In the 21st century, recruiters can’t afford to avoid HR management tools. They are integral to efficiently perform human resources activities and take the pain away from a number of mundane tasks.
One such tool is the human resource information system or, simply, HRIS. In short, it’s a system used to collect and store employee information of a company. Although the “S” in HRIS stands for “system”, many a time, it’s referred to as an HRIS system.
The human resource information system (HRIS) is a software application used for collecting, storing, and tracking employee information. Along with the human resources department, the HRIS is also used for employee management, payroll, and some of the accounting functions of a company.
Simply put, it’s a beneficial tool for organizational processes that require the collection, storage, and retrieval of data. Generally, an HRIS will have the basic functionalities needed for human resource management (HRM), such as recruitment, employee development, compensation management, and performance-appraisal management. However, it doesn’t always have to offer all such features and instead depends on the software solution you choose.
The HRIS could be a software application or an online solution. Likewise, it could run on a company’s technical infrastructure or could be cloud-based. Although the “S” in HRIS is generally accepted as “system”, some argue it is “software”. Either be the case, HRIS and several other recruitment tools can be labeled as human resources management software (HRMS).
Simply put, an HRIS helps HR managers and recruiters to stay organized and improve the effectiveness of their work. Since data plays a crucial role in recruitment and after onboarding an individual, HRIS enables recruiters to unify data into a single location.
Recruiting a new employee is a systematic process. There will be many stakeholders involved, starting with recruiters, HR managers, team managers, and accountants. An HRIS makes it easier for such stakeholders to access information about the candidates. Many HRIS systems also offer specific features that allow managers to communicate with one another about applicants.
As mentioned earlier, HRIS also helps candidates to access the necessary information regarding the recruitment process. Since such HR systems are made to be as user-friendly as possible, candidates will have a stress-free time navigating through.
Additionally, for candidates, the HRIS could also act as the window to the company and help them access the company information they require. This also means that, in most cases, an HRIS might set the first impressions of your organization to prospective employees.
HRIS could also act as a portal for existing employees to apply for promotions. Likewise, such an HR management software application can enable employees to access and update their personal information.
Generally, there are four types of HRIS systems as follows:
This type of HRIS system is developed to offer managers data to make human resources decisions. It generally includes information about employees and job positions. Performance management systems and employee information systems are examples.
This HRIS type focuses on processes such as workforce planning and labor negotiations. A specialized human resource information system is an example of this type.
This type of HRIS system is designed to support HR professionals in making better decisions in allocating resources. Such decisions will include recruitment decisions, employee compensation plans, job analysis, and training and development. Recruiting information systems and employee development systems are examples.
This system is an integrated database of files such as HR files, employee files, and skill inventory files and is designed to create reports.
HRIS is an umbrella term used to indicate HR management applications that are utilized for a variety of employee management-related activities. This also means that an HRIS could be an application developed to serve any one of the following functions or as a system that has a number of the following functions as its features.*
In the HRIS dashboard, time and attendance will be a module that displays the employees’ time and attendance data. This functionality is handy to manage blue-collar workers whose wage depends on the time they clock in and out.
Payroll is the automation of the HR function of processing and distributing periodic paychecks to employees, for example, regular wages and salary. Although it’s sometimes confused with compensation management, they aren’t exactly the same.
Compensation management is the process of analyzing, managing, and determining the salary, benefits, and incentives earned by each employee. Payroll is a subset of compensation management, and depending on the HRIS you choose, the latter could also be a feature of the system.
As the name suggests, an applicant tracking system or ATS is used to manage the talent acquisition and hiring process. It can be used to track a large number of applications and candidate information electronically. This is especially useful to filter and remove unqualified candidates and focus on just the top talents.
Depending on the software application you choose, an ATS can offer features primed to streamline the hiring process, distribute job postings, and communicate with the candidates. It can also be referred to as an HR system that acts as a database for job applicants.
Reports and analytics are crucial for HR managers and recruiters to assess whether their talent acquisition and recruitment strategies are on the right track. HR reports will give valuable insights into employee performance, retention, absenteeism, and turnover. This will allow HR professionals to make data-driven hiring decisions.
