Paper Trails

Benefits of paperless onboarding

The Internal Revenue Service requires businesses to gather certain information for each new employee. This is typically the first step in a businesses onboarding process. Another step in this process may include the new hire enrolling in your company’s benefits. Some businesses choose to have a more complex onboarding process that may include orientations, trainings, or 30 day check-ins. No matter the scope of a business’ onboarding process, a lot of administrative burden is put on the human resource department. Typically, an enormous amount of paperwork and time are wasted inputting new hire personal information, setting up payroll tax withholdings, and enrolling them in company benefits. Instituting electronic and paperless onboarding is a way to reduce the administrative burden and save your staff time. With that said, there are many benefits of paperless onboarding.

Benefits of paperless onboarding

There are multiple benefits to moving your business’ onboarding process from pen and paper to the cloud. Some benefits include:

  • Time savings
  • Recordkeeping
  • Employee experience
  • Eliminating human errors
  • Costs savings by reducing paper usage
  • Compliance
Time savings

One of the greatest benefits deriving from an electronic onboarding process is the amount of time your staff will save. Electronic onboarding eliminates the need for manual work like printing, storing, and searching for files. HR staff will not need to spend time searching for missing paperwork. This process can be automated by assigning new hire paperwork to employees, sending out reminders when forms are incomplete, and storing documents in a single cloud platform.

There is no need for data entry as the required employee information will integrate directly with other areas of your business. For example, employees can quickly complete the required forms to get set up in payroll and with benefits as soon as possible. Consequently, your staff will have more time on working the business and achieving company goals.


Similarly to saving time, paperless onboarding provides more efficient recordkeeping for your business. New hire paperwork is stored in one place and can easily be tracked down when needed. Management will not need to consistently check on the status of documents. Instead, they can easily see the status from their desktop or mobile device from anywhere at anytime. There is also no need to worry that a required form will be missed as the process can be configured beforehand to ensure that it is consistent for each new hire.

Employee experience

The employee experience is much greater with a paperless process than a paper based process. New hires can easily enter their personal information, complete the W4 and i9 forms, and even enroll in benefits quickly. Additionally, this process can be done from their mobile device at anytime. There would be no waiting period to receiving their first paycheck or benefits.

The onboarding process is an important practice in retaining your employees. This is the first experience that a new hire has with your company and an organized start can go a long way to improving employee retention. Furthermore, a welcome video and virtual training classes can be established as part as an electronic experience that enhances employee engagement.

Eliminating human errors

It is only a matter of time for human error to occur with manual onboarding. Data entry errors can result in incorrect information such as SSN numbers, direct deposits, or W2s. These errors are costly to businesses in the form of fines from the IRS. Completing forms electronically allows information to be shared across different systems eliminating the possibility of human error. If errors do occur, information can be updated quickly in one location and synced on all platforms.

Costs savings

Many business owners will appreciate the additional costs savings that comes with paperless onboarding. The need for paper, printing supplies, and physical storage space is eliminated. This can save businesses, especially those with a large number of employees, thousands of dollars a year. Subsequently, this cost savings can be put towards more effective resources for a business. Cloud based software is a more cost effective and scalable way of operating a business.


Automating the onboarding process increases compliance for any business. Required forms can be setup once at the beginning and are used for each new hire thereafter. This means consistency and accuracy in your process. No more forgetting to obtain a i9 form or sending benefit information to a new hire.

Additionally, by allowing your employees to input and upload their own information, you immediately reduce the risk of human error. Eliminating errors means enhancing compliance.