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8 HR Documents You Need to Generate and Manage

women on laptop looking at hr documents

Documents make up an essential part of an organization’s daily activity. They keep account of the different activities and offer a reference for continuity within the organization. Within the human resource department, some HR documents cannot be ignored. They are the most important documents for that department. These include:

We shall get back to these and more later. For now, let us understand the importance of documents in a human resource department.

Why HR Needs Documents?

It is one of the HR best practices to keep documents concerning different activities within the department as well as the organization HR documents and forms consist of different events that occur within a company. These can be both formal and informal. The main reasons these records are taken include:

HR Checklist

The following are the most important documents that every manager needs to include in their HR document checklist.

computer with documents surrounding in a circle

Job Description Document

This document gives a clear description of the role a person filling a particular vacancy will play. It helps both the organization and the applicants to understand what will be expected within that position. This record can be revisited anytime there may be confusion or doubt about roles within an organization.

Since this document is quite long and can be elaborate, many human resource departments use templates to create the document. Some free HR templates available online may serve for general purpose while customized ones may have to be created from scratch and you need reliable document automation software.

Employee Handbook

It is a bit similar to the document above, however, this encompasses more than just expectations within the position an employee holds. The handbook has guidelines about procedures and policies within the organization that everyone needs to follow. It can contain information about time to report to work, how to apply for leave, sick days as well as dress code, and so on.

The employee handbook is one of the popular HR document for new employees and is handed to them on their first day or provided as part of a digital welcome package.

Warning Letters

Employees may fall short of expectations and sometimes need to be notified. This could be cases of late coming, harassment of fellow employees, poor performance, misuse of company property, and so on. These are letters that may have to be drafted by the HR or supervisor, but in the end, the human resource department has to keep records of this in the employee file and may need to retrieve them at a later date, for example in the unfortunate event that an employee needs to be let go. These documents serve as evidence of misconduct and attempts made to correct the conduct.

Regulatory Compliance Documents

Statutory employment regulations may demand that organizations keep records of employee data. These may include documents concerning taxes, benefits, health insurance, payroll records, and deductions among others. These make up the standard HR documentation process for personnel in the department to keep track of. These documents are important to satisfy legal disclosure regulations.

Compensation Records

It would probably be thought that compensation documents should be with the accounts department. Although they may have a copy, this data is accessed from the human resource records since the initial agreement on compensation for an employee’s services is discussed as part of the employment contract. These documents consist of more than just salary information, they can also include bonuses, information about increment, and so on.

Orientation Documents

HR departments spend a lot of time putting together these documents. They comprise several small documents intended to make a new employee comfortable and get used to the new work environment. These documents hasten an employee familiarity with the organization and its culture. It is important that important content is not missed out and that is why many organizations will have a checklist for these documents or even automate the process and provide an HR document PDF that includes all the necessary information.

Some documents included in this package include the appointment letter, a general email to all employees introducing the new employee, an offer letter, organization policy as well as access information to help the new employee find their way around the building.

folders with employee documents

Employee Schedules

In some organizations, HR is responsible for designing a schedule that will be followed especially where shift work is done like at hospitals and factories. These records have to take into consideration staff members who may be on leave or who have annual leave coming up soon. The documents need to be up to date with such information so that absent employees are not included in the schedule as that can bring about confusion. The HR also needs to know the competencies of different employees to ensure they do not assign the wrong person a particular task for the day.

Exit Documents

At the end of employment with the organization either because of retirement, moving to a new job, or termination of employment, HR has to provide certain documents. These could be a certificate of appreciation, recommendation letter, terminal benefits information, a letter of termination, and so on. These documents need to be personalized and the information needs to be up to date, this requires that the department keeps related documents that can be referred to when generating the exit documents.

Tools Your HR Department Needs

The amount of information collected, processed, and stored by HR departments can be massive. The above documents are simply the most important, but there are many more that they deal with. To aptly carry out their duties, they depend on various tools. These include the following.

Document Automation Tools: Documents can be processed faster if the department is equipped with automation tools. These will quickly capture necessary information, store it in the right place, update it where necessary and when a particular document needs to be created, the tools will help retrieve the relevant data and enter it into a template for that document. This takes just a few minutes and gets it right all the time.

Recruitment Tools: These tools are made specifically for use in the recruitment process. HR professionals can use them to post vacancy ads, receive applications, filter applications, and schedule interviews. Some of these tools are also document management tools.

Listening Tools: These are not spy gadgets to listen to private conversations. Listening tools are intended to improve engagement with employees through providing channels for the employees to provide feedback. Often, the feedback can be provided anonymously. This helps HR understand the mood of employees. It can also help when determining what would be the best training for individuals or groups.

Payroll Management Tools: These do exactly what you think. They handle the payrolls. These tools are automated to collect payment information which includes the number of hours worked, deductions to be made like taxes and benefits among others. The software then totals up what an employee should be paid and processes the payment.

Performance Appraisal: Employee appraisals need to be governed by particular indicators that can be tracked continuously. Supervisors and HR personnel can use appraisal tools that provide the needed information to keep track of the performance of every employee as well as adjust goals to suit particular situations. These tools can even include timesheets that keep a record of the time an individual reports to work and when they leave every day. Such tools eliminate bias when certain decisions are being made concerning an employee.

Document Safety Software: Employee information needs to be kept private. HR professionals are charged with keeping such information safe. Lock and key are no longer enough security so technology offers a better solution. Cloud storage, password protection, and biometric access are some of the options used by different professionals to keep HR documents safe and private.

HR departments exist in various industries and some of the documents may be more important in one industry than the other. The documents listed above are common in most industries and are considered necessary most of the time for the efficient functioning of the human resource department. Smaller organizations may need fewer documents to carry out their activities but the technology still plays a key role in making the workflow continue smoothly. Most of the documents can be processed using different tools and the ones mentioned above are simply the common ones used in different document processing.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start creating HR related documents in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Genesis Abel

Written by:_
Genesis Abel
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