How To Introduce E-Signature Technology Into Your Business Processes
article by Arthur Pereless - Forbes
History Of Electronic Signatures
Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures are “any electronic process that indicates acceptance of an agreement or record.” Unlike digital signatures that use a certificate-based ID, electronic signatures use a single-factor authorization using variables like passwords, unique PINS and Social Security numbers to verify identity. Proof of signing is achieved using an audit trail function embedded within each digital page.
Digital signature technology has existed since the start of the new millennium. In 2000, the United States passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) which established that e-signatures share the validity of an ink signature and are an acceptable method for document execution in every U.S. state and territory.
Solving Old Problems With New Tech
Electronic signatures have become essential to workflow improvement. The federal government even passed a law in 2018, “The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” mandating it “modernize its websites, forms, and processes for improved user experience and compliance with legal standards,” which included "a plan to accelerate the use of electronic signatures standards established under the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.”
When our company integrated e-signature technology into our applicant tracking software, it made processes much simpler for us. Veteran recruiters remember a time when new hire paperwork was filled out with an ink pen, in person, and then categorized and stored in filing cabinets. The time it took to track progress and obtain signatures, and storing and purchasing the required materials could be costly. Most importantly for hiring teams, e-signature tech provides a seamless experience for candidates navigating prehire and onboarding phases.
Adoption Can Be Challenging
Change can be scary. Technology can be scarier. One of the biggest challenges a company may face is implementing new technology. With any new software, a learning curve will exist, which can be concerning for some team members. It can be difficult to convince employees that a software solution will improve their work experience without them understanding it. Company leaders must take the reins for advocating and educating colleagues on why technology products are needed and how they will be effective.
Technology will never work 100% of the time. E-signature tech is not immune.
One of the best features of digital documents is remote viewing and execution on smart devices, but outdated web browsers and smart devices can cause display issues, hindering the process. For desktop and laptop users, pop-up blockers and virus protections can interfere.
Many vendors have mobile applications available for download to avoid common issues on mobile phones. Yet it is still the responsibility of vendors to maintain mobile applications and avoid interference as much as possible.
When we began offering e-signature technology to our HR clients, we trained our applicant support team to identify and solve common technical issues with e-signatures and how to advise candidates within prehire and onboarding statuses on best practices. This was crucial to ensuring a good experience for both recruiters and their talent.
E-signature integration has enhanced our product. To businesses that have yet to adopt, I urge you to make it a priority. I look forward to the future of innovation and am excited to see what's next.