Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) - Overview

Human Resources Management


Manager, India

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) - Overview

🔥NEW With the world of work in a state of constant, advanced flux, the need for HR systems and ways to adjust to this technology-driven, data-driven, and employee-centric world is at an all-time high. Here's where a Human Resource Information System comes into the picture.

What is a Human Resource Information System? Definition

A Human Resource Information System (HRIS), also known as a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) can be defined as a collection (whole) of HR software that is utilized for data entry, data tracking, and data management. As the term suggests, the main aim of HRIS is to store and make available the data of all human resources operations of an organization in a database, using software and a portal.
An HRIS comprises of a wide range of systems under itself. For instance, it includes all aspects of managing the employee database, applicant tracking, payroll processes, time and attendance, leaves tracking, customizable insight reports, employee self-service.
In current times, every interaction with the candidates or the employees is recorded and stored as data. HRIS thus becomes vital in helping to present the data which is clear, crisp, and precise - leading to an effective decision making and efficient workflow. A key idea behind an HRIS or HRMS is the idea to store all HR data in one integrated system rather than in separate places and/or software applications.

Application Areas of a HRIS. Usages

The areas of HRIS applicability differ from organization to organization based on a number of factors, including the requirements of the human capital that requires to be overseen, the size and number of employees in the organization, the geographical spread of the organization, the base principles along with the functioning model of the organization, and its plans for the future.
  1. DATABASE MANAGEMENT - The HRIS system's core is a database where information of employees is recorded and managed. The data captured on HRIS varies from personal information of the employee, recruitment and learning metrics, benefits information. This helps in removing the task of maintaining physical files of the employees and paperwork.
  2. REPORTING AND ANALYTICS - HRIS systems can provide various automated HR reports on topics like employee turnover, absence, performance, and more advanced information. Various analytical tools can supports the analysis of HR data enabling better-informed decision making.
  3. PAYROLL MANAGEMENT - HRIS helps with one of the most important function of HR - Payroll. Through HRIS, the human resource personnel can easily add inputs and download working hours and attendance information of the employee. Since there is less human intervention in this, the scope of error is significantly reduced.
  4. TIME & ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT - The act of monitoring the working hours of each employee can be very daunting and time-consuming. Through HRIS, employees either enter their login/log out hours in a biometric system or log on the hours into the system directly if working from a remote location. This helps in ensuring that punctuality is followed and the designated work hours of the employees are adhered to.
  5. EMPLOYEE BENEFITS MANAGEMENT - Through the HRIS system, an HR self-service portal for the employees can be created. Such portal permits the employees to update their personal information, review their pay scale, etc. Employee benefits are an important aspect of compensation and of the attractiveness of an organization for (new) employees. An integrated approach leads to providing the employee with an experience that is time-saving and easy.
  6. TRAINING MANAGEMENT - Personal development and learning is a key element when it comes to employee development. The HRIS system can give an outline of available courses for company employees and track (progress in) qualification, certification, and skills of the employees. This function is referred to as an LMS, or a Learning Management System, when it's a stand-alone. An LMS can also include the actual e-learning system and various courses to be followed by employees.
  7. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT - Performance appraisals can be conducted and documented annually or quarterly a year by the direct manager or by peers of the employee like in the case of 360 Degree Feedback.
  8. SUCCESSION MANAGEMENT - Managing a talent or leadership pipeline to ensure timely replacements are available for key roles in the organization.
  9. RECRUITMENT - A HRIS can also help with acquiring new employees and or talent. Most HRIS include an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Usage of such tools help to ensure a smooth, coordinated and flawless recruitment process, and that the talent selected is the right fit against the job position and the organization.
⇨ Did I miss any application area of HRIS-es? Thanks for helping to complete the list.
Michael J. Kavanagh, Mohan Thite, (2009). "Human Resource Information Systems: Basics, Applications, and Future Directions"
Erik van Vulpen, "What is an HRIS? An HR Practitioner's Guide", Analytics in HR


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