The average HR department is awash with sensitive documentation – from employee contracts and disciplinary records, to staff appraisals or personal information provided by potential candidates. Many of these documents require multiple signatures from numerous external and internal parties during their lifespan.

This creates a time consuming process that is difficult to coordinate, track and manage on a daily basis. HR professionals should be focused on the wellbeing of staff and ensuring the efficient progression of critical company processes, not chasing documents for signatures or senior managers for approval.

Until recently, the only option for HR departments was a combination of email communication, paper-based signatures and shared to-do lists. This meant the majority of signature-based HR workflows took a substantial length of time. Thankfully, with the advent of newer, more collaborative digital applications, the HR department is changing for the better.

Bringing Together People and Teams

The digital signature marketplace has grown rapidly in recent years, almost to the extent that there is now too much choice for the average HR director. Some solutions market themselves on ease-of-use, others on signature security or niche application integrations. Knowing which to invest in can be challenging, especially when business value is concerned.

From our perspective, to deliver a positive impact on productivity and faster documentation approvals, HR executives should look for a solution that possesses a mix of these capabilities. From a regulatory and data protection perspective, it should offer long-term advanced electronic signatures that guarantee a signature will hold up under court scrutiny however far into the future.

Understandably, this need for compliance and legal certainty should not be at the expense of simplicity or user experience – most corporate HR professionals have strict KPIs and little time, therefore an e-Signature solution should enhance workflows rather than hinder them. The same applies to those being asked to sign a document – they want to know their signature will be protected, but also that they can provide their approval quickly without any frustration or delay.

For the People

One of the most important reasons for considering e-Signatures is the indirect benefits they have on staff morale. Serious HR matters or disputes are highly emotional incidents that should be handled with tact, compassion and a degree of urgency. Waiting for an outcome, whatever it might be, can be stressful for the individual and distracts from everyday work life.

This is where a digital signature solution can show real value. Once integrated with department business applications, a document can be moved through the approval chain far quicker than the traditional ‘scan, print, read, sign, upload, send, store, repeat’ process most of us have been used to for years.

The result is swifter conclusions to internal HR procedures, which benefits everyone involved. These advantages also extend to other HR scenarios. For example, approving a CEO’s annual speech to share a company’s new messaging with staff or signing-off learning materials for new starters.

HR professionals should feel empowered by using digital signatures to deliver these benefits. Alongside increased efficiencies and cost savings, it is people who benefit the most in the decision to adopt a digital signature solution. They have access to the tools they need to excel in their jobs and to free them from repetitive tasks that divert their time from the business critical objectives.
Chris Piercey, Strategic Account Manager, SigningHub by Ascertia





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.