high- impact changes at your organisation.

According to McKinsey, mastering people analytics can trigger an 80% increase in recruiting efficiency, 25% rise in business productivity and 50% decrease in attrition rates.

So what are some of the numbers that can help you do this?

Staff recruitments and retention rates
One of the most pertinent HR responsibilities, digital HR can help you see clear recruitment and retention rates. Look deeper into durations of employment, numbers of applicants, first year attrition and quality of hire.

Diversity and inclusion rates. How many people in your team are from diverse backgrounds? What is the gender split of the business? Are people from different backgrounds being nurtured into senior roles? Is there parity in wages across different team members? Recording and interrogating this data is key to ensuring parity in your business.

Employee wellness and happiness

We know that the happier teams are the more productive they are. There are so many things that you can do to impact employee wellbeing. Still, before you start investing time and money, it’s important to do a temperature check on how your employees are feeling and what area of wellness they may be seeking assistance in. After you go in informed, you can also use these analytics to track your progress and prove a return on investment.

Performance and goals

When you’re trying to grow your company, you need to know that your staff are working well and in alignment with business objectives. Using a digital HR platform can help you track your team member’s performance and ensure regular progress towards their goals.

The old HR day vs the new HR day

So what would digitising HR look like for your day to day? How would it transform the HR role? Let’s have a look at what two days might look like side-by-side.


9am: Sorting through a bunch of email requests from the team, prioritising and addressing the most urgent issues.

10am: Manual tasks that might include employee personal information data entry, preparing onboarding documents and contacting employees regarding important compliance documents you have not yet received.

12pm: Meeting up with a new recruit so they can sign their employee documents. They’ve left information about their super fund at home so you can only partially process their paperwork. You make a note to follow them up about it later in the week.

1pm: You silence your phone and emails to take a well-deserved lunch break.

2pm: Someone stops by to talk about an internal conflict that they say has been going on for a few months now. You talk through the issue with them before trying to consult their direct manager. Their manager has not been meeting them regularly so the issue has gone unchecked and there is no paper trail to follow.

3pm: Sorting through your in-tray of employee forms and documents. It’s almost time to audit your employee visas so you start the manual process of checking dates.

4pm: An allocated hour of strategic work. You start gathering information on employee start and end dates to write a report on retention, sorting through paperwork and entering details on a spreadsheet.


9am: Sort through a couple of email requests and messages, plan and prioritise for the day ahead.

10am: Call a successful applicant to notify them of their employment. Deploy an account for them on your digital HR system and deploy the pre-prepared onboarding pack complete with personal information requests and policies to sign and training modules relevant for someone in their team. They sign their contract from a mobile app and have it back to you within 30 minutes.

11.30am: Run a one-click employee visa check to confirm they’re all up to date.

11.35am: Run a one-click check to see who has not yet completed their
compliance documents. The system will automatically send them a reminder so there’s no need for you to do this.

11.40am: You have new roles to fill, so you create a new job ad and then post this on multiple job boards from a single submission on your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). At a glance, you look at how other candidates are moving through the recruitment pipeline.

1pm: You catch up with a colleague over lunch outside.

2pm: A staff member stops by to talk about an internal conflict that they would like an update on. You talk through the issue with them before consulting their manager, who has a clear paper trail of the employee’s experience documented in the HR system over weekly meetings. You reference this to understand the employee’s situation and create actionable next steps.

2.30pm: You spend the afternoon brainstorming for a strategic HR project.
You want to be informed by real data so you click around your HR platform to quickly pull some handy reports that can elaborate on staff retention, performance and engagement.

Burn your spreadsheets (and your paper sheets)

When you’re working in HR, you’re dealing with a truckload of information daily. It might be coming in through filled-in forms or random emails sent at all hours. You might need to enter the information in any number of spreadsheets. It’s a problem.

Let’s start with leave management. Processing and tracking leave requests correctly can be the difference between a functional workplace where everyone gets their chance to take time off to recharge… and total chaos. Every employee will move through the leave cycle, and
with each day off comes the need to have requests checked against other leave plans, approved by direct managers and passed on to payroll. Forms that are passed between several hands under all sorts of time constraints can becomes an incredibly difficult task to stay on top of.

There’s also ever-changing employee personal details, like:

  • Bank details (+ superannuation funds, loan repayments)
  • Home addresses
  • Contact details
  • Certifications and licenses
  • (+ their possible expiry dates)
  • Signed policies

Operationally, HR may also be required to document any number of employee
movements. From tracking shifts, schedules and attendance. Those spreadsheets
are starting to look stacked. And this isn’t even to touch on performance management or recruitment and onboarding (we’ll get to that later).

If keeping track of this information wasn’t challenging enough, the introduction of widespread remote working has dialled up the difficulty. Although we know
that the benefits of remote working are numerous, it has made the movement of paper documents impossible, and the possibility of an HR manager drowning in emails much more likely. No thanks!

What are the HRIS solutions?

Online leave management allows you to step back from this frustrating process completely. With cloud-based programs, employees can digitally submit their leave requests, which will notify their direct managers. The direct managers can judge their leave submissions against others in a purpose-built calendar before approving or declining the request. HR and payroll are then notified of the exchange and you’re done.

