Among the many functions we in HR are called to perform, recordkeeping is a very important one. Not everyone can be adept at recordkeeping. One has to have great memory power. In addition, one needs to be very organized. And yes, one also needs to be very knowledgeable, because there is a myriad of rules for preservation of different documents.
Understand the nature of records
So, where do we get started? Let us first get an understanding of the nature of records. This is a very important parameter, because this is what decides the duration for which we need to keep them. Go to the company manual on rules for recordkeeping. It will have clear guidelines on the duration for which each employee or other records, such as contracts, are to be kept. Many a time, especially in startups, it is HR’s task to formulate policy on recordkeeping.
Where do you keep them?
The next important point is where to keep these records. One should say that HR needs all its organizations skills in determining where to keep records! Of course, they need to be kept in office and not in a bank’s safe locker, but HR has to decide which that place is. It has to also have a clear policy on who should be given access to which kind of document. In smaller companies, the company’s number one can decide arbitrarily, but in bigger organizations, there have to be clearly laid out rules, regulations and policy on each of these.
Another important element is to decide how to keep them. Many manual records are easy to store, but when it comes to electronic records; the challenge is great. Software that authenticates soft copies is available. A company has to buy one. Soft copies too, require many principles of organization. So, in recordkeeping, HR has its hands full.
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