How to convert to a paperless HR department

If your human resources department is still gathering most documents on paper and processing them manually, it may be time for an upgrade. Taking your HR processes paperless can save time, streamline workflows, and even cut down on the number of filing cabinets in your office. 

There are many reasons to go paperless and many ways you can implement these changes within your HR department.

The benefits of going paperless

Here are just a few benefits to going digital with your HR system.

Streamlined workflows

Paperless solutions can help HR professionals save time by eliminating time-consuming, repetitive tasks. When you implement a paperless office, your staff can automate the process of sending out certain documents, like performance reviews and timesheets. 

Because these digital files require no data entry, your department will save money on the overall costs of processing these documents. This will allow staff to focus on higher value tasks, maximizing the return that your business sees from HR staff time.

Eco-friendly approach

Eliminating paper documents will reduce your paper usage, and if your business is building a reputation for being environmentally friendly, this is a big benefit.

Professional appearance

Embracing a paperless system creates a more professional, modern impression for your business. This can be important when working with customers, new hires, clients, and others who have contact with your business.

Minimal errors

When you’re capturing documents and information digitally, your HR team doesn’t have to spend hours on data entry, since the information can automatically populate a spreadsheet, CRM, or go to another location. With no data entry needed, you’ll see fewer errors and have access to more accurate data and recordkeeping.

Remote-friendly processes

If your business is hiring remote workers or working with independent contractors, those people might never set foot in your office. Being able to use electronic signatures and digital forms can save time and make processing any required documents easier for both you and your workers.

Reduced storage needs

With a paper system, you need hard copy storage, and that can take up space. You can also lose all of those employee records and other important documents in an event like a fire or a flood. Electronic files make for easier, more secure storage.

Processes that can go paperless

There are plenty of ways to take your HR department paperless, and going digital with these HR processes can pay off.


Recruiting is time-consuming, and dealing with stacks of cover letters and resumes can make it take even longer. Going paperless keeps this a well-organized process, and with a digital recruitment tracker, your HR department can monitor applicant progress and ensure you don’t overlook quality candidates. 

This digital approach is particularly helpful when multiple team members are involved in recruitment, because it keeps everyone up to date.


Payroll requires precision and accuracy, and you may have multiple staff who support the process. Using a digital payroll template can improve payroll accuracy and reduce the staff time involved in payroll processing.


Digitizing your employee onboarding can help keep the process moving smoothly. It’s all too easy to miss documents and signatures when you’re dealing with paper. 

When you take the process digital, you can tell at a glance if any documents still need someone’s attention. This digital process is easier for employees, too, and your business will make a great first impression of being organized and efficient.


You can even digitize your employee training process. By maintaining a digital employee checklist, you can quickly monitor training progress and follow up as needed to keep the process moving forward.

Time tracking

Using spreadsheet formulas reduces the need for hand calculations, resulting in fewer errors. For example, a vacation and sick time tracking spreadsheet can help you manage employee time off while also streamlining the process of sending out benefits statements. A digital document like this can also speed up payroll processing.


You can migrate employee exit interviews to digital documents. Going paperless with your offboarding process can help ensure that all documents — and all sections of those documents — are complete before an employee leaves.

Creating a paperless HR department

To create a paperless HR department, you need to choose technology that will support your HR processes.

Jotform offers a wide assortment of both table templates and form templates, saving you the time of creating a digital document from scratch. With templates available for everything from your recruitment process to performance appraisals, Jotform can streamline multiple HR processes. Jotform has more than 100 free approval templates that can also automate your approval flow for expense reimbursements and other workflows.

There are plenty of benefits to a paperless HR department, and you can easily digitize most HR processes. Using a tool like Jotform, you can simplify and streamline your workflows for better overall results.

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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