HRIS (Human Resource Information System) is a software solution to improve core HR functions and workforce management. The software can store, organize, and analyze people’s data in one centralized space so businesses can easily access information and make data-driven decisions.
HRIS combines the efficiency of digital automation with the convenience of a centralized hub for employee information. Most HRIS options are highly customizable and usually come with desktop and mobile app versions powered by the cloud, perfect for distributed teams.
There are several different types of HRIS systems available for purchase, and each may offer various features and functions. Some HR software solutions similar to HRIS include HRMS (human resources management system) and HCM (human capital management). The terms are often used interchangeably.
Here’s what you can achieve with a typical HRIS:
Organize employee data: A great HRIS makes it easy to store and retrieve employee data, including:
Date of birth
HR teams can customize access controls to this information so the right employees can search and update information as needed instead of going through the HR team to access it.
Time tracking and attendance: With a HRIS, you can review working hours, absences, sick days, and holidays for every employee in one dashboard. Once you’ve collected enough HR data, you can track individual and company-wide employee engagement trends to improve your internal policies.
Automate payroll: Automated payroll saves time by tracking timesheets, calculating wages and taxes, distributing pay, and maintaining payroll records. These automated HR systems reduce the chance of human error and increase data security to keep confidential payroll information safe.
Manage benefits administration and compensation: Through a more comprehensive HRIS, HR professionals can manage employee benefits and compensation packages. They highlight company perks, gather transparent compensation data for each role in the company, and administer benefits packages to each worker.
Track applicants: A top-shelf HRIS includes an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which gives you a single source for all your candidate information. You can process applications, manage each selection phase, and gather various metrics.
Track employee training and performance: As your workforce grows, your company needs a modular approach to employee development and performance management. Some HRIS systems have the power to automate and track employee training and assist with talent management. This includes building customized learning workflows, providing self-led certifications and courses, and generating training and progress reports.
Empower employees with self-service: With the right HRIS, employees can set their own professional goals, keep track of performance reviews, and take ownership over their career development. This employee self-service element empowers workers to take the lead on their learning and development while reducing time-consuming tasks for HR team members.
Why use HRIS systems?
A HRIS helps minimize common HR department challenges by automating tasks, strengthening compliance, and streamlining data management. Here’s a deeper look into the benefits of using an HRIS:
Stay organized as your company scales: As a company grows, so does the need for a single source of truth—a place where accurate, up-to-date information lives for all employees to access. Instead of separating that information into multiple HR systems and spreadsheets, an HRIS centralizes it into one organized platform.
Spend your time on strategy (not repetitive tasks): On average, HR managers lose 14 hours per week completing tasks they could automate.
With an automated HRIS platform, workers can submit and review information independently. HR team members can also produce accurate reports in seconds resulting in fewer questions and more time available to improve the employee experience.
Protect your data and maintain compliance: A HRIS can hold all information securely in one place. Most HRIS providers regularly update their systems to reflect current HR regulations to meet the latest cybersecurity requirements and data security standards.
Win the talent war by focusing on employee experience: A HRIS helps attract talent and improve employee retention by creating a smooth employee experience. Using the HRIS, management can ensure they've addressed every employee inquiry, every new hire has completed onboarding, and every worker has received payment on time.
Eliminate guesswork and improve decision-making: Once you’ve migrated all your data to an HRIS, you can start making data-informed decisions. Real-time insights help you track behaviors, trends, and more to identify cost-saving initiatives, streamline processes, and optimize your workforce.
What are the best HRIS systems on the market in 2022?
Before you shop for an HRIS, identify your company’s core business goals and pain points. It’s easy to get distracted by an HRIS solution with plenty of bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t have the functions you need, it’ll be no use.
Here are a few of the best HRIS software solutions on the market today:
You can find a full competitive review of each software here.
When should I get an HRIS?
Eventually, every growing company moves past the point where spreadsheets, separate systems, and manual reporting are sustainable. You may be at this inflection point if:
Your HR team loses too much time completing menial or repetitive HR tasks
You use multiple systems that aren’t integrated, causing confusion and overwhelm for your employees
You lose talented candidates and employees because of disorganized hiring or training processes
You need data-driven insights to improve your team but don’t have the time or resources to run reports manually
How much does an HRIS cost?
According to Softwarepath’s 2022 HRIS report, the average HRIS cost for each user is $210 per month or $12,625 per user over five years. However, the actual cost will depend on the provider you choose.