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Human Resources Information System (HRIS)


We are living in an era where technology drives more and more aspects of our daily lives, and the world of human resources is no exception. Today’s workforce management solutions are built around the strategic use of multiple technologies to coordinate a wide range of employee information and processes. As is often the case with workforce management, a higher rate of automation provides more opportunities for customization, increases accuracy, reduces the risk of costly errors, and ultimately helps boost the bottom line.

A human resources information system (HRIS) is essentially the point where the human resources department intersects with the information technology department. Sometimes also referred to as a human resources management system (HRMS), a strong HRIS combines the expertise of HR professionals with the technology of HR software to manage and organize an organization’s employee data and personal information. A robust suite of HRIS software can help an HR department manage a broad range of essential functions, including:

Let’s take a closer look at a few key areas where your organization’s HRIS can make a big difference in making your HR systems more efficient and effective.

Data management

One of the biggest challenges of managing a tech savvy workplace is keeping track of the sheer volume of data a modern business generates. On the workforce management side alone, an employer collects a tremendous amount of personally identifiable information about every employee. That includes not only basic personal data, but also things like healthcare and insurance information, internal time and attendance records, performance reviews, and more. A strong HRIS makes that data easier to access for both employees and HR professionals, often via a self-service dashboard. Automating data management also cuts down on repetitive HR functions that can take up an inordinate amount of time and energy. Just as importantly, a good data management component can play a huge role in protecting data security. In an era where data breaches are increasingly common and laws like the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) are strictly enforced, increased security is a valuable commodity.

Data analytics

Not only can your HRIS help you manage your crucial employee data, it can also help you to understand it better. Data analytics are more important than ever to employers of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprise systems. A customizable information system allows your human resources team to not just analyze when, where, and how long your employees are working, but also to gain insights on how they work best and what your organization can do to improve their productivity and job satisfaction.

For example, more and more employers are now investing in people analytics, also sometimes called workforce analytics or HR analytics. This approach looks at employee and HR data as the key to making a holistic workforce management plan. That can impact a wide range of business functions, in particular the recruitment and hiring process. A deep understanding of the way your workforce works best can go a long way toward helping your team attract, hire, and retain high quality employees who keep your business running.

Talent management

Attracting and retaining top quality employees who fit your organization’s culture is a constant challenge for any human resources team. Up to date HRIS software can make that process much easier by pinpointing the areas where your workforce performs best and those where improvement is needed. Using automated information technology to accurately identify your organization’s strongest needs before making important hiring decisions pays off by reducing turnover and boosting productivity. A well integrated HRIS can streamline your talent management process in a number of ways, including:
  • Automating key functions in your hiring process like applicant tracking, background checks, and referrals
  • Automatically posting job descriptions to relevant job boards and social media channels
  • Easier communication between management and employees
  • Easier and more insightful performance review processes
  • More informed business decisions via talent management data analytics

Payroll administration

Keeping your organization’s payroll functions running smoothly is one of the most challenging and time consuming elements of workforce management. It is also an area where falling behind on technology can cause major complications. Businesses that still rely on outdated methods of managing payroll such as paper time sheets, manual punch clocks, and basic spreadsheet programs run a much greater risk of letting costly mistakes slip through the cracks. Even minor errors in processing employee hours can lead to overpayments, underpayments, and delays that can take a lot of time, money, and effort to get corrected.

Automating your payroll and benefits functions with a reliable HRIS software system reduces the risk of expensive human error considerably. Your HRIS database should contain easily accessible information on personal data, employee benefits, paid time-off accruements, and other material that your human resources team uses to keep your operations running without interruptions. Your HRIS also helps your business maintain compliance with local, state, and federal payroll and leave management laws by making sure that employees are properly classified. Workforces in labor-driven industries often include both part-time and full-time employees, contract and contingent workers, and freelance hires, all working a variety of schedules and shifts. By automatically sorting each of those workers into the proper category, an employer can avoid the fines and penalties that often come with improperly classifying workers.

By automating these functions and more using an HRIS, an organization can reduce the day-to-day workload for HR managers, freeing them to focus on more pressing needs, and enhance their overall employee experience by creating less frustrating and time-consuming processes. That type of streamlining and customization helps everyone from small business owners to enterprise managers keep their organizations running at maximum efficiency while also keeping their employees safer, happier, and more productive.

To learn more about HRIS, take a look at our blog post "Making a Business Case for Investing in Workforce Management".


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