Staff get the leave they want with HR and managers fully abreast of the situation, with a clear paper trail for full transparency between staff.

HRIS platforms also house employee details in somewhat of a self-service system. Employees have full access to their own details, and can change these themselves at any time. Moved house? Changing names? Swapped banks? A digital solution not only means that you’re not having to handle this information any more, but it also stores the information
in one easy-to-use source of truth.

Especially if you employ casual or shift staff, timesheets can become a huge time suck when you’re relying on physical documentation. With an HRIS employees can submit their own timesheets daily or weekly from their mobile app. As a business owner or HR manager, you can easily view all of these submissions. You will receive a push notification when you have a new timesheet to review and you can approve from anywhere.

Transformed recruitment and onboarding

Any HR manager will agree that recruitment and onboarding are among the most complex parts of their roles, especially if they’re working in a quickly growing business or going through waves of hiring casual staff.

Recruitment is such a time-consuming task. According to Deloitte the average period it takes to recruit a new staff member is 52 days! First you have to create the position description and identify specifications before promoting the
heck out of the role to get it in front of as many qualified eyeballs as possible.

It’s a Catch-22. You want to promote the role well so that you get lots of candidates applying to have a great selection of choices, but you can also find yourself at the bottom of a mountain of CVs. Scanning each one to put together a preliminary shortlist can be a day’s work in itself.

Once you have your shortlist, you have to move any number of candidates through first round, second round, even third round interviews. Between each one you have to gather and circulate notes and feedback.

When you finally decide – doing the tough job of letting someone know they didn’t get the role, but the awesome job of letting someone know that they did get the role – the big job of onboarding begins.

Feeling tired yet? We know we are. There must be an easier way.

What are the HRIS solutions?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the recruitment technology built into the Employment Hero HRIS. We knew thata top-tier candidate only stays on the market for about 10 days, so keeping processes as streamlined as possible won’t only take extra work off your plate, it can help you secure the best talent.

An ATS can save you time at every point of recruitment by automating administrative tasks. Starting with job posting – there are a whole host of job boards out there, many of which can help you get the qualified candidates you need – but all of them have different posting mechanisms and even with a dash of copy paste this takes time. Our ATS and candidate management systems enable you to post to multiple job sites with a single submission. We integrate with scores of Job boards including (but not limited to) SEEK, Indeed and Jora.

All applications then flow directly into the ATS, giving you a centralised place to review. From here you can track qualified candidates, add notes about important skills, build shortlists and schedule interviews. During the interview process, whoever is involved can leave their thoughts and feedback about each candidate on the platform.

After moving your candidates through a clearly laid-out pipeline, you can flick the successful candidate over to a staff profile within the platform. In a matter of minutes you can send them employee contracts, policies to acknowledge and onboarding details – giving your candidate an awesome employee experience from the second they accept the role!

A new way to manage performance

Every business owner knows that high-performing employees are their greatest asset. If you have a team of employees striving to meet their goals, we can safely predict that you’re more likely to have a successful business. But how can you effectively measure your team’s performance?

So we know that writing goals down give individuals a much better chance of achieving them, but did you know that following up on goals and progress is just as important? Or that aligning an employees goals to a business objective is another critical practice?

A great way to keep up with the documentation of goals, follow up on progress and ensure alignment is to keep a complete digital record. By keeping track of everyone in the company, you can quickly take a temperature check of your progress towards growth, and identify any critical issues as they arise. By housing these details online and making them public to your whole team, you can nurture a culture of transparency and accountability on all levels of your organisation.

Without a digital record, it’s up to your HR department to separately check
in with each manager of the company and manually register individual goal progress – a process that’s not really reasonable for a busy HR manager!

What are the HRIS solutions?

Have you heard of the OKR goal setting model? Used by leading companies worldwide (we’re talking Google, Netflix, Deloitte) Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a scalable and transparent way to help your team strive towards their goals.

With Employment Hero, the OKR goal- setting model is built into our platform, a clear and easy digital record of the goals of your whole organisation. This allows you to check in on the progress of your team’s goals in a matter of minutes, and identify where help is required.

The OKR process also encourages staff members to break down their goals into manageable, achievable items that they can reflect on weekly with their managers.
Learning and development is another way to help your staff members grow their skills to achieve their goals. Before online learning, you might have to seek out specific learning bodies before organising and paying for different training sessions as required.

With an online Learning Management System (LMS) you can develop your people and your business by creating customised learning paths. Upload your own content or choose from thousands of pre-made learning courses and create courses for your teams. Select who from your team should complete the learning and assign the courses to them all from within a platform.

Finally, an HRIS can have digital meeting functionality, like our one-to-one (1:1s) tool. 1:1s are an amazing way to create a feedback loop between managers and staff, and
make sure that everyone is feeling happy and content – in their roles and with their goals. Not only do 1:1s help strengthen bonds, but they also contribute to improved communication and trust within the business – a great benefit for any workplace.
With our 1:1 functionality, team member and manager are able to document their responses, keeping an active record of wellbeing, goal progress and general feedback – invaluable information for direct manager and HR manager alike.