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Talent Management

How HRIS Software is Redefining Human Resources

One Minute Takeaway

  • Human Resources Information System (HRIS) software is at the heart of modern workforce management
  • HRIS software is often compared with Human Capital Management (HCM) and Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS)
  • HRIS is an ideal tool for HR departments of all sizes

When it comes to a business it doesn’t matter what the industry is or the size of the company or where they are located, EVERY business has one thing in common—the true heroes of their workplace are found in Human Resources. Who else could handle:

  • Hiring
  • Employee recognition
  • Employee benefits management
  • Discipline
  • Acting as company counselors
  • Monitoring compliance
  • And of course, ensuring everyone is getting paid on time

And the HR specialists seem to do it all at the right time. And effortlessly. So what’s the secret?

HR software. It could be HRIS, HCM or HRMS. No matter what the flavor is, an HR software system can help keep a business organized, growing and compliant. Let’s take a look at what HR software systems are available and how they can support an HR team.

Why HRIS Isn’t as Confusing as it Sounds

These different terms mostly represent different ways of looking at HR software.

  • HRIS: Human Resources Information Systems. This term dates back to early HR software which focused on storing employee data. At first this included mostly personal details and salary information. Now, HRIS software can store everything HR will ever need to know about an employee.

    And a truly engaged HR team wants to know more about their employee than just their pay and benefits or schedule and time sheets. HRIS software helps the HR team create a full employee profile by providing a centralized location to collect manager feedback, notes on an employee’s suitability for promotion or even their favorite birthday treat.
  • HCM: Human Capital Management. If an HRIS is about collecting information, an HCM system is used to create a strategy around that information. The primary focus of HCM software is to enable leaders to develop strategic decisions around  onboarding, professional development and performance management. With HCM software HR can ensure the employee base is engaged, productive and on their way to reaching their full potential.
  • HRMS: Human Resources Management System. The easiest way to describe HRMS is to consider it a mashup of the information management of HRIS and broader strategy planning of HCM. Essentially HRMS software (like Paycor) covers every aspect of an HR leader’s remit. It can function like the head of a software family including containing features that are sometimes packaged separately, like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Learning Management Systems (LMS) or benefits administration tools.

With that understanding, let’s take a closer look at an HRIS software solution.

Two Pillars of HRIS

Every HR leader has a horror story of an employee sitting across the desk and needing one specific piece of information. The employee goes from asking the question to staring dumbfoundedly as the HR leader fumbles across files, trying to find the answer.

The two pillars of HRIS are specifically designed to make that situation ancient lore not tomorrow’s reality.

HRIS software is designed to help HR teams do two very specific things:

  1. Collect employee information
  2. Quickly find that information

Pillar I: Organizational Design

HRIS enables organizational consistency across the enterprise. It does this by automating many key data collection processes so there’s no longer the burden on the HR team for remembering to ask for X. The system will make the management of those tactical functions more automatic while also encouraging employees in some ways to help develop their own profile.

This need for a centralized, scalable, and consistent data space is important but also takes on an additional level of urgency when looking forward. That’s because a recent survey found that 74% of companies in the U.S. have a permanent hybrid work model in place or are planning on implementing one.

Pillar 2: Employee Data Management

The goal of collecting employee data of course is not just to have it but to use it. An HRIS makes it easy to do that for HR teams. For example, it can help HR track and plan an employee’s career path including growth plans and promotion milestones. In doing so, areas where adjustments are needed will be quickly discovered and addressed just as career growth paths can be charted and managed.

How HR Software is Revolutionizing the Workplace

Software is changing how HR works. Over time, the role of an HR specialist is becoming less focused on administration and more on developing personnel strategies that will meet business goals. Paycor research found HR teams used to spend up to 70% of their time on simple, inefficient admin tasks. This wasn’t just time-consuming; making calculations by spreadsheets or pen and paper meant making costly errors that had to be fixed later.

HRIS software helps with this transition to strategy while also helping HR leaders find more time in their day by taking over core HR functions. Let’s look at 8 ways an HRIS can take on key tasks in talent management.

1. Absence Management

The big board is no longer needed. You know, that board in the break room that has written on it who’s out and when for vacations, PTO, maternity/paternity time off or an afternoon appointment. It was helpful, but an HRIS provides a more timely, accurate and measurable way to track who’s in and who’s out.

