As an HR or business leader, you’re no doubt a busy person. Any tool that makes your job easier, helps capture talent, engages employees, and tracks performance would surely be of interest.
Well, such tools do exist.
In this article, I’ll show you how an HRIS can benefit your HR teams, employees and organization.
What Is An HRIS?
At its core, an HRIS, or human resource information system, is a software tool that stores employee and organizational data and combines a number of features to help HR people at every level do their jobs more effectively.
In essence, it’s about utilizing the power of technology to oil the cogs of the organization and create a happier, more productive workforce.
Core Features Of An HRIS
HRIS systems come in many different flavors. It can be a small employee database right up to a multimillion-dollar Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and everything in between. Some of the core functionalities include:
- Benefits administration software to manage employee benefits
- Payroll management tools for compensation management
- Workflow, scheduling, or resourcing tools
- Self-service portal for employees
- A centralized database to store employee and organizational data (think org charts, handbooks, best practices)
- Applicant tracking systems (ATS) to streamline the recruitment
- A performance management function to track employee performance and ensure that departments are working towards accomplishing the strategic goals of the business
- Workforce analytics.
Benefits Of An HRIS
From the features listed above, you may already be beginning to understand how an HRIS can benefit your business.
To make it even easier for you, we’ll give some examples of the benefits that an HRIS can bring to an organization.
Benefits For HR Departments
Much of the benefits of an HRIS software will be felt in the HR department—making data easily accessible, automating manual processes, and freeing up time and resources to work on the rewarding part of the job: developing people.
The HR department is always busy. Keeping on top of scheduling, vacation requests, employee absences, payroll, pension, insurance, benefits, and recruitment is no easy feat.
The bread and butter of an HRIS is to make whoever is in charge of HR’s job easier and more efficient. Whether the department is one person strong or 50 people strong, an HRIS streamlines the everyday admin.
Information is stored in one centralized database where it can be easily accessed, shared, and modified. No more mountains of paperwork or juggling multiple spreadsheets. Many tasks can be automated or taken care of by employees themselves.
For example, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department improved its hiring process by sending automated emails to their candidates about their application status. Not only did this automation improve the hiring experience for candidates, it also streamlined the hiring process internally too..
Similarly, when a candidate has entered the onboarding phase, or something is required of a current employee, automated reminders ensure that important tasks are chased up and completed.
With less time spent on admin, HR leaders have more time for higher-level (and more fun) strategic tasks.
Related Read: What Is Employee Benefits Liability Coverage?
An HRIS can make HR compliance easier by having all the required information and documents stored, organized and easily accessible when the time comes for government audits or a legal matter arises.
Further, automated alerts can be set up to keep on top of the latest regulations and deadlines regarding minimum wage, overtime, etc.
Compliance HR’s SmartScreen™, for example, is helping employees return to the workplace post covid-19 by enabling organizations to automatically send jurisdiction-specific screening questionnaires for their employees to complete before returning to the office.
Now HR has more time to spend on the fun stuff, they can start to take advantage of another benefit of HRIS: data.
An HRIS can help HR collect and analyze organizational data and get valuable insights into areas such as headcount, salaries, retention rate, employee satisfaction, and the effectiveness of company wide initiatives.
HR leaders, as well as other stakeholders, can use this data to map out organizational structure and processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and for more accurate workforce planning.
Benefits For Employees
An HRIS can also make your employee’s lives easier, and make them feel more engaged and connected.
A smooth onboarding process helps set the tone for new hires and contributes to employee success and retention. As an HRIS function, it might be an extension of the applicant tracking system that helped get the candidate over the line. New employees can log into the self-service portal, deal with any admin, start training, and get a feel for the role and their new team.
With a self-service portal, employees will have the ability to manage their personal information, vacation requests, benefits and perks. This will make them happy as there’s less chance of admin errors affecting pay or time off, and they can also take advantage of automated reminders.
Further to this, they can also use the portal to access training resources and track their progress through assessments. Just like HR and management will have more data to aid with career development, so will employees.
As a good example of this, check out CISCO’s Talent Cloud.
A study by SHRM found that organizations that combine effective HR management processes with the right HR technology, i.e. an HRIS, are likely to be more productive and more profitable than those that do not.
Many organizations that adopt an HRIS take advantage of:
- Faster recruitment cycles
- Better quality applicants
- Improved employee branding
- More opportunities to identify internal talent and promote from within
- Easier planning and forecasting
- Improved company culture
- Closer alignment of company values with those of employees.
With a more efficient HR department, more engaged employees and more data to play with, chances are an organization’s bottom line improves.
How To Get Started With An HRIS
Now you’re thinking an HRIS might be pretty useful, or considering how your current system can be upgraded.
With so many options out there, it’s important to find the best HRIS software for your business needs.
Finding the right HRIS vendor that is passionate about HR processes and your company outlook is key.
HR professionals should look into ease of use, what core functions are included, how customizable the service is, if the solution can integrate with any legacy systems, and, of course, value for money.
As a good place to start, see our guide to the Ten Best HRIS Systems Of 2022.
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Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try checking this article out: 10 Best HR Software For Small Business In 2022