Technology Making an HR Impact
3 min read
With space at a premium, a room full of paper was a luxury the City of Denton could not afford. The city’s HR department had 15 five-drawer file cabinets crammed into 300 square feet of space. “One of the major issues was searching for documents. So many times a file had been pulled and we couldn’t find it,” says Technology Services Manager Mary Collins. To solve the problem, Denton staff began searching for a digital document management system.
“We had a directive from our city manager to look at document imaging,” says Collins. “We looked at a number of products over a long period of time, and the technology changed during that period.”
Denton tested Laserfiche in the city manager’s and attorney’s offices. In addition to the success experienced in those departments, the support Denton got from its reseller, DocuNav, made Laserfiche the city’s choice.
Implementing Laserfiche has had a dramatic impact on Denton’s HR department. Staff now finds information in a fraction of the time it once took. Sarah Mabel, HR assistant for records management, notices major differences in handling open-records requests:
“We used to have someone do that as a full-time job. Now I’ve taken it over and I estimate that filling open records requests takes somewhere between eight and 13 percent of my time.”
Employee Records Management
When it comes to managing employee records, Denton’s integration of Laserfiche with its JD Edwards®(JDE) Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) has proven crucial. With nearly 8,000 applications received each year, the paperwork used to pile up.
“HR doesn’t have to type in all the index information,” says HR Operations and Training Specialist Sally Cavness. “Laserfiche pulls it in from JDE, we assign the documents a specific number and the program uses this number as a guide to fill in the blanks by retrieving it from JDE.”
In addition, HR integrated Laserfiche with its online application process. “The City of Denton has developed a user-friendly process that dramatically increased the HR department’s effectiveness and efficiency. We now have an online job application process that includes the civil service exam registration,” notes Cavness.
Automating the Hiring Process
Jesse Perez, HR technician for selection and placement, explains, “Whenever there’s a vacancy, we enter the employee requisition into the HRIS system. We then set up an appropriate folder in Laserfiche, which is where all the images and the application are scanned. Each supervisor is assigned a unique login and password for access to the intranet.”
With Laserfiche, applicants can update their information as needed over the web. In addition, the system can pull candidate information from what’s already stored in the system.
The selection process is automated from the initial application submission to the creation of a new personnel file:
- HR receives applications electronically via the web.
- The system populates the HRIS with pertinent information and sends the applications to Laserfiche.
- Supervisors can view applications remotely via Laserfiche WebLink.
“By eliminating the need to shuffle paperwork back and forth between the supervisor and the HR department,” says Cavness, “we’ve eliminated the risk of losing applications.”
Saving Staff Time
Because Laserfiche is integrated with the city’s payroll software, HR employees can now search for documents by name or employee ID. In addition, redaction capabilities have eliminated the cumbersome process of manually blacking out files.
Laserfiche has saved time and effort for city staff. “As a city,” says Cavness, “we have buildings that are very, very widely spaced. Previously, supervisors might have to come all the way across town to look at paper applications. Being able to view applications from their desks is a tremendous time saver.”
Cavness continues, “Previously, it could take up to two weeks for a new application to get filed. Now that process is normally completed within a day.”
Sarah Mabel sums up the feelings of her HR coworkers. “When Laserfiche first came to the department, as with any new program, we were a little scared of it—we had that kind of mentality. Now, not a single person in our department can live without it. I love it.”
The city’s success with Laserfiche goes beyond HR:
- The library uses it to track memorial donations.
- The fire department uses it to access scanned map books and building footprints from their trucks.
- The city secretary’s office has scanned thousands of documents, including city council minutes, ordinances and resolutions dating back to the 1900s.
- The engineering department manages easements, ordinances, contracts and a variety of other documents with Laserfiche.
In addition to these processes, the city looks forward to expanding Laserfiche to the building inspection and police departments.