Employees in HR departments who use paper personnel files spend about a quarter of their working time managing these files. This can be significantly reduced with digital personnel files.

Digital personnel files can also be used to store all personnel data relevant to the employment relationship. The difference is that they are available completely digitally as a scan or electronic document.

Content of the files

The same information is stored in a digital personnel file as in a paper file: personal documents (employment contract, application documents and personal data), social security and tax documents (payroll records, social security number and health insurance information) and other documents such as personnel development plans, appraisals and certificates of further training. This list can be supplemented with any data and documents relevant to the employment relationship.

This is sensitive, personal data. Therefore, not everyone may have access to it and the data may not be stored arbitrarily.

Data protection compliant implementation

If a personnel administration is to be digitized or set up digitally, data protection-compliant implementation in accordance with the GDPR is very important because of the personal data involved.

Established software that is specifically geared to personnel management is usually the safest way to go. If you install all updates promptly, you will always be at the required state of the art.

It also contributes to the security of the data not to store the data exclusively on the company server. Cloud-based services are an option here, but it is also important to pay attention to where the servers are located and how the data is handled there, especially which security options are available.

With personnel management software, it is always possible for the administrator to determine who can access which data and when. This also contributes to data security and transparency.

Access must be secured in the same way as for paper files, for example by requesting a password.


The digital personnel file is much more up-to-date than the paper file. It is also more practical and saves time once the system is established. The digital personnel file is also characterized by a high degree of flexibility, as processing is possible from any workplace. It is also very transparent. Thanks to access authorizations and electronic log data, it is always possible to track who had access when or who changed what.

When establishing a system and selecting suitable software, professional advice is irreplaceable.

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