The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office transformed its Human Resources division by shifting from paper-based methods to become a digital agency using Laserfiche software. The digitization initiative increased efficiency, time management and accuracy, revolutionizing the ways in which the Sheriff’s Office stored documents, communicated within its department, and implemented its onboarding process with new employees.

Seamless Recruiting Tools

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is a local law enforcement agency based in central Florida. The agency is the largest and chief law enforcement agency in the county, with 850 employees within the department.

Before Laserfiche, the agency grappled with a diminished amount of storage room and needed a more effective solution for managing documents. Interdepartmental communication problems led to delays in the application process and, at times, lost documents when paper forms were mailed.

The agency first turned to Laserfiche to create a pre-employment application that is accessible to the public through the county’s website. The initial results were staggering, with application intake tripling from about 50 applications per month to now as many as 150 per month.

“We’re facing a nationwide shortage of police officers,” said Haylee Glasscock, Human Resources Technician, Osceola County’s Sheriff’s Office. “Making our application easily accessible online has helped with our recruiting efforts and was a good move for our agency. The application is extensive—it used to be 25 paper pages. With Laserfiche, we now can host recruiting fairs since the online application allows people to apply right then and there. Other applicants may apply via a secure link. In 2012, we had 446 paper applications. In the first year we had Laserfiche, we had 1,305.”

There are multiple job application forms the agency utilizes depending on the applicant, including a criminal history version which is longer compared to one created for recent graduates planning to move into the role of a deputy.

“With paper applications, people would leave fields blank; we had to call them to come in and fill out the information,” said Glasscock. “Now we no longer have incompletes and it saves us time. We can also have people upload files, photos of tattoos, and more—all within the application.”

After an applicant applies online, Laserfiche’s business process automation capabilities allow the agency to perform a paperless background check and file sign-off through its chain of command. Laserfiche simultaneously sends automatic email notifications to keep the applicant updated on the review process—a game-changer compared to years past, when updates on the Review Board date were sent through the mail.

Effortless New Hire Process

Once the application process is complete and an applicant receives an offer, the Sheriff’s Office uses Laserfiche to onboard new employees with digital forms. Laserfiche enables chain-of-command administration staff to sign off on specific files using conditions in a workflow. Relevant personnel say whether the file looks acceptable, and if so, it moves on to the next person. The process is smooth, accurate and far less time-consuming than the previous method of filling out a handwritten form as the official offer document with the salary and start date included.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Human Resources division is now a paperless environment thanks to implementing Laserfiche software. All employee personnel and medical files are stored in the repository and are easily accessible to HR staff. Additionally, Laserfiche has been integrated within the agency’s personnel management system. The software automatically pulls an employee’s information from the personnel management system, including his/her ID number, and completely fills out the template information—improving speed and accuracy.

“We like that information is accessible at our fingertips,” said Glasscock. “The training department now has one full-time staff assistant and a part-time student. They’re able to quickly find documents, email them to deputies if needed, and they’re easily viewed. Having those training files not in boxes anymore really helps them.”

The Sheriff’s Office also digitized the employee transfer form. Laserfiche automatically routes the form to the appropriate reviewer within the agency. The form has been further simplified by the use of variables, look-up tables (integrated with the organization’s computer-aided dispatch software and active directory), as well as field rules.

“Our recruiting department uses Laserfiche every day and a couple of agencies have reached out to me to see if we can share our process with them,” added Glasscock.

Since turning to Laserfiche, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has become more productive, effective and efficient. The agency digitized and secured more than 2,500 employee personnel files using Laserfiche software. Moreover, all new hire files are created digitally. The agency can process and prepare files for approval much faster, and automated email notifications mean that staff no longer need to call other departments as frequently to follow up on forms.

The agency realized an initial savings of $2,000 by eliminating supplies for new employee files, as well thousands more in departmental time-savings. Beyond cost savings, the Sheriff’s Office opened the door to a more digital, automated agency. By implementing innovative solutions like its Laserfiche digital records management program, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office fosters a culture of efficiency and agility to better position the agency for success in a competitive hiring market.

 

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