What is HRIS?

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As technology increasingly impacts business activities, many organizations are turning to innovative tools, such as human resource information system (HRIS) solutions, to meet their data management needs. HRIS programs allow HR professionals to do things like perform payroll duties, generate customized reports and store and access electronic records.

HRIS Defined

HRIS programs are integrated data management systems that are used to gather, maintain and analyze HR information. HRIS programs can perform simple functions, such as storing employee data, and complex actions, such as gathering information from different software programs. HRIS programs are modeled after industry standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) software programs that are designed to integrate information from different applications into centralized databases.

HRIS systems are typically linked to accounting, employee training or job application management programs. HRIS programs offer a plethora of data that is used for risk, labor, strategic and management planning. HRIS programs empower HR professionals to become leadership partners with upper management. HRIS provides better information for managers and executives to make more efficient decisions.

Real-Time Reporting

The biggest benefit that HRIS programs offer businesses is the ability to create highly detailed and customized reports. HRIS programs contain all relevant information regarding human resource activities, which covers
hiring practices, screening tools and job applicant and job opening lists. HRIS programs automatically track outstanding paperwork that is due, such as I-9s and W2s, but also monitor deadlines for benefits applications and performance appraisals.

HRIS programs contain insightful data regarding the wages and compensation benefits of all employees, so management can better set incentivizing salary levels. Supervisors also have access to HRIS programs, so they can document disciplinary actions, employee concerns and other mandatory reports. Because HRIS programs are centralized databases, business executives are able to run personalized reports in order to better understand business process and make sound business decisions.

Labor Management

The second benefit of HRIS programs is their ability to enhance and streamline the entire hiring cycle and employee management cycle. This means that HR managers will understand current and future staffing needs, so they can proactively handle various hiring activities like job ad generation, pre-screening and processing of applications. Online job ads on the company’s website can be directly uploaded through the HRIS’ internal applicant management system, which will allow users to specify target skills, degrees and experience levels.

Once HRIS programs allow management to effectively control the staffing process, they can focus on identifying quality issues and workforce gaps. In industries with high employee turnover, intense competition and volatile client demand or supply limitations. HRIS will support long-term strategic planning, salary forecasting and contract negotiation activities.

In closing, HRIS programs offer excellent benefits, they also come with potential drawbacks. The biggest concern is maintaining security and preventing unauthorized access to confidential employee information. HRIS programs may come with complex compartments, advanced functioning and high acquisition and maintenance costs. To explore more human resource information system topics, visit the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) website.

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