Most HR teams have a digital platform to manage the hunt for new talent. It bundles everything together in a single dashboard, from job posting to CV collection, interview scheduling and final selection.
After that, though, closing the deal with a candidate tends to go manual. An offer letter or employment contract is generated, approved internally, and then sent to the new joiner for signature — usually by email or courier.
We get it. When it comes to welcoming someone new to an organization, there’s just something special about handwritten signatures.
But in a business context, they're hugely inefficient. Delivering documents for physical printing, signing, and returning takes a lot of time. It’s hard to track progress, and it risks causing delays that can leave both parties wondering what went wrong.
Has the candidate received the contract? Has it been lost or misplaced? Have they changed their mind?
Until it arrives back on your desk with ink on the dotted line — you can’t know for sure.
Plus, it’s a lot of work. The hire-ee has to sign and often initial each page, sometimes for a long list of documents:
- Offer letters
- Employment contracts
- Job descriptions
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Bonus plans
- Employee handbooks
- Pension contributions
- Health insurance plans
- Equality & diversity questionnaires
If they're part of the requirement, they all have to be created, completed, approved, signed, and returned by post for counter-signature. And what if someone forgets to add a signature or initial a page? The process starts all over again.
After that, someone has to file the original in a physical cabinet or scan it into a document management system.
There has to be a better way
Adding an e-signature capability to the end of the hiring process eliminates all that. Even if negotiations are underway with a senior hire and multiple versions of documents are being sent to & fro, the final onboarding phase moves faster, and progress becomes more transparent.
By signing digitally, candidates can approve offers and contracts in a flash. What used to take ages can happen same-day.
Signed documents are automatically filed in a cloud folder with a detailed audit trail attached. Everything becomes digital and paperless.
What e-signing does for HR
1. It cuts the time from offer to acceptance.
E-signing means no more scanning, printing, posting, signing, and returning physical documents. The lengthy, multi-step process becomes smoother for HR and candidates. That also reduces the risk of disengagement or having a top candidate ghost out of the process when things go quiet.
2. Document creation gets easier
With pre-approved templates, you can speed up the process of creating a new offer letter or contract. You can create ready-made templates for different roles, regions, languages, and seniority levels.
3. E-signatures on documents are safe
Confidentiality is essential to HR processes, and e-signatures can enhance trust. Every connection to a SignRequest server is protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 256-bit encryption. Two-factor authorization and Single Sign-On ensures that no one is accessing documents or communications who shouldn’t be.
4. E-signatures are legally binding
SignRequest e-signatures are recognized under US and European digital signature legislation, including eIDAS in the EU and the US E-Sign and UETA Acts. We’re also ISO27001 certified.
5. You can work more effectively as a hiring team
With a SignRequest Team Account, you can collaborate with colleagues, share access to documents, and ensure everyone in the hiring team has access to the latest version of a contract or letter. If you’re part of more than one team, the number of teams you can create is unlimited in a business plan.
6. You can strengthen your employer brand
SignRequest’s document customization features let you embed company logos, fonts, and colors. With templates, you can also add key messages, straplines, and build any tone-of-voice requirements into your baseline documents.
7. It blends into your existing platforms
SignRequest’s advanced API means you can build e-signature capability into your current hiring management system and use it with most document formats, from Word to Google Docs and PDFs. You can also wrap e-signing into your other productivity tools. SignRequest is already integrated with DropBox, Salesforce, Google Workspace, and M-Files.
8. You’ll know the current status of any outstanding offer
You can see every document sent, received, or unopened at a glance — plus all the actions taken on any document and by whom. Has an offer letter been opened, read, and signed? Is it sitting unopened in an inbox? You can schedule automatic reminders or prompt candidates to take action.
Sign of success
Our partner Recruitee integrated SignRequest with its award-winning ATS platform. HR teams are now using it every day to create document templates, manage negotiations, and generally speed up the process of making a formal job offer and getting it signed.
‘By integrating SignRequest, our users can digitize their document signature workflow. All signatures can now be managed inside the Recruitee platform.’ — Adam Hodowany, Recruitee.
Make hiring digital from end to end
The final stage of the hiring process can shape a new employee’s first impressions. Negative experiences at the start of a relationship are hard to shake. Any HR team's effort to make the onboarding process stress-free will be rewarded later with greater trust and loyalty.
E-signatures from SignRequest help smooth out the steps and eliminate admin uncertainties attached to manual documents. They’re secure, reliable, GDPR compliant – and legally binding. Some of the biggest companies in the world use them to simplify onboarding and quickly get from contracts to start dates.
Ready to make hiring digital from end to end? Choose one of our plans, or visit the homepage and take SignRequest for a test drive today.