Capturing all employee information, and in a re-usable format, should be as an automatic by-product of people doing their jobs.
In many organisations a single piece of information (e.g. an employee name or address) is typed and re-typed many times during an employee’s career.
Employee data is often held in different places, where departments or line managers have 'bits' of information, and where HR don't know about it, let alone see sight of it.
Therefore, many organisations do not have proper and consistent data collection methods or a clear and concise policy to agree where employee data should always be stored. This leads to both confusion and frustration, espcially if data is only held within a managers head; if they leave, that knowledge leaves with them!
Additionally, people will spend considerable time trying to track down that same piece of information and then wonder whether it is correct and up to date and can it be trusted and relied upon.
This all adds up to a substantial amount of time wasted, which could be saved if information was automatically captured to a central database and as a natural by-product of users doing their management jobs and upholding their day to day HR responsibilities.
To take the simple example of the employee’s address - if the first time anyone in the company types an individual employee’s address (e.g. for an Invitation to Interview letter or an Offer letter) it is entered on to a system which is used to create the letter, rather than being created as a stand-alone Word document, then the information can be automatically captured straight to a database without anyone having to re-key it.
As the information is stored in a reusable form it can then be available to all users and automatically populate every other HR-related communication that is ever sent to that employee.
The same is true of all employee data, which can be shared and valued by all and re-used as necessary.
By having a central repository for employee data a great deal of time is saved and the integrity of employee data can be better protected.