HRIS: Which software is best for your company?

What is an HRIS system?

A human resource information system (HRIS) refers to a broad suite of HR software used by an organisation to manage its people, policies and procedures. According to Mike Maiorino at HRMS Solutions, the functions packaged into an HRIS will usually cover most, if not all, of the HR basics – from application tracking and recruiting to compensation, benefits, training and reporting.

What is the difference between HRIS and HCM ?

It’s easy to confuse HRIS with human capital management (HCM) software and human resource management systems (HRMS). You can think of HCM and HRMS as more feature-rich variants of HRIS, adding things such as onboarding, payroll, performance management, salary planning, advanced analytics and time/task tracking. Advanced workflow automation and integration with social networking can also be offered.

Which HRIS system is best?

An online search for HRIS software will return dozens of different tools, all offering a range of enticing functions. Which solution is best for your business will depend on a host of factors, including headcount, industry, payroll needs, budget, and employee type.

What factors should you consider when choosing an HRIS?

  1. Staff size
    An HRIS can make end-to-end management of a large workforce easier by eliminating email miscommunication and having to keep track of numerous spreadsheets. If you’re a small-to-medium workforce you can still benefit from an HRIS, thanks to the availability of flexible pricing schemes and adoption of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) HR systems. Some HRIS packages are free for businesses with only a few employees, with tiered pricing plans kicking in for organisations with five, 10, 25, 50 or more staff.
  2. Recruiting and applicant tracking
    Posting job applications to popular job-search sites can be a chore. An HRIS with a built-in applicant tracking system (ATS) can automate this. As well as tracking job postings, an ATS can store and manage candidate applications and the information used to evaluate candidates, such as questionnaire responses, aptitude test results, interviewer comments, and employment screening and verification results.
  3. Reporting
    Look at an HRIS platform that generates reports for analysing compensation history, turnover, compliance and training history, and performance data. The reports could range from high-level organisational views to detailed personnel data. Check whether your reports can be customised, and that there is an option to export reports in popular formats such as Word and Excel.
  4. Payroll and benefits

    An HRIS can automate various aspects of employee compensation,  managing salaries, wages, bonuses and superannuation payments based on the employee’s responsibilities, attendance, time at the company and/or performance reviews. Paid time off (PTO) such as annual leave, sick days and maternity leave payments can also be tracked and automated.

  5. Training and development

    As your company grows, it’s important that staff training programs are formalised and tracked – both during the onboarding period and as part of ongoing staff development.

    HRIS software can schedule, deliver and record each employee’s progress through the company’s training or compliance programs. The platform may be able to issue alerts and reminders if any required training is not completed, and generate reports on the progress of each employee.

  6. Employee interface

    Most of today’s HRIS packages give employees and managers a basic level of access to their HR information. This ‘self-service’ feature can allow staff to update personal information, enter performance review data, download payslips, populate timesheets and apply for leave without having to fill in paper forms or go through an HR staffer.

  7. Analytics

    HR analytics can deliver a wide range of benefits – from identifying ways to retain high-value employees to helping managers make strategic decisions when assigning roles and responsibilities. An HRIS that integrates analytics capabilities can align and motivate your workforce, and continuously improve the way you work.

How do you successfully implement an HRIS?

While the process of selecting individual features for your HRIS is important, don’t overlook the need for buy-in from all affected stakeholders in your organisation. Securing their alignment goes a long way in ensuring that your HRIS is universally adopted and implementation runs smoothly.

And remember – if you want to start small, look for an HRIS system that can grow with you to avoid a costly and time-consuming migration to a more comprehensive platform in the future.

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