What to look for in an HRIS
To be a practical investment choice for a mid-tier organization, a satisfactory HRIS solution must have its HR and benefits functions highly integrated. It must be both agile and robust so it can easily be kept abreast of constant change, and it must be built on a tried and true foundation that is easy to use and maintain, such as a modern database like SQL Server or Access for smaller companies.
Ease of use is a vitally important feature for an HRIS. The learning curve on any new software is often a challenge for people whose primary function is non-technical, such as the average HR consultant. It is important that if the investment is made in a product, it is accepted to the extent that it becomes part of the fabric of the department. There are three things to look for that will make an HRIS easier to use and more accepted by staff:
• Wizards: Wizard-based technology makes it easy for staff to enter or import information and make changes and updates, by following through a set of simple instructional, fill-in the blanks forms on the screen, rather than their having to learn to program or call in the consultants.
• Strong HR facilities combined with flexible benefit capabilities: The system should be able to handle compensation, attendance and recruitment, and legal requirements such as FMLA and OSHA, while integrating them with benefits issues such as COBRA.
• Role-based operation: A good HRIS solution should be able to cater to the needs of a wide range of people and functions within the organization, and should appear seamlessly tailored to their requirements. Role based administration is becoming increasingly important in the HRIS marketplace. With this feature, HR administrators can define what an individual can see in the system, allowing managers access to the information they need about their particular team, while locking them out of information that is not pertinent to them. Role-based administration can extend further into proactive alerting—a particular manager or management level can be automatically alerted by the system that it is time to conduct a review, for instance, with those alerts being based on the specific mangers role and needs within the organization.