The Beginner's Guide to HR Information Systems (HRIS)
Aug 09, 2021 · 8 mins read ·HR Strategies & Systems
Piles of paper, shelves full of folders, mountains of photocopies, filing cabinets that no one can ever seem to find the keys for when they need them. If this sounds like your HR Department, read on as we explain why you need to start moving with the times!
The fact is, you need to be taking care of your processes - and your employee data - in a more organized, efficient, and secure fashion.
And that’s where Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) come into the picture.
It’s not the most catchy of acronyms we know, but an HRIS will revolutionize your HR Department by helping you run in a far more streamlined fashion.
So what exactly is a Human Resources Information System? Carry on reading as we unlock the mysteries of HRIS!
The beginner’s guide to Human Resources Information Systems
At its core, an HRIS is an integrated database that enables you to do everything from applicant tracking to new employee onboarding to time-tracking to managing employee information such as which benefits packages they have chosen, their time off and their salaries.
You’ll also be able to dig into data such as your hiring trends, your employee demographics, and your employee retention rates. This provides you with the data and analytics you need to run in-depth, and meaningful, reports.
A good HRIS will also incorporate employee self service (ESS) which allows your people to login and manage certain aspects of their personal company-based admin themselves.
That could be anything from managing their time off requests to enrolling for company schemes and benefits plans to accessing company documents.
Read more: 4 Common Misconceptions About HR Information Systems
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how when all those functions are automated and combined, life in the good old HR Department suddenly becomes a whole lot less stressful!
Let’s look at the benefits of a Human Resources Information System in a little more detail.
The benefits of Human Resources Information Systems
Because an HRIS makes it far easier to track and update your employees’ data it’s quite simply going to save you loads of time when compared to doing everything manually and juggling countless spreadsheets.
As an example, compare an outdated manual time off approval system to an automated one. In the first one, an employee prints off a vacation request form, spends time filling it in, takes it to their manager to be signed, and brings it to you in the HR Department. You sign it, log the dates, and file the form.
Compare that to using a Human Resources Information System to manage your employees’ vacation and time off.
They log in to the employee self service portal. Go to the vacation request area and click on the dates they’d like to request off. You, or their manager, receives a notification and can then simply approve (or not approve) the request with a few clicks of the mouse.
Read more: How to Make Sure Your Employees Love Your HRIS
We all have tasks that we can do with our eyes closed. Those mundane daily, weekly, or even monthly jobs that are necessary but oh-so time-consuming.
But we have news for you - it’s time to automate those tasks!
Not only will this save you countless hours, allowing you to focus on more important things, but it’ll also reduce the margin for error that can arise with monotonous manual inputting.
An HRIS can help you automate so many little things that make up your to-do list. For example, the aforementioned vacation allowance management or signing up employees to benefits packages.
Improved company culture
When your HR Department becomes more efficient and more productive, you’ll have more free time to develop your processes, further foster a great company culture that motivates employees, develop your employee retention strategies, improve your new employee onboarding, think of ways to ensure the mental health of your people is being looked after, and ensure your policies and benefits are the best they can be.
In other words, you’ll have more time to spend making sure your employees are happy, engaged, and motivated - and therefore productive.
And that your company is known in your industry or area as being a great place to work!
Better employee retention
Most employees these days expect a company to be running their systems and processes using a software solution.
And when you’ve implemented a top notch Human Resources Information System, such as Hezum, you’re not only living up to your employees’ and candidates’ expectations, you’re creating happier individuals.
Read more: 4 Key Features Every HRIS Should Have
That’s because people like efficiency. No one wants to have to jump through hoops to book a day off or find out how much annual leave they have left, or to beg their manager or HR manager to see a copy of a certain document.
An HRIS can increase employee satisfaction by empowering them while eliminating the frustrating and stressful waiting period of finding out if a vacation has been approved while it goes through all the different steps it would need to in a manual process.
When you take your operations online and into the cloud, you’re cutting down on printing costs such as ink cartridges and paper.
You’re also reducing the need for office stationery such as pens, staplers, folders, filing cabinets and other storage solutions.
And you’re also helping your organization to become greener and more sustainable.
Not only that but when you and your HR team are getting more done in less time, you’re also a lot more time- and cost-efficient.
The beginner’s guide to HRIS: conclusion
If there is a disconnect between your company’s systems and processes and the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing, it’s time to consider implementing an HRIS.
If you’re sick and tired of the endless spreadsheets needed to keep track of each and every little thing, it’s time to consider implementing an HRIS.
If your reports and data are becoming unwieldy and hard to make sense of because they’re not automated, it’s time to consider implementing an HRIS.
If tasks are getting forgotten, falling prey to errors due to manual input, or being duplicated - either through poor communication or because you’re using multiple systems - guess what, it’s time to consider implementing an HRIS.
And let’s not forget that there is always a risk of a data breach if you’re still using manual systems.
A good HRIS will pull all the different strands of your operations together, enabling you and your team to save time, work more efficiently, be more productive, improve employee retention, create a better candidate experience, develop plans to help your organization’s growth and success - and to kiss goodbye to annoying tasks that could easily be automated.
I'm a UK-based content writer here at Hezum. I've an interest in all things HR and company culture.