The world of human resources (HR) is rapidly changing with a greater emphasis on analytics, reporting, and efficiency. So, what is a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and why is it important for businesses today?
A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is a software system used for tracking, storing, analyzing, and reporting employee data. An HRIS acts as a single centralized platform through which all the traditional HR functions – like attendance tracking, payroll management, benefits administration, time shift management, applicant tracking, etc. – can be digitized and accessed.
The key value that a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) provides is unified data analytics and insights into a business’s most important asset – its workforce. With modern HRIS software, leadership teams can slice and dice various data points to uncover hidden trends, identify issues, and make data-driven business decisions to improve workforce efficiency and productivity.
So in today’s digital age where fast access to data provides a competitive edge, all growing businesses should evaluate Human Resource Information System (HRIS) solutions available to elevate their HR function.
Table of Contents
What is a Human Resource Information System?
A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is software that helps manage essential HR activities like storing employee records, tracking attendance and paid time off, administering benefits, facilitating recruiting and hiring, onboarding staff, managing payroll, and more.
In the past, many of these HR processes were extremely manual, disjointed, and reliant on spreadsheets and paperwork. An HRIS consolidates these tasks onto a single unified platform that is accessible from any device by authorized HR staff and managers.
When implemented properly, a Human Resource Information System becomes the central nervous system for an entire HR department. Key capabilities include:
- Employee database: Maintain records for all staff members including contact info, compensation details, skills and background, performance reviews, tax forms, and compliance documents.
- Applicant tracking: Post open positions online, accept resumes and job applications, screen candidates, manage interviews and assessments, collaborate on feedback, and hire top talent.
- Onboarding: Smoothly transition new hires from applicants to active employees with pre-boarding tasks, digital paperwork, and company resource distribution.
- Payroll processing: Compute payroll checks, apply earnings and deductions, integrate with tax authorities, and generate pay stubs for direct deposits.
- Benefits administration: Manage employee medical/dental plans, insurance coverage, retirement accounts, and stock options and enable self-service enrollment.
- Attendance tracking: Clock-in systems for logging hours worked, assigning job codes, applying rules for meals and breaks, and validating time cards.
- Reporting: Transform all HR data into digestible, actionable analytics and dashboards tailored to various stakeholders.
A Human Resource Information System delivers value across the employee lifecycle. When companies outgrow spreadsheets and paper forms, investing in HRIS software leads to massive productivity gains through workflow automation and data-driven analysis.
The Benefits of a Human Resource Information System
Implementing a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) offers a variety of impactful benefits that positively affect employees, managers, HR staff, and the wider organization. Some major advantages include:
1. Increased Productivity
An HRIS massively cuts down on repetitive, manual workflows that used to eat up precious HR hours. Tedious administrative tasks like filing paperwork, updating spreadsheets, correcting errors, and hunting for documents can be fully or near-fully automated. This saves substantial time which translates to greater productivity and efficiency. With an HRIS, HR teams can focus more on strategic initiatives that drive business results.
2. Enhanced Data Analysis & Reporting
All employee information consolidated on a unified HRIS platform creates a valuable trove of data that can fuel real-time analytics, customized reports, and interactive dashboards covering compensation insights, retention risks, training needs, labour cost projections, and more. With a few clicks, HR and managers can access critical people data to guide evidence-based workforce planning and decision-making.
3. Improved Compliance
Juggling various regional and national employment regulations like the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) becomes exponentially easier with a robust Human Resource Information System. Automated alerts and notifications around compliance deadlines along with an auditable system of employee record storage significantly reduces regulatory risks.
4. Cost Savings
Between streamlining manual tasks, cutting redundant licenses for multiple legacy tools, and decreasing reliance on extra administrative hires – an integrated HRIS platform leads to notable direct and indirect cost savings year-over-year. The total cost of ownership is further reduced by moving to the cloud instead of complex on-premise servers.
In today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, a feature-rich Human Resource Information System acts as a force multiplier for strategic HR transformation.
Implementing a Human Resource Information System
Transitioning to a unified Human Resource Information System (HRIS) touches many parts of an organization. Careful planning and change management paves the way for successful adoption. Key steps include:
1. Defining Needs
Begin by outlining current HR pain points and desired capabilities. Involve department heads to detail workflows and data needing automation. This ensures the selected HRIS platform tackles the most impactful priorities. Common targets are payroll, applicant tracking, self-service, and time & attendance.
2. Comparing Systems
With needs aligned, the next phase is requesting demos from vendors to identify the optimal HRIS solution. Priorities beyond functionality include budget, data security, support options, and ease of use. Don’t simply settle for the first seemingly decent match. Explore all leading options to find the best fit.
