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[Survey]: Is Paperwork Backlog the New Normal for HR?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the “New Normal” and the challenges, and sometimes benefits, of working from home for workers. There’s also plenty of chatter about the “Great Resignation,” with workers switching jobs or rethinking their careers altogether. While many articles talk about what is happening and the subsequent trends, not too many are talking about how it's affecting Human Resources (HR) departments and how they are scrambling to keep up with the changes.

Ripcord recently polled over 800 senior-level executives and HR professionals about the current state of HR practices and documentation. The findings revealed that while businesses are trending toward digital transformation, significant backlog issues have been a primary barrier since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

The survey dug into what was working for HR teams and what was holding them back the most. The majority (74.78%) stated that the current method for managing HR documents is working, however, one in four (25.22%) admitted they are still struggling to manage documents in a post-pandemic workflow.

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In fact, 71.80% of respondents have experienced significant backlog issues for HR paperwork since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a situation that might inevitably lead to other business management issues. Nearly all (98%) of those in the technology sector responded they are experiencing significant backlog issues, which may likely be an effect of the “Great Resignation.”  About 40% of tech workers either have already left or plan to quit by 2022, according to a ResumeBuilder.com survey.

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It seems that most companies recognize the need and benefits of being fully digital, with 62% stating they have shifted towards digital-only documentation. Nearly half of the respondents (45.47%) believe they will be fully digital in the next two to five years, while slightly over 1 in 10 (11.68%) think they will rely solely on paper. With all the changes happening in the workforce, it is yet to be seen when HR will be able to dedicate enough resources towards the effort. Starting the planning now though will set the stage for success when resources do become available. 

"Companies behind on digital transformation efforts are seeing it impact all aspects of their business, especially human resources,” said Brooke Bento, Chief People Officer & Chief of Staff at Ripcord. “HR professionals are bogged down with a backflow of paperwork from transitioning to a remote or hybrid workforce, and they need more digitization resources. When one area of your HR workflow is struggling, this will inevitably lead to other issues down the road, so companies need to address this issue now,” Bento added. 

Reach out to Ripcord to learn more about easing your backlog of paperwork and making a shift towards digital transformation. 

Survey Methodology: 

The survey was sent to approximately 800 HR professionals from September 28 to October 18, 2021. The respondents, 50% of which were at the VP level or higher, represented technology (23.60%), followed by retail (14.91%), healthcare (16.65%), manufacturing (13.04%), energy (7.45%), education (11.55%), and the financial (8.57%) sectors. Business sizes ranged from 1-50 and 5,000 and greater, located across the U.S.

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