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HRIS – What is it and why do I need it?

HRIS – What is it and why do I need it?

What does HRIS stand for?

Human Resources Information System. Similar to an HRMS (Human Resources Management System) and HCM (Human Capital Management), but with some subtle differences.

An HRMS may include additional features to an HRIS, such as talent and performance management. Both an HRIS and HRMS will generally be able to manage core HR functionality such as administration and compliance as well as payroll. HCM refers to the broad people management practices accomplished through HRIS and HRMS.

What does an HRIS do?

An HRIS makes use of technology to improve systems and help organisations and HR teams to be more efficient overall.

What are the benefits of HRIS?

Reduced time and costs – These systems automate standard HR workflows including onboarding, leave requests and so much more. The system will follow up documents required from employees and may track time and attendance to reduce data errors and show real-time analytics.

Better decision making - Understanding staff behaviours from leave, time and attendance and employee engagement are all part of the analytics offered to make better decisions around staff levels, succession planning and performance management.

Enhanced employee experience – From onboarding and throughout the entire employee lifecycle, the experience will be more professional and efficient. Easy to use interfaces (including apps) allow employees to manage their own personal information, request leave, lodge incident reports and access their employment contracts, policies and even pay slips.

What are some of the features of HRIS software?

Recruitment and onboarding – Set a professional standard from the start. Candidate screening, talent pools and employee onboarding with ease.
Time, attendance and rostering – Automated rostering and time and attendance will reduce admin errors and track real time data.
Benefits – Keep your employees engaged through diverse benefits schemes.
Compliance – Drive compliance and accuracy. Automated compliance notifications as well as updates to employment law.
Reports and analytics – Numerous custom reports help to keep track of real time wages and understand your employee behaviours.
Employee self-service – Employees perform routine administration tasks such as updating their own personal details and applying for leave.
Integrations – Most HRIS can integrate with other software systems including accounting and payroll.

Should I get an HRIS for my business?

Every business is unique and will need to establish their own business case to determine if an HRIS is the right solution for them. Some things you may want to consider when deciding are:

  • Is the business at risk of compliance issues?
  • Does the business recruit workers with specialised skills or requiring work visas?
  • Will the business benefit from workforce data analysis and reporting?
  • Does the business have enough resources to keep up with all aspects of HR and payroll?
  • Are your managers spending too much time in the business and not on the business?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of HRIS?

A potential drawback to an HRIS is the cost. With effective training and implementation and the correct HRIS system for your business, the HRIS should result in a positive return-on-investment (ROI) for the majority of SMEs.

Without the proper security measures in place, these systems can pose a security risk. Most systems these days use high level encryption and 2-factor authentication to try and mitigate these risks. The right system may improve data security depending on the current system in place for storing confidential business and employee data.

How do I choose an HRIS?

Understanding your business and identifying problems or challenges with your current HR process is always a good place to start. Explore how an HRIS could help overcome those hurdles and streamline your business. The use of a requirements checklist may help to identify the right system for your needs.

How do I get started?

A well written business case outlining the current challenges and how an HRIS will benefit the business may help to convince stakeholders that a new approach to HR is needed. Understanding what drives the stakeholders will help to prepare for any questions or concerns they may have.


How can an HRIS help my business?
An HRIS makes it easy to keep track of important business and employee data. It improves workflows and efficiencies to eliminate some of the headaches relating to people management.

Does an HRIS include payroll?
An HRIS will generally include a basic payroll system. They can easily be integrated with more advanced payroll systems if you already have a payroll system in place.

Who uses an HRIS?
Most businesses will benefit in some way through using an HRIS. Greater advantages will be gained by businesses with complex workforces, multiple geographical locations, those who have difficulty finding or keeping employees or are growing and/or dynamic businesses.

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