What is an HRIS?

June 29, 2023・8 mins read
What Is an HRIS

A human resources information system, or HRIS, is an HR software package that collects, stores and manages employee data. HR professionals use this type of human resource management system to help automate standard HR processes, including hiring, payroll and performance management.

Typically, an HRIS will store human resources information such as contact details, job titles and work history. Certain HRIS solutions also allow HR professionals to generate reports and analyze company data in real time.

Without a doubt, an HRIS solution is an invaluable modern business tool. Here we'll explore numerous benefits and features of HRIS and their role in streamlining employee management.

Benefits of an HRIS

HRIS solutions are widespread in the business market because of the array of benefits they provide. Large businesses can greatly profit from a strategic HRIS deployment. But small and medium-size businesses may actually benefit even more. It's no secret that managing human resources can be costly and complex. A large business might be able to cover all the expenses. But for small and medium-size businesses, the costs can be overwhelming. Here's how some of the best HRIS solutions could help your business and increase profits.

Improving HR processes and efficiency

An HRIS automates many core HR processes that were traditionally handled manually. Tracking employee information and payroll processing have always been labor and time intensive. With an HRIS, it can help improve data accuracy, increase efficiency and decrease labor costs.

Streamlining recruitment and retention

HRIS solutions can help streamline the recruitment process with automatic applicant tracking, job posting, application processing and background checks. Information for use during interviews can be easily displayed or printed. A robust applicant tracking system aids HR teams throughout the entire process. Notices, offers, rejections and other items can be auto-sent. All of this can significantly reduce an HR department's load.

Enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction

An HRIS empowers employees to take more control of their careers. Using an employee self-service portal (ESS), staff can access and update their personal records anytime they need to. They can also view earned benefits, see their leave hours and usage, and register for training and development initiatives. These greater levels of self-management often enhance employee satisfaction in the workplace.

Helping with compliance requirements

Quality HRIS software may provide secure, centralized platforms for storing and processing of sensitive information, preventing data from being misused or inappropriately shared. HRIS functions monitor access levels and follow data retention policies. It can also generate reports on any infractions that can be auto-directed to managers and cyber-administrators. This can help to quickly identify discrepancies and potential departure from compliance requirements.

Facilitating data analysis and decision-making

Data and analytics can be generated with a mouse click when using an HRIS. The results provide managers with information to help make informed decisions on staffing, training and other initiatives. Data that previously took days to compile can now be accessed instantly and reliably in a report.

Benefits of HRIS for small businesses

TriNet’s HR technology can provide many benefits for small businesses in saving valuable time and energy. These offerings can allow an SMB to focus their efforts on their core competency and minimize resource draw required for HR functions. Some of these benefits include:

Features of HRIS

Human resource information systems provide myriad helpful tools and services applicable to businesses large and small across industries. Here's a more detailed look at some of the features and functions of a typical HRIS.

  • HRIS software provides employees self-service tools such as vacation planning, leave tracking, paystubs and benefits management. An ESS portal helps prevent regular HR operations from being disrupted by normal day-to-day employee requests.
  • Core HR functions are handled by the HRIS rather than costing hours' worth of payroll management by HR teams. Employee data management, payroll management and benefits administration are only some of the many business tasks ripe for automation.
  • Talent management runs faster and cleaner under software-based human resources management. Learning and development services are easy to run as a stand-alone portal for all employees. Succession planning can be established and modified quickly.
  • Performance management is less prone to negative or prejudicial effects with an HRIS. Employee performance gets tracked in real-time—and weighed against set goals, competencies and reviews. Notices are generated and forwarded to managers as needed.
  • Time and attendance management is virtually a hands-off task from a manager's perspective. While at their workstation, employees clock in and out through their personal ESS portals. Absence management is automatic and can be set to notify managers and/or HR. Required daily, weekly or monthly reports get pushed by the HRIS to necessary management personnel.
  • Reporting and analytics come easy with automatic report generation. Management dashboards in an HRIS offer fast insights into employee performance, trends and costs. Reports that previously took entire HR teams hours to create now happen in seconds. And quick, valid data is paramount when a budget planning or cost review meeting pops up.
  • Integration with other systems helps streamline employee and HR needs. Save time and effort by integrating health insurance, retirement plans and payroll tax documentation into an HRIS. Onboard new hires faster and better with pre-programed employee education courses and materials.

Implementation and adoption of HRIS

When implementing a new HRIS, there are some basic steps to consider with deployment:

  1. Assess the business needs in order to determine the best-suited HRIS. Consider key features, functionality, options and scalability.
  2. Select from HRIS vendors who meet the needs, budgeting and timeline for your current HR processes. Ask about if and how their product and services will adapt and scale with you as your needs change.
  3. Work with a vendor to design the system and set up user accounts.
  4. Do a full system test well before a live deployment. Make sure everything functions as expected.
  5. Train employees on the new system and how ESS portals work and explain any data entry nuances.
  6. Monitor the system performance and make necessary adjustments as needed. A records and employee database may grow rapidly. Ensure the computing hardware supports future storage and processing needs before the existing system bogs down or errs.
  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of the system. Ensure that it meets all the business's needs—and if not, modify the system as needed.

Strategies for successful employee adoption of an HRIS

Here are considerations to how employees can best take advantage of an HRIS:

  • Fully explain the HRIS to employees. What does it do and how will it be used? Make sure everyone understands the value of the new system and how it helps both management and employees.
  • Provide adequate training so employees understand how to use the system. Training is best when tailored to a user's specific roles and needs.
  • While the system is implemented, solicit employee feedback to ensure the HRIS is meeting the needs of all users.
  • Consider incentives like celebrating implementation milestones to encourage employee motivation and satisfaction.
  • Ensure the HRIS is as easy to use as possible. Aim for an intuitive interface with simple navigation and clear guidance.
  • Monitor usage to identify problem areas where users struggle with the system. If needed, adjust the system, modify portals and provide additional training.

Making the right call

Human resource information systems are one of the most important tools for businesses today. An HRIS can help you manages employee data, tracks labor costs and can help improve employee engagement and satisfaction. An HRIS also helps companies comply with certain compliance regulations, streamline complex processes and gain greater insight into employee performance. They're becoming increasingly popular as businesses seek more efficient ways to manage their human resources.

Primary trends include using cloud-based systems, analytics integration and mobile-friendly HRIS platforms. These further reduce costs and improve employee performance. Additionally, an HRIS provides comprehensive views of employee data and greater insights into workforce trends.

TriNet provides HRIS solutions for businesses with five to 1,000 employees, empowering them to focus on what matters. Learn how organizations benefit from TriNet's human capital management expertise, benefits, risk mitigation, compliance, payroll, real-time technology and more.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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