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What is an Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and Why You Need One

06 Aug 2021

Data based report on a laptop

Gone are the days when you need to store all your employee data on filing cabinets or file folders. These non-digital forms of data storage can wear out and increase your chances of losing important information due to floods or fire outbreaks. A Human Resources Information System exists to enhance your storage and management of employee data digitally.

Digitally stored data is easy to access and encrypt. Think about file folders and how anyone can easily access sensitive information and tamper with it. However, this software enables you to limit who accesses sensitive information. The software allows you to automate all your human resources administration and effectively foster talent management and retention.

While this software solution has been most prevalent at large organizations, today, the demand is increasing. Small businesses to medium enterprises are also adopting hr software to store and access employee information easily. There are myriad benefits you can reap from using automated hr systems:                      

What Does HRIS Mean?

To enjoy the benefits of HRIS software, you must understand what it actually is. Otherwise, it can be vain to acquire one. This system allows organizations to practice automation of all their hr tasks. An organization that uses an HRIS system can automate its recruiting & onboarding processes, performance management, applicant tracking, employee attendance, and time of reporting and leaving the office and can also automate the employee payrolls. 

Furthermore, as an employer, you can use these hr systems to foster hr compliance, enhance reporting and record keeping. An HRIS is a form of an HRMS that helps companies eradicate operation efficiencies, reduce paperwork and improve the internal productivity of employees. For instance, the right HRIS solution comprehensively integrates all human resources functions under one software. Some of the employee data you can effectively manage using the software include but are not limited to:

  • Employee demographics like dates of birth, contact details, gender, year of recruitment
  • Employee job details like pay rates, employee roles, and responsibilities, 
  • Employee benefits and selections
  • Payment requests and time off balances

By storing all these data under a single package, you can easily track the relevant details on time and enhance your accuracy. Consequently, you can generate employee reports and use these details to track employee performance and make accurate organizational decisions. You can also update these details in a matter of minutes and save the time you would have spent perusing different spreadsheets.

You must, however, ensure that the HRIS system you adopt for your company complies with all the HR requirements like data regulation and protection. This system is core hr functions, and you can use it to enhance human capital management. Your HR professionals will not have to waste time maintaining employee details; instead,  shall devise strategies to increase employee retention and employee performance.

What Is An HRIS? What is the Purpose of HRIS

An HRIS is important for organizations that want to enhance their employee experiences.  Such a system can also help you improve the perception your employees have of your organization. The design makes it easy for you to attract the right talent and retain it.

With an efficient onboarding possess, your employees can quickly check their coworkers’ contact details. Similarly, they can readily request time-offs and update their availability status.  You can also customize the system to suit your individual, organizational needs.

With an HRIS system, hr teams can meet the daily targets and long-term goals with less struggle. The human resource management system enhances the efficient storage of employee data. The central repository of information and records makes it easy for management personnel to manage their workforce. 

HR managers can readily connect to many job boards and make it easy for these specialists to post job listings and track the candidates’ progress.  Hr managers can also create learning mechanisms and deliver appropriate training to equip employees with relevant skills.  The software also allows hr specialists to track employee learning and foster peer-to-peer learning.

Other integrations on this software help human resource managers to plan and monitor employee succession, employee talent development, and performance tracking.  The compensation management structures enable organizations to allocate bonuses and based on employee improvement to encourage employee retention. These HR systems also foster talent management and improve the functionality of human resource departments in any particular organization. 

What are the Benefits of HRIS?

Investing in a superior HRIS system has countless benefits.  However, these benefits may differ based on your organizational needs and the integrations on the software you choose. Here are some of the expected benefits of having efficient hr software:

 

Increased  Efficiency

An hr software can streamline all your hr processes and run your daily human resource activities and responsibilities more efficiently.  Automating workflows saves you a lot of time and reduces human error in data entry and management. This also enables organizations to keep accurate and reliable data.

The ease of accessing all your employee information with a few clicks also eases your decision-making processes. You can readily make decisions on bonuses and manage payrolls. With this system, you can execute HR duties that would otherwise be impossible to achieve manually. 

With such tools as Sapling, you can enter employee time details, track their attendance, enter accruals and vacation requests less hectically as you will not have to process these details manually. Instead, you'll simply allow each employee to access their portals and update their details timely. This system also makes working at home more straightforward as the managers can check employee progress from their convenience.

An HRIS simplifies your tracking, updating, and reporting of employee details. Such systems like sapling allow human resources to upload hardcopy documents in pdf formats. This makes it easier for you to store employee identification documents on their original forms and enable employees to append their signatures electronically.

Better Decision Making

Organizations that have accurate and effective decision-making systems flourish and expand faster. HRIS streamlines productivity and enables employee managers to work on more strategic tasks. Such integrations like the Strategic People Ops help employee managers maximize their employee well-being, optimize their employees’ lifetime value, and enable employees to electronically append their signatures, increase employee performance, and drive organizational growth and development.

