Barcode Recognition Helps HR Go Paperless Fast

Barcode recognition is a scanning automation method that is helping Human Resources departments go paperless fast. 

Going paperless is a very appealing idea for many organizations. Making the switch can help a department operate much more efficiently, save money and reduce our impact on the environment. The only issue is, how do you get there without pulling your hair out? HR has been storing employee files in paper format for over a decade. Manually scanning each individual document inside an employee's folder, finding the correct digital location to save it and then hoping that you're using the right naming conventions can be a nightmare. Now with scanning automation tools like barcode recognition, you can take your Human Resources department paperless faster than you ever thought possible. 

It starts with an indexed filing system. 
Some electronic filing systems use an indexing method to categorize your documents. Every document added to the system is indexed with simple information like: 

- What employee is this document for? 
- What kind of document is it? 

The system will then use that information to automatically file that document in the correct location within the employee's folder. HR can do a search using those same indexing fields to later retrieve that document. You can take that a step further as well to do a search across all employees for a specific kind of document, maybe a training certification or I-9 forms. You can even add access permissions for specific groups of users around the different types of documents in the system, for example PHI. An indexed system like this has many time-saving advantages. 

Barcode cover sheets divide your employee files. 
When you are ready to add an employee file to the system, reusable pieces of paper, called barcode cover sheets, are placed in front of each section of an employee's physical file folder. For example, you would have a barcode cover sheet that says Performance Reviews and you would stick that in front of the performance reviews in their folder. The barcode sheets are completely customizable so you can be as generic or granular as you like. So, for employee files that do not need to be accessed frequently, like terminated staff, you can simply split their file into the 3 major sections of Personnel, Medical and Payroll. You can always break them down further if you need to after they're stored in the system. 

Barcodes file your documents away automatically. 
So you would use these barcode cover sheets to build a "barcode packet". Now all you have to do is simply stick that entire employee file on your scanner (with the barcode sheets in front of each section) and hit scan. The entire employee file will be uploaded into the system. The system will read the information provided by the barcodes and use it to automatically file all of the documents in the correct location within the employee's folder... 

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Comment by Matt Charney on September 23, 2014 at 12:44pm

So much for not treating people like objects - nothing says personalization quite like HR approaching employees as SKUs.

Comment by Dan Orso on September 23, 2014 at 12:50pm

It's simply a more automated way of converting paper files to electronic format.. Not sure how much personalization can really be achieved in that process, but would be interested in any suggestions!


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