Thursday, September 24, 2009

Human Resources Department Adopts Paperless Future

Tennessee State University's Human Resources Department has become one of the first paperless units of all Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Human resources officials have negotiated to enhance their use of PeopleAdmin to create a system unlike any the management software provider has created.

Michael Hamlet, associate director of human resources, said the department has worked with technicians at PeopleAdmin to launch a collection of online forms on the PeopleAdmin system for employee status changes that will not only streamline their processing efforts but also allow for increased transparency among participants. Essentially, all forms now processed on paper would now be completed online.

Once any of these forms are started through PeopleAdmin, all individuals in queue to receive or sign off on the documents would be notified via e-mail. Additionally, a history of all transactions would be attached to the documents, allowing all parties to track processing progress. Using electronic signatures, changes are sent back to the originator and the tracking system alerts everyone involved.

Hamlet explained that the rationale behind the system upgrade is to create an online filing system with accompanying database to keep track of documents being processed by their offices and various departments on campus.

With the department being required by state law to keep employee personnel files for a minimum of 75 years, having to store these documents has become both "cumbersome and difficult" to manage. Current personnel files are expected to be digitized for archiving as well, Hamlet said.

“We’ve had a great relationship with PeopleAdmin. They have been a great company to work with and have developed quite a reputation. Fortunately, TSU was one of the first campuses in the TBR system to sign up with them (in 2005),” Hamlet said.

TSU piloted the new system and forms with the University's Center for Excellence in Learning Sciences, which is housed in Research and Sponsored Programs.

Hamlet ensured that security and efficiency were top concerns the department considered when deciding to make the transition. PeopleAdmin backs up all documents and files. For an even greater degree of security, Hamlet said the department is working with IT officials so that once forms are processed, PDF versions of these documents are then uploaded to the employee’s personnel file on the Banner system.

“This is a more secure system. This is far more protection for employees’ data than we have ever been able to offer in the past,” Hamlet said.

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