Choosing HRIS Software: Free Guide by HR Professionals

Global teams often have trouble finding a suitable HR system to cater to their diverse HR needs. Learn how to choose the right HRIS for your organization.

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In this guide:

The HR team’s secret behind efficient processes

Using spreadsheets or multiple tools to manage your global workforce is time-consuming, frustrating, and prone to error, especially as your team scales and expands to more countries.

You have little to no visibility of your data and struggle to make data-driven decisions, not to mention the lack of time to develop proper employee experience, retention, and engagement strategies.

The answer lies in using a global HRIS.

Human Resource Information System, or HRIS software, involves an HR platform used as a single source of truth for your employee data, for documentation storage, payroll management, attendance tracking, benefits administration, performance and learning management, and other HR processes.

HRIS combines the efficiency of digital automation with the convenience of a centralized hub for employee information. Most of these HR tools are highly customizable and usually come powered by the cloud, perfect for distributed teams. The biggest benefit of HRIS is that it helps you automate and streamline repetitive workflows so that your HR department can spend time on tasks that truly require human interaction.

HRIS is fundamental, a single source of truth that feeds all your HR tech stack. [...] All your metrics and data should come from the HRIS, and everything should be integrated into that HRIS.

Casey Bailey, Head of People, Deel

With so many HRIS solutions available, the quest for the right platform with all the functionalities your business needs won’t be easy. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help you choose the best option for your company.

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Frequently asked questions about HRIS software solutions

Does an HRIS system include payroll?

Yes, HRIS is an integrated software solution that combines core HR functions, and payroll is a critical component of this system.

Including payroll in an HRIS allows for streamlined management of employee compensation, tax deductions, and other financial aspects, ensuring accurate and efficient payroll processing.

If you're considering implementing an HRIS, it's essential to choose one that aligns with your organization's needs, including robust payroll features to handle the intricacies of global payroll and compliance, especially for remote teams, like what Deel offers.

Do all companies use HRIS?

While many companies have adopted HRIS solutions, its use isn’t universal. The decision to use an HRIS depends on various factors, such as the size of the company, its budget, specific needs, and industry requirements.

Small businesses might not find it necessary to invest in comprehensive HR solutions, often opting for manual processes. For teams of 20-50 employees, it may not be too demanding to run payroll or update employee information in a spreadsheet.

On the other hand, larger enterprises often leverage HRIS to efficiently manage dozens of HR functions, including payroll, benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, and more.

For remote teams and those with global operations, the use of HRIS becomes increasingly beneficial, especially if the system is designed to address the complexities of international payroll and compliance.

Deel, as the leading global HR, payroll and compliance hiring service, is an example of a specialized solution catering to international workforce's needs.

Note that Deel HR is free for companies with up to 200 workers.

What are the five key functions of HRIS?

The following features are considered key for every HRIS software:

  1. Employee information management, preferably user-friendly with employee self-service options, so that workers can enjoy higher autonomy and there are fewer touchpoints in simple processes. This function ensures easy access to accurate and up-to-date information for HR and management.
  2. Payroll management, with automated processes related to salary, taxes, and other financial aspects. This feature helps in calculating accurate wages, managing deductions, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
  3. Benefits administration, including health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks, streamlining enrollment processes, tracking employee participation, and ensuring compliance with benefits regulations.
  4. Time and attendance tracking to monitor employee work hours, attendance, and leave. This helps in accurate timekeeping, facilitates the calculation of paid time off, and ensures compliance with labor laws.
  5. Recruitment and onboarding, where HRIS supports the recruitment and selection process by managing job postings, applicant tracking, and candidate information. It also assists in the onboarding process by automating paperwork for new hires, facilitating orientation processes, and ensuring a smooth transition into the organization.

The best HRIS software offers performance management, ATS (applicant tracking systems), reporting features, documentation management, and more.

What are the pros and cons of using HRIS?

The pros of using an HRIS are numerous: efficiency due to automation of HR tasks, centralized data management leading to higher data security, better compliance management, improved visibility into your workforce, accurate payroll processing, self-service features for employees.

While we wouldn’t say the following are downsides per se, HRIS implementation requires a financial investment (typically a monthly fee), comes with a learning curve, and some software may have limitations in customization.

What is the difference between HRIS and HCMS?

HRIS (Human Resources Information System) primarily deals with operational HR functions like data management and administrative processes.

HCMS (Human Capital Management System) is a broader, more strategic approach that extends beyond HRIS, encompassing the entire employee lifecycle, talent management, and workforce planning. While HRIS focuses on efficiency, HCM aligns HR practices with overall business objectives, emphasizing the strategic value of human capital to the organization.

Is Deel HR a good solution for global teams?

Deel’s global-first HR platform enables you to streamline workforce management, whether it’s your local team or international workers, regardless of the worker type, in 150+ countries.

You can:

  • Manage access provisioning (G-Suite, Slack)
  • Order global equipment in seconds
  • Provide access to flexible workspaces
  • Build beautiful and detailed reports for dynamic insights into your workforce and cost
  • Create customized workflows to optimize onboarding
  • Enable self-service for your team
  • Stay compliant with country-specific documentation management
  • Easily integrate with other HR tools you use


See also💡

The HR Bundle
The Ultimate HRIS Guide for Early-Stage Startups
A Guide to Creating the Ideal HR Tech Stack
A Case Study on Deel: How We Saw the Need for an HRIS


Who will benefit from this guide

C-suite decision makers
HR and People leadership
Startup founders


More resources

Watch: Global Hiring Summit
Watch: Simplify Onboarding and Increase Employee Engagement Using an HRIS
Read: Deel: 7 Advantages of Our Free HR Software For Your Startup
Read: Elevate Employee Onboarding & Offboarding Efficiency with Deel
Read: 5 Benefits of Cloud Based HR Software