HRIS, or Human resource information system, is a software solution for organizations to help automate and manage their HR, payroll, management and accounting activities. A HRIS generally should provide the capability to more effectively plan, control and manage HR costs; achieve improved efficiency and quality in HR decision making; and improve employee and managerial productivity and effectiveness. HRIS is typically a database system that lets you keep track of all types of information related to any company and their human capital. However, be wary of companies that call their system an HRIS - not all employee management systems are comprehensive enough to warrant the title HRIS. For example, if a system only handles one or two functions, such as benefits administration or payroll, this is not a comprehensive HRIS.
Many companies provide a complete online application that is accessible to the currents employees, prospective job seeker and others from any location with internet access - the office, at home or from an airport terminal. Alternatively, some systems are software applications that definitely have to install at the users location and they utilize it by running a program from their desktop computer or laptop.
Apparently, HRIS should include all or most of the following can be announce standard at present day’s situation:
- Applicant tracking with current and future position application system,
- Employee Personnel File Management,
- Company Related Documents such as employee manuals and safety programs,
- Benefits Administration including enrollment,
- Manager and Employee Self Service modules,
- Complete reporting for each feature,
- Payroll integration, and
- Financial Software integration
A complete and integrated HRIS can assist Human Capital Manager to take more strategic position within the organization. Strategic tasks included strategic decision making and providing crucial information in support of this, in the areas of: HR Planning, Salary Advice, Employee Benefits and Industrial Relations. Operational level activities were considered to be background tasks, typically performed by junior personnel. HRIS can support different level of people starting from HR consultancy to strategic decision making.
We can see that a new development is the use of HRIS for strategically related Industrial Relations issues. It is currently being used to support strategic Union Relations (Industrial Relations) in large US organizations. Furthermore, HRIS is supporting Industrial Relations per se in UK companies, albeit marginally. This is true for both non-strategic and strategic purposes, regardless of company size. There is no evidence of this being so prior to 1999.
The non-strategic use of HRIS, regardless of company size, increased substantially over that by smaller companies since the survey of Ball in 1998. Moreover, this trend is expected to continue. Interestingly, there is no evidence that the level of use has increased significantly since 1999. However, from internet, management journal, HR magazine and industry news, we observe a significant increase of using HRIS by the business organizations. There is strong evidence found from various research and studies that HRIS were used in support of strategic tasks. The findings are consistent with organizations being increasingly more reliant on the use of HRIS in support of advanced strategic business tasks, irrespective of company size.
© Shaki, Human Capital Management, 2009