How to Choose a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for Your Company

Having an HRIS can help remove tedious HR tasks, ease the organization of data, and give companies ways to better manage their talent and create a lasting user experience for its people.

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What is an HRIS, and what should you look out for when choosing one?

HR technologies have seen a great level of improvement and reinvention over the last decade. These reinventions have created an opportunity for HR professionals to act more strategically and create a better employee experience across the board. One of these major technological advances includes the evolution of the HRIS, which stands for “Human Resources Information System.”

An HRIS is a set of integrated systems that provides information about employees. It is meant to ease the management of human capital information, processes, and administration.

As an HR professional, this system will help you organize things such as:

  • Employee demographics
  • Job information
  • Banking information
  • Time off requests
  • Company-wide documents

At the most basic function, having an HRIS can help remove the tedious administrative tasks away from HR (like changing employee information) and ease the organization of data.

A well-integrated and high-functioning HRIS gives an organization an opportunity to better manage their talent and create a lasting user experience for its people.

When should you start investing in an HRIS?

The earlier on, the better! One of the most strategic things your HRIS can do is to provide data and analytics. The earlier you can start organizing and collecting clean data, the more insights you can glean from it as your company begins to expand.

At any stage of the game, the automation that an HRIS provides will remove many cumbersome administrative duties for everyone across the company.

If you’re tracking all your employee details on a Google spreadsheet, it may be time to start thinking about a proper tool for your business.

Some HRIS platforms suggest that once your company hits 25 people, it’s time to get your employees onto an HRIS. Of course, this number will change based on the needs of the organization, and the leader’s interest and investment with its HR function (some might start sooner than 25 employees, some might start later).

What functions should you think about in an HRIS?

Before going out to source any vendors, it’s important to create a set of criteria or “checklist” that your HRIS must meet. Think about the objectives you’re trying to reach, and start identifying requirements and design criteria based on that.

A few questions to think about include:

  • Do you want something customized or out of the box? What are the benefits of each?
  • What do you need the HRIS to do for your people? Do you just want things like time-off requests and basic information tracking? Or do you need something that will include benefits administration, recruitment components, reporting, analytics, etc?
  • Do you want a one-stop-shop for all things related to people’s administration?
  • How do you see your team interacting with and adopting this kind of tool? What kind of interface would influence the success of adoption?

Understand your needs beforehand to make sure you’re picking the right tool. While you might be thinking about your workplace’s immediate needs, it’s important to configure whatever system you go with for planning for the long term.

What about integrations?

Before signing any contracts, take stock of all your other systems across the company. You should engage your different business leaders to understand what they would need from this system as well.

For example, you may have an accounting system, an intranet, a learning management system, organizational charting tools, and other systems that would benefit from being integrated into your HRIS. This way, data can flow freely and communicate with all your systems.

When your systems are well-integrated, you’ll have an easier time managing your compensation and benefits, your attendance, recruitment, performance management, payroll, analytics, and core HR data.

Speak to your vendors about integrations capabilities early on in the process and make sure to engage your business leaders throughout.

Service level agreements and support

Think about the implementation process from beginning to end. What kind of resources will you need to have a successful implementation?

Some vendors will be more generous than others when it comes to managing and supporting this process. The Change Associates recommend that you research the following about a vendor:

  • Record and reputation
  • Level of support in your region
  • Access to consulting expertise at each stage of the process
  • Whether or not they provide training
  • Service level agreements and success rate

Conducting proper research can help you avoid unwanted surprises down the road.

This kind of implementation would be a big change for any team and thus requires proper change management throughout the process. Be aware of the impact it can have on people’s day to day and handle it with love, care, and a whole lot of communication.

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