Software puts HR paperwork on Web

Software puts HR paperwork on Web

System streamlines applications and improves security, developers say

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Two companies have Web-enabled software to help federal, state and local agencies deal with the mountain of paperwork for hiring new employees.

NIC Technologies of Overland Park, Kan., worked with Employee Relations Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., to get the latter company's services ready for browser access and tailor them to the needs of government employers.

'From application to termination, it brings together vital human resources services and Web-enables them,' said Brent Barlow, executive vice president of Employee Relations.

The software resides on secure servers at NIC Technologies' two data centers, said Steve Burhans, NIC's vice president of marketing. Human resources personnel access the software through their Web browsers.

NIC creates online versions of the government application forms, and the staff of Employee Relations reviews them for compliance, Burhans said.

Presently the two companies put a link to the online applications on the agency's own Web site. Eventually they will offer user agencies dedicated kiosks so that potential workers can apply online right at a government office, Barlow said.

'The hope is to unify and simplify applications and give employers the information necessary for making critical employment decisions,' Barlow said.

Many agencies already provide downloadable, printable job application forms that potential workers can fax or mail back, Burhans said. The two companies' tabular applications can go through the workflow process in electronic format.

Tighter security

The online applications use several security methods, including 128-bit encryption and digital certificates from VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., Burhans said.

Online job applications avoid a potential breach of security from paper applications lying around in offices, Burhans said.

Employee Relations staff members perform the background checks of applicants using public and proprietary databases, Barlow said. Employer agencies can specify the extent of the background checks.

Employee Relations usually takes 48 to 72 hours for the background checks, but Burhans said NIC Technologies hopes to accelerate the checks.

The companies also provide a secure online system for managing the scheduling and results of applicant drug testing. 'We make the drug testing protocol as easy as it can be for the employer,' Barlow said.

Employee Relations provides a post-hiring hotline service through which employees can report harassment and other workplace issues.

The companies charge from $300 to $1,500 to set up the application online, plus a monthly subscription fee and a per-employee charge for the employee hotline.

Basic background checks cost about $60 each, Burhans said.

Contact NIC Technologies at 877-234-3468.

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