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In many companies, the human resources department handles all of the personnel records of each employee, past and present. These records were traditionally kept on paper, creating issues with storage, the ability to locate records and longevity. Changing over to a computerized personnel system can help resolve some of these issues.
Keeping paper records takes up a lot of space. The more employees a company has, the more space it needs to store all of the records, especially if the company keeps records for past employees. A computerized system allows a company to transfer paper documents into digital form, which only takes up the space for the computer. Most computers have plenty of hard drive space to store all of the required employee records. A company is then free to use the former storage space for the paper records for another office or some other type of storage.
Paper records, no matter how well they are filed, can take several minutes to search through for each particular information. You must find the file for the correct employee, which is usually easy as long as the files are kept in good alphabetical order, but can still take time depending on how many filing cabinets you must walk among to get to it. After that you still must locate the particular document you needs, which can take time, especially if the employee's file is thick. However, if the personnel system is stored on a computer, it is a matter of seconds to search for the information you are looking for through the computer's search features. Employers can view files from multiple computers, and even offices located in multiple cities, as well.
In addition to saving time when searching for specific documents within paper files, employers can save time in other ways. If an employer requires someone's paper file due to disciplinary action or for a performance review, she would have to wait for someone to locate the file and deliver it to her. When the system is computerized, she can simply look up the information on her computer without having to wait. Filing away documents is also done more quickly, saving time on filing.
Employers sometimes rely on statistics to evaluate their employees and the needs of the company. When personnel records are computerized, an employer can instruct the computer to gather specific statistics, such as output levels, absences or turnover rates, to find ways to improve the company. These statistics can give an employer a wealth of important information. If upper management requests these statistics, the computer makes it easy to compile the information and can quickly create a graph to better illustrate the statistics.
Some employees exhibit trends in their work habits that can clue an employer in on potential issues. For example, an employee may have a habit of calling in sick once every couple of weeks on the exact same day of the week. Some employees choose Monday or Friday to extend a weekend, while others choose a more discreet route by using a day in the middle of the week. A computerized personnel system can help an employer identify trends such as this more easily than relying on paper records and memory.