3. Data Migration
Historical employee information will need to be transferred from legacy systems into the new consolidated HRIS database. Vendors assist by providing templates and guides for this data migration. HR should audit transferred records to guarantee accuracy as this data forms the foundation for analytics.
4. Training Employees
Adoption success hinges on sufficient training on the new Human Resource Information System. Schedule sessions for employees across operating groups – explaining how the updated workflows and self-service options benefit their roles. Patience and strong change management ease the transition.
Whether moving from spreadsheets or replacing legacy software, embracing a modern best-in-class HRIS solution requires planning but pays dividends through elevated efficiency, insights and cost savings. Reach out to discuss options matching your HR needs!
Addressing Data Security with an HRIS
As a central database for sensitive employee information, HRIS platforms require robust security capabilities and controls. However, many organizations initially hesitate to store such confidential data on cloud-based HR software. It is vital for providers to communicate specifics on safe data handling.
1. Multi-Layered Security Infrastructure
Reputable HRIS vendors invest heavily in advanced security infrastructure spanning network security, database encryption, role-based access permissions, strict SSL enforcement and data centres meeting international standards. This creates a formidable multi-layer defence shielding employee data.
2. Access Monitoring & Activity Logging
Maintaining transparency builds trust. Quality HRIS software logs and monitors all system access and data modifications. Any suspicious activity triggers alerts for prompt investigations minimizing breach impacts through early detection.
3. Regular Security Evaluations
Besides monitoring their defences, responsible HRIS providers schedule frequent independent audits of their security posture by trusted third parties. These exhaustive evaluations validate that appropriate precautions govern sensitive payroll, personal and performance information.
4. Contractual Commitments
Data protection commitments extend beyond technical assurances into legally binding contractual clauses within an HRIS provider’s Master Services Agreement signed with customers. Further legal liability insurance coverage offers additional recourse avenues.
While onboarding employees onto a centralized system evokes some initial discomfort, selecting a quality HRIS product featuring enterprise-grade security protocols ensures private data remains intensely safeguarded.
Difference between HRIS and HRMS
|Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
|Human Resource Management System (HRMS)
|Software system to collect, store, manage and analyze employee data.
|A suite of HR software modules supporting various HR functions and activities.
|Core HR record storage, payroll, attendance, basic analytics.
|Core HR record storage, payroll, attendance, and basic analytics.
|Collects data from HR activities onto a single database.
|Integrates data across disparate HR systems onto a single dashboard.
|Operational reporting and efficiency.
|Strategic analysis and planning.
|Limited flexibility for custom fields and reporting.
|Highly customizable fields, rules and analytics.
|HR staff and professionals.
|Employees, Managers, HR staff and Leadership.
Some of the Leading HRIS Platforms
The Human Resource Information System marketplace contains diverse options catering to businesses of all sizes and industries. While hundreds of solutions exist, these 7 repeatedly rank as top-tier leaders:
1. Nitso HRMS: Known for its user-friendly interface, vibrant culture branding, and strong applicant tracking. Especially popular among small and mid-sized companies. Combines robust core HR functionality with sophisticated payroll processing and advanced analytics.
2. Workday: A longstanding SaaS provider valued for the breadth and depth of unified HCM modules. Widely adopted by large enterprises.
3. Paycor: All-in-one platform covering time tracking, onboarding, benefits and compliance besides the usual HRIS features. Competitive pricing.
4. UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group): Dominant solution for complex employee scheduling, timekeeping and payroll needs across large distributed workforces.
5. SAP SuccessFactors: A core component of SAP’s enterprise HR ecosystem. Favored by global and multinational organizations.
Summing up the Value of an HRIS
As illustrated throughout this article, a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) offers tremendous value by transforming disjointed HR operations into a unified digital platform.
By centralizing employee records and automating complex manual processes, an HRIS enables HR teams to find higher gears of productivity. Sophisticated analytics convert raw workforce data into strategic insights guiding enhanced talent management and business planning decisions.
An integrated Human Resource Information System also minimizes compliance risks through structured protocols, alerts and transparency while optimizing costs by consolidating systems.
While change management calls for thoughtful rollout strategies and patience, the long-term dividends from modernizing HR infrastructure are too impactful to ignore. The organizations realizing success in today’s highly competitive economy all leverage the power of data through HRIS adoption.
If dealing with inefficient paperwork, endless spreadsheet chaos and limited data visibility across HR functions – the time has come to research capable Human Resource Information System solutions available to catalyze your workforce productivity and analytics capacity to new heights.