HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Electronic personnel files


Dear HR Community,

We are considering retaining employee files and records electronically.

Please advise:

1. Do you think it is a good idea?

2. Does your organisation keep employee files electronically?

3. Are there any considerations for an organisation who wishes to convert all our personnel records into an electronic format?

We are in the IT industry.

Thank you so much.

Best Regards,




HR Poll: Is it a good idea to keep personnel files electronically?

Yes: 88.64%

No: 4.55%

Maybe: 4.55%

Not sure: 2.27%


HR Poll: Does your organisation keep employee files electronically?

Yes: 64.71%

No: 35.29%




Dear Cheryl,

There is much to consider and deliberate on whether to file staff information electronically. While the decision lies with the management, here are some points to consider:

i) Information stored in the cloud can be easily accessed/retrieved during Covid-19 Circuit Breaker times, to facilitate people working from home.
ii) It provides continuity for the company/organization whenever there is HR staff turnover. The next person can take over without much difficulty in retrieving personnel information.
iii) No geographical limitations as it works very well for global/regional companies where information stored in a common SharePoint, can be easily accessed anytime by overseas HR personnel for information.

1. the cloud is not foolproof as there have been reports of data stolen by hackers;
2. the leg work in uploading personnel information of the current pool of existing staff to the cloud can be very tedious as scanning the documents will take up a lot of time;
3. each set up/upload of new hire's personnel file can be tedious;
4. dependence on the cloud server, wifi, broadband to work well efficiently;
5. does not necessarily reduce file storage space as the management may still prefer all physical personnel files be kept.

Hope you find the information helpful.

Best Regards,


What to consider when converting personnel files to an electronic format:

1. Cost and manpower to do scanning - CZW

2. PDPA and how long to keep the data - Maggie

3. Categorization - Cheryl

4. Protection. Encryption of files. - Melly

5. The electronic format must compile staff all particular, can save a photo, certificate, passport copy, resume - SR

6. If you have a lot of employees and with lots of records in the current p-file, this exercise can be very tedious. There is an option to simplify this process though, by scanning all documents into one document. However, when you need to look for a particular document (i.e. NRIC) in the p-file, you have to go through many pages. - KC

7. Filename - CYC

8. Management buy-in - OYS

9. To ensure there are at least 2-3 copies of backup just in case 1 of them gets deleted accidentally or corrupted. Either in cloud software, online storage etc - Joanna

10. File format - PDF is highly recommended to prevent unnecessary alterations. What documents to convert to digital, how to convert the file to digital format, and where to store them. Ideally, your HR system can allow you to store personnel documents online for easy access. If you don't have one, storing them in a central file location accessible only by authorised staff is critical. - Kris

11. Security, accessibility, backup, authority - PZY

12. Security - SL

13. 1. Cost 2. Quantity and time 3. Storage and rates 4. Retrieval of hardcopies 5. Vendors with simple and effective options. 6. Who has got access to e files 7. Most importantly data safety :) - RV

14. Consider an Employee File Management System - to store files electronically - May

15. Document index mechanisms need to incorporate for individual employees. It will help when the company needs to review any specific document. - Intellectual search option required to save time for a big organization. - Ahmed

16. 1) How secure is cloud storage? 2) What is the recovery rate if cloud storage is down? 3) Convenience and accessibility by authorised personnel. - Edna


HRSINGAPORE | HR Community Message | Electronic personnel files


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