Have you thought about hiring and onboarding new talent fully remotely?

Eliminate paper to recruit and onboard top talent faster

If overstaffed HR departments exist we haven’t heard of them. There are never enough HR professionals to tackle the numerous tasks of this busy department. Finding the best talent and onboarding them fast and easily is only one of these tasks – and time-consuming, too. Just like us, you probably find new talent online. Maybe you communicate over emails, phone calls and video meetings, but when it’s time to make an offer you might still be using  paper. Wait, why?

While most HR departments are a lot better digitised than ten years ago, some processes are still paper-based. This is especially true when it comes to signing employment contracts and onboarding documents. The reason is simple. These documents are full of sensitive information and HR professionals need to make sure they don’t fall in the wrong hands and they can verify who signed these documents quickly. 

“For us, digitisation means gains in speed, mobility and flexibility,” said Marcel Gehauf, Head of Corporate Commodity Management Services at Voith Group. They used to print contracts and send them to employees for signing by post, and this process took several days. With Docusign, Voith was able to work more resource-efficient, significantly reducing paper consumption in contract processes making an important contribution to their sustainability goals.

New talent will not always be able to come to the office to sign their work contract

Sending employment offers or asking people to come to the office to sign contracts works worked fairly well in a world with a more centralised workforce. Today, many employees don’t work close enough to their employer to just jump in the car and drive to the office for a signature. Whether your organisation hires someone from across town, across the country, or even across the world – you want to make their experience just as seamless. Research by Glassdoor indicates that organisations with a strong onboarding experience improve new employee retention by 82%, so the need to get this right is high.

While electronic signatures can be used to provide such a comfortable experience, HR needs to make sure the person who signs the contract remotely is who they say they are. Luckily, for HR teams, there are options forgoing fully digital even when it comes to agreements containing sensitive information. 

Remotely verify a signer’s identity 

Your organisation’s HR department might already be using electronic signatures for some tasks and processes such as time off management or performance management. Here a simple electronic signature is sufficient. Often a simple click creates the signature and a proof file in the background verifies the signer.

This simple form of electronic signing will not suffice for all kinds of HR documents though.The most stringent signature type is the qualified electronic signature (QES) which requires face-to-face identity verification. When we say face-to-face, we mean both in-person or virtually. Use cases for QES include high-value transactions for financial services, processing documentation that could contain confidential patient information for health services, and public sector or legal agreements. A QES is unique in that it can be considered legally equivalent to a handwritten signature in both the UK and the European Union. 

Get an overview of the different types of electronic signatures including SES, AES and QES.

Voith implemented qualified electronic signatures to help process contracts legally and remotely, the signing process takes hours instead of days. 

doctari’s human resources team was faced with very similar challenges. They also implemented a QES for onboarding. Contracts can now be signed to onboard medical personnel from anywhere on a mobile. The Berlin-based health organisation supplies medical personnel to clinics in need. 

doctari found the need for their services increasing substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they signed over 22,500 employee contracts in 2020 alone. The QES was implemented by doctari to facilitate remote medical personnel placements and to meet the increasing demand for health professionals. For doctari, using a QES provides legal certainty, process transparency and seamless experiences. 

We realised we had to do something different to meet increasing demand. We chose Docusign's QES because we needed a legal signature for contracts that could be used from any device, anywhere, anytime.
Doreen Baumbach
Chief Information & Process Officer

Learn more about the framework for the legality of e-signatures in the EU

eIDAS defines and regulates the use of the different types of signatures: simple e-signatures (SES), advanced e-signatures (AES) and qualified e-signatures (QES).

The content in this post is for general informational and/or educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney regarding your specific legal questions.