Following the rise of cloud computing, companies are now turning to all-in-one cloud-based Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that collect, process, store, and retrieve employee information from a single platform.
Managing human resources (HR) information has typically required manual processes or several software systems working in tandem to gather, monitor, and report on employee data.
Thankfully, modern HRIS systems can help large and small businesses alike to manage their employee data and reliably achieve their HR objectives.
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to understanding HRIS and how it can impact your business, so the team at YourShortlist has prepared this short guide to break down everything you need to know about finding the best HRIS for small business.
What are HRIS Solutions?
Human resources information systems are software solutions used to manage an organisation’s employee database and automate vital HR functions to do with information management.
Many HRIS solutions also enable self-service so employees can access their information, as well as important policies and procedures, at any time.
Human resources information systems can take various forms depending on the size and needs of an organisation, from a simple database of employee information to a training and development hub to an all-encompassing HR platform.
Companies that implement HRIS can relieve their HR team from time-consuming or monotonous tasks to leave them available to focus on people management and longer-term HR goals.
Human Resources Information System Functions
There is a variety of human resource information systems and software on the market, each of which reconciles many core HR functions within a single system. These include:
Analytics and Reporting
While rarer in HRIS systems versus standard HR management software, automated analytics and reporting features can serve a variety of functions such as absence management, employee turnover analysis, performance reports, and more to enable better-informed decision-making.
Applicant Tracking System
Applicant tracking software within an HRIS is responsible for keeping track of the company’s recruiting needs, with records of candidate information and CVs enabling recruiters to match job openings with suitable candidates and speed up the hiring process.
Benefits administration allows your Human Resources department to manage issues relating to insurance, as well as reimbursement requests and benefits such as maternity and paternity leave, company vehicles, and company phones. It is also used in managing other fringe benefits such as employee wellness programs. Some systems let you implement the ‘cafeteria’ model which allows employees to select the benefits they prefer, such as additional annual leave days or other perks.
Organisations are focusing increasingly on having employees and their direct supervisors manage their own HR data, thus lightening the administration workload for HR staff. Holidays can be booked directly by employees themselves and sick days can be logged without needing to phone into the office, with all requests immediately saved into the system and tracked for payroll and benefits purposes.
An HRIS can assist with the automation of payroll by integrating contractual data and employee salary information with time and attendance data to help create payment orders at the end of each month.
A key part of overall staff management, employee performance ratings can be generated as needed by peers, line managers, or business leaders.
A key component of human resource information systems is enabling a talent pipeline that makes it easy to find competent replacements available for key roles within the organisation.
Time & Attendance
Time and attendance modules within an HR system allow payment orders to be generated for shift workers, contractors, or any staff member billing work by the hour. It also ties into attendance tracking and can provide more oversight on employee lateness and performance.
HRIS training modules allow managers to track the status of each employee’s certifications, accreditations, and qualifications, as well as enable them to outline and schedule courses for employees. This module is often referred to as a Learning Management System (LMS).
HRIS Benefits for Small Businesses
Automated employee onboarding
An employee’s experience during the onboarding process can go a long way to influence talent retention. The automated employee onboarding features of an HRIS encourage employee satisfaction as they enable a seamless introduction process for new hires. This helps them find their feet in their new environment.
An HRIS guides employees every step of the way, with clarity regarding their roles and responsibilities and access to self-service portals, onboarding checklists, e-signature documents, interactive forms, or online welcome kits.
With onboarding admin automated by an HRIS, human resources teams can focus instead on the wellbeing and employee satisfaction aspects of onboarding and creating a welcoming experience for the new employee.
Collaboration and planning
Collaboration features enable accurate planning as team members can reach out to each other regardless of location to get tasks accomplished.
Having a human resource information system in place enables teams to work towards a common goal, further allowing HR teams to understand the talent available internally while tracking key information across the organisation.
The best HR information systems ensure the business is in good standing with international and local legislation, with all data and policies being automatically updated to ensure legal compliance.
With all employee data managed and stored by the HRIS, information is easily available for retrieval for the purposes of any audits, legal matters, or when checking employee leave against national requirements.
Whatever the size of a business, implementing an HRIS will significantly reduce costs by simply being more efficient than manual processes or multiple disparate systems.
Aside from being cost-effective, a resource management system boosts the company’s bottom line by automating tasks, cutting down on errors and the possibility of violations, and mitigating risk to improve the quality of work across all operations.
Efficiency and increased productivity
An HRIS can support multiple HR-related functions in a single system, helping organisations avoid attrition, burnout, and work overload. This added efficiency and productivity benefit employees more than several disconnected HR systems or using complex and outmoded manual processes.
Insights into company data
One of the many advantages of an HR information system is it provides the user with deep insight into their organisation. The data insights and analysis provided by an HRIS can help improve the employee experience, aid in workforce planning, boost retention rate, streamline talent acquisition, identify time-off trends, and more. With access to granular reports, stakeholders can make informed decisions and accurate forecasts for the growth of the business.
Manual task automation
An HR information system can help to do away with repetitive daily tasks by automating core HR functions, allowing staff to focus on higher-value tasks. Common workflows that can be automated to save time include:
- Accessing, editing, or adding employee information
- Applicant tracking
- Job postings
- Managing employee leave
- Notