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How to implement electronic signatures in HR processes

The nature of HR processes means they often require input and sign-off from multiple people across multiple departments in the business. By introducing electronic signatures to their HR processes, organizations can greatly improve the speed and efficiency it takes to sign off on everyday approvals.

In this blog, we’ll explore the main processes that businesses can accelerate and optimize with e-signatures.


The main purpose of an HR department is to maintain healthy employee relations across the company – and this starts right from day one. Onboarding is complex, multi-faceted and often time-consuming and vital to get right.

It’s often easy to think of onboarding as a predominantly HR-focused process. In reality, however, it requires collaboration and sign-off from people all across the company, including IT, finance, and legal. Depending on your company’s policies, you might have a case where:

  • Finance will need to approve the purchase of new equipment
  • IT will need to organize and sign off on the provisioning of new software licenses
  • Legal must sign off on the correct contract and terms of employment

If the new employee requires company expenses such as a credit card, mobile device, or technology tools these will also have to be signed off. Waiting for the relevant sign-offs can create significant hold-ups in HR processes.

How e-signatures help

e-Signatures provide a simple solution to this problem. By eliminating paper sign-offs, the relevant IT or finance managers can then easily approve any part of a process with a single click, whether they’re working from a remote location or on a portable device.

This accelerates the entire workflow and makes it much easier to ensure the right equipment and software licenses are waiting for the new worker on their first day.

Vacation requests

Vacation requests are also frequently held up due to inefficient sign-off processes. It’s important for both the business and the individual that these are managed efficiently. If this takes too long, workers risks missing out on time off that would have otherwise been approved, which is bad for employee relations and overall morale. And if the holiday gets signed off, the rest of the business could end up with less notice because sign-off took so long.

A fast and efficient sign-off is in everybody’s best interests.

Vacation requests generally require sign off from a relevant line manager before they can be processed by HR. In the midst of daily work and deadlines, however, reviewing requests can often drop to the bottom of the to-do list.

This holdup is even more likely if it requires printing and signing a paper form, and physically delivering it back to HR.

How e-signatures help

e-Signatures are a useful way of reducing delays. They enable line managers to review information and add signatures as part of one fast, integrated digital process.

Filing expenses

Expense filing has a reputation for being long-winded and inefficient. Once the employee returns from their business trip, sifts through their receipts, and hands them to HR, there are still multiple stages before they can be reimbursed.

Finance will have to review the receipts and confirm if expenses are to be filed. With more complex expenses, the legal department may have to be consulted to check the approval remains compliant with tax and fraud regulations. After this has all taken place, HR will have to process the decision.

How e-signatures help

e-Signatures accelerate expense filing processes by reducing the amount of time it takes finance or legal departments to confirm the relevant expense decisions. If receipt information is digitally transferred, sign-offs can be processed with a single click, rather than having to handle potentially numerous receipts and expense forms.

It also allows an organization to keep a comprehensive, audit trail of which expenses were approved, by whom, and when.

Monitoring compliance can become much easier, as all the relevant information is stored in a central location, rather than being split between disorganized paper forms.

Implementing electronic signatures in HR processes

For organizations looking to get the most out of their workforce, the benefits of electronic signatures in HR process are clear. They enable the relevant manager to sign off on new equipment, vacation time, and expense files in moments – no matter the device they’re working from or where they are.

But the full value of e-signatures can only be realized when they’re used as part of a fully digitized, automated workflow. As soon as the HR process is initiated, each relevant person in the chain should be automatically assigned their task, whether it’s to review relevant information, file documents, or approve a task.

Together with Nintex Workflow, Nintex Sign® powered by Adobe Sign provides this capability. Unlike the third-party add-ins like DocuSign, Nintex Sign belongs to and operates seamlessly within the existing Nintex environment. This creates an unrivaled end-to-end automated workflow process, from which businesses can extract more value from common processes like HR than ever before.

If you want to find out more about how to implement Nintex Sign electronic signatures into your workflow, get in touch and try it for free now.


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