According to an HR benchmarking survey conducted by Ernst and Young, the average time it takes for an employee to be manually onboarded is 1.47 hours. This equates to approximately $45.86 in labor costs to process each new hire, not including the price of printing or paper. Multiply that by the number of employees you hire per year, and that can be a huge expense!
Imagine instead that you create a streamlined onboarding process where the only data entry required on the company’s end is the employee’s name and email address. The employee enters his information directly into the HRIS system, eliminating the need for the business owner or an HR manager to key the data, and reducing the number of potential errors. The onboarding process is carefully designed by reviewing internal policies and federal and state regulations, and then quickly replicated on an as-needed basis.
Documents such as employee handbooks and benefit plan summaries are stored in PDF format where employees can access them at a later date, if needed. The onboarding progress is tracked, completed documents are stored online, and the employee’s manager is easily able to complete his portion of the process (like I-9 certification). All without a single piece of paper wasted.
And employee onboarding is just one of the many ways that companies can benefit from utilizing an employee self-service platform.
What is employee self-service?
Employee self-service (ESS) is the general term used to describe any portal that allows an employee to access their data and perform tasks independently. This can include but is not limited to:
- Electronic onboarding
- Time off requests
- Benefit elections/enrollment
- View and download payslips and W-2s
- Address changes
- Direct deposit changes
- Tax withholding changes
- Electronic signatures and/or acknowledgments on documents
According to a 2017 survey of over 400 full-time employees, 73% of employees expect their employer to offer at least minimal ESS options and 80% would prefer to complete documents in electronic rather than paper format. By utilizing ESS tools businesses can empower employees by giving them the ability to access, maintain and update their information anytime, anywhere, without the need to involve an HR staff member or paper forms in the process.
Not all companies are fortunate enough to have a dedicated HR person on staff, so this responsibility often falls to the business owner or another employee whose primary function is not HR. As much as 70% of small businesses manage HR on an as-needed basis utilizing employees who have various other primary functions. This means that every hour spent performing an HR task is taking time away from their core responsibilities or adding overtime costs to the company’s bottom line.
Employee self-service is a win-win for the company and the employee. ESS increases employee engagement, efficiencies, and accuracy while reducing the number of hours it takes to perform HR tasks and reducing the number of errors.