Human resource managers can quickly generate HRIS reports and share them with relevant stakeholders to enhance timely decision-making.  You can create accounts on staff offboarding, onboarding, and trends to foster retention and plan for future organizational growth. Due to inaccurate data storage and management, stakeholders who have similar details on the administrative database readily agree on certain decisions instead of those with conflicting information.

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

a  comprehensive HRIS can give your employees a better work experience. For instance, an easy-to-access employee portal enables your employees to view all their work-related details when they want it and at any place, they may require it.  Likewise,  the employees can easily view their benefits, request time off, review their employee data and update them accordingly. This makes them quickly learn your organizational culture and makes their work easier.

Employees reduce the time they would have wasted if they had to queue at an office to present their requests. They'll have less wait time for their time off approvals, and they'll feel more valued and appreciated. The streamlined onboarding processes using these systems also make recruiting new talents stress-free for recruiters and job applicants.

What Features Should A Good HRIS Have?

HRIS features come in many forms. You can get the software that has the features you're more interested in as an organization. Also, getting a system with customizable features can be perfect. All in all, look out for the following essential features on any HRIS system:

  • An employee management database and directory
  • A recruit tracking system
  • A payroll manager. The most challenging task of any human resource person is payroll management. However, a payroll manager on this system can ease the tracking of employee payroll details and their updating.

You can use this system to group your employees into part-time and full-time workers to ease payment settlement. Employee managers can also organize and store each employee’s data on their portals for transparency. These details can also make your organization quickly identify the benefits and reinforcements they should adopt for different employees to increase their satisfaction.

  • Scheduling
  • Bonus administration
  • Employee attendance trackers
  • Time in and time off trackers
  • Electronic signatures
  • Employee self-manageable portal
  • Standard and customizable reporting templates
  • Performance tracking systems
  • Employee self onboarding applications. Such an integration on your HRIS can allow you to send target employees the relevant training materials and paperwork. This also means the target employees will have enough time to complete all the job requirements at their own pace. Similarly, these target employees can generate their electronic signatures to authenticate the paperwork.

Since you, as the HR, can also generate electronic signatures. You can easily send out introduction emails to recruits and connect them with their future workmates for relevant interaction and assistance.

Some HRIS systems can also have integrated mobile applications to enable you or your employees to access the software using your mobile phone. Therefore, when going to shop for an HRIS, think about your specific organizational needs. Evaluate the utility of the software and the ease of using it. 

Ensure you take the appropriate steps to enjoy all the benefits of owning an HRIS. Once you have acquired the software,  understand all the integrated and customizable features. Migrate all your organization's data into the software  and take enough time to orient yourself and your employees with the system 

Explain to your executives and employees the benefits of adopting the system. Their participation can determine the success or failure of the system, so you must make them buy into using the system. Ensure your software vendor partners with you throughout the training and implementation of the new approach to increase the chances of successful adoption and use.

Likewise, you must remain dynamic, look out for any new developments that you can integrate into the software to optimize the efficiency of your human resources. Update the software when the need arises and consult your vendor when you are unsure about a specific application.

When Should You Get an HRIS?

Today any company, regardless of its size, can significantly benefit from HRIS systems irrespective of the company size. However, these are some of the metrics you can use to tell whether you need to adopt an HRIS software:

  • When you start having trouble tracking all your employee’s details and payroll management using spreadsheets, then it's time to adopt an HRIS system. 
  • When the number of your employees exceeds twenty-five, you need an HRIS to enhance compliance.
  • When your employees can hardly meaningfully relate, an HRIS system can help you create more time to focus on employee cooperation. Think about your organizational culture and foster your employee experiences with this software.
  • When you want to eliminate duplication of data and eradicate human error, an HRIS system becomes inevitable.  
  • You can adopt an HRIS system to receive factual time information from your workers and, when you need to stress freely, generate comprehensive reports and track employee data. This software can give you a clear picture of your employee performance, expenditure, and organizational strengths and weaknesses.
  • Adopt an HRIS system when you want to analyze the effectiveness of your business and when you want to create new ways for saving money and reducing spending

Conclusion

HRIS systems can help organizations overcome enormous human resources challenges. They can help you save time on time, costing activities like payroll management and talent recruitment.  However, you must consider your organizational needs before you set out to purchase a suitable HRIS software.

Choose a comprehensive system with all the features you might need to increase your employees’ satisfaction, enhance your work productivity and make better-informed decisions. Slow adoption of the system with the software vendor’s help can enable you to reap better results. Choose software that you can easily customize to suit your individual company’s needs.

At the same time, you must involve all your stakeholders in the use of the system. Let each stakeholder understand how they are going to benefit from using the software. Update the software when the need arises and watch for new applications that you can add to the software to optimize its performance.

There are different types of HRIS software systems that other software developers sell at additional costs. Choose the software whose price you can afford and has the relevant applications you need as an organization. The best application for your company is one that gives you value for money.

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