2. Recruiting and Applicant Tracking

An HRIS can be helpful not just in managing the employees of today but those of tomorrow as well. Every recruiting interaction—from the initial employee contact through the interview process and eventual offer can be managed and tracked through the system. And key team members can view this information in real time. It eliminates unforced errors (bringing the wrong person in for an interview for example) and those doorway drive-bys of people asking what’s going on with Candidate X.

3. Training Tracking

One of the things many HR departments try to do is foster growth from within their employee base. And of course one of the ways this can be accomplished is with external training and internal upskilling.

Links to external training opportunities can be incorporated into individual employee profiles or the broader training section of the HRIS. You could also use the scheduling feature to coordinate internal cross-training and upskilling opportunities.

4. Eliminating Compliance Questions

HR, accounting, legal, product development—there are many departments in a company with a consistent eye on compliance law. Maintaining compliance can be particularly tricky for an HR department of a multi-state or even multi-national corporation.

Your HRIS can help mitigate some of these concerns by enabling you to:

Maintain all compliance-centric documentation in a centralized location

Create alerts around certain compliance-related topics. So for existence if the overtime rules changes in an area or if there are new requirements regarding HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) you would be notified immediately.

5. Manager and Employee Self-Service

It always starts with the email. And then the phone call. Finally you’re stopping by their desk asking an employee for some piece of information to complete their employee record. This:

  • Takes a tremendous amount of your time
  • Prevents you from completing other tasks
  • Makes you out to be the bad guy or the “document police”

With an HRIS, that entire process becomes less onerous as many of the processes are automated. This process change also helps employees to feel more connected to their career growth path.

6. Improved Efficiencies

Anyone in HR knows that efficiency and speed are critical, particularly when dealing with unexpected moments of HR crisis’. With an HRIS it’s easier to collect employee information and thanks to its organizational attributes (including things like search filters, storage categories and document displays) easier to find that information whenever you need to.

This will, of course, result in improved productivity which could mean you will have time to develop many of the employee support programs you’ve always wanted to initiate.

7. Benefits Administration

Every employee wants to be proud of where they work and have confidence in the system. But when they have to go to four different sites and find their paper enrollment packet for some insurance questions, that confidence is likely to be replaced with frustration. And unfortunately that frustration is often turned toward HR.

But an HRIS can help keep that confidence intact by providing one location that can tie in with all associated systems to easily offer access to benefits details.

8. Master Data Management (MDM)

Where are all of the pertinent HR docs? Saved on the drive? Maybe on the old server? Is the latest on your desktop? A Teams folder? Are things tucked into email messages? Is that something you shared on Slack?

Document management has always been a concern and that concern has only grown as we’ve increasingly moved into a virtual working environment. An HRIS provides a centralized storage location for all important employee documentation, starting with that initial recruiting contact. And, its self-service features mean that employees can upload and review the documents they need, when they need them. And regardless of when that is, they’ll be certain to get the right version, every time.

What HRIS Doesn’t Do

There is one thing an HRIS doesn’t do, it doesn’t replace the humanity of HR. The heart and soul of HR has always been their ability to be empathetic as they help employees at their company develop their potential.

Benefits to Using HRIS Software

Some HR leaders may be under the (false) assumption that their company is “not big enough” to see real talent management benefits from an HRIS. In fact there are numerous benefits that any HR team could see by engaging with HRIS software. Four of the key benefits are:

  1. The ability capture and customize employee information in real time
  2. Having a centralized location to store all HR documents for easy access
  3. Streamlining hiring processes
  4. Empowering employees with a self-service portal to be more active in their development

Why Use an HRIS?

Using HRIS software can enable HR leaders to concentrate on the more tactical facets of the job including:

  • Boosting productivity
  • Supercharging engagement
  • Reducing turnover

You don’t want to leave these decisions down to a gut-feeling—that’s why HRIS software gives HR leaders the tools they need to analyze data and spot trends.

How HR Software Helps Employees

The upside of HR software doesn’t stop there. Employees will also be empowered with self-service functionality. For example:

  • Candidate text messaging keeps applicants in the loop during the recruitment and hiring process.
  • Mobile accessibility means employees can access whatever they need to know, from wherever they are.
  • Smarter scheduling tools for things like shift-swapping give employees more power over their time.

Ultimately, when companies are able to devote more resources to the strategic aspects of HR like learning and development, compensation planning and performance management, employees will benefit. And when they do, the company benefits as well.

How Paycor Helps

Paycor creates HR software for leaders who want to make a difference. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to, and partnering with, leaders so we know what they need: HR technology that saves time, powerful analytics that provide actionable insights and dedicated support from HR experts. That’s why more than 29,000 businesses trust Paycor to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.