To hire quality talents efficiently, an HRIS software solution is a critical necessity. To give you more clarity on whether or not you require an HRIS, here are some of its top benefits.
The features of an HRIS vary depending on the software vendor you choose. Here are some of the common features you can find in a human resource information system:
An HRIS is an expensive and time-consuming commitment, just like all aspects of running a business. The good thing is, you have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to HR management software applications and, in this case, the HRIS.
The only thing you have to be concerned about is choosing the right one; more precisely, choosing the solution that works best for your company. Here are some key things to consider when selecting an HRIS system to save you the hassle of choice overload.
As previously mentioned, an HRIS solution will be used by the employees as well. This means that you should opt for a system that doesn’t break if the number of employees exceeds a specific limit. Even if you only have a couple of employees at the moment, pick a system that is virtually future-proof and can accommodate the growing needs of your company.
The importance of vendor support can’t be stressed enough. Go for an HRIS software solution with 24/7 customer support, enough training documentation, and preferably one with an intuitive onboarding process. That’s because employees outside the HR department will also be using the system, and without support, things might get intricate and defeat the purpose of having an HRIS in the first place.
An onboarding process can simplify the solution to even non-HR employees. Additionally, having a software onboarding process will make it easier for new hires to understand the HRIS without requiring additional training.
The HRIS you choose must have a user-friendly interface. Especially in a company with a fast-paced environment, you can’t expect the employees to spend hours learning how to use the new system. Also, the HRIS must have a customizable dashboard that lets you organize and rearrange based on your specific needs.
Some of your company’s existing systems and software applications may have to be integrated with the HRIS you choose. In most cases, this won’t be an issue as the vendor will have created the HRIS software for such integrations. However, it’s your responsibility to check whether your existing system is seamlessly compatible with the new addition.
Cloud-based HRIS systems are easier to set up and will cost less to maintain when compared to on-premise systems. The upgrade expenses will also be lower, making it a convenient choice, especially for startups that can’t afford a full-fledged technical support team. Development and deployment will also happen quickly in a cloud-based solution.
Here are some tips that can help you to make use of the HRIS you choose effectively:
Choosing your company's HRIS, HRMS and HCMS software is a complex process. To help HR departments compare and benchmark all HRIS, HRMS and HCMS software, we have selected a list of 189 companies providing SaaS tools for HR.
HRIS, HRMS and HCMS software is often combined with other HR functionalities. If your company is in need of complementary HR features, make sure to take a look at those frequent combinations:
HRIS in HR stands for human resources information system. It’s used to collect and organize an organization’s employee data. Generally, an HRIS will include all the basic functionalities needed for human resources management.
The primary purpose of HRIS is to offer accurate and relevant information about employees to a company’s HR department. It’s also useful for employees to get information about themselves and also regarding the functioning of the HR department. In short, an HRIS collects, processes, and stores information for efficient management of human resources.
HRIS tools are SaaS-based software applications that can assist HR departments in managing employees, procedures, and policies. They are database-oriented and make it easier to perform activities such as time and labor management, employee engagement, and performance management.
Although an HRIS may seem to be a tool used by the HR department alone, it isn’t. Instead, it’s used by every employee in an organization to access some HR-related information and functions.
Some of the types of HRIS systems are:
Recruitment is a costly and time-consuming process and an HRIS system streamlines it. Along with enhancing the HR processes, an HRIS promotes remote recruitment and collaborative hiring. It can also offer deep insight into hiring strategies and can also simplify internal processes like promotion.
HRIS is equally important for both the HR employees and the non-HR employees. It acts as a centralized database that stores critical employee information such as personal information, compensation, and benefit choices. An HRIS also eliminates human errors and data duplication.
The core components of an HRIS system are:
Of course, an HRIS includes payroll functions along with other features for employee management, recruitment, time and attendance management, and performance management.
A few of the many advantages of using an HRIS are:
Simply put, an HRIS solution is the amalgamation of information technology and HR activities. It is used for data entry and storage, tracking and managing employees, and also for payroll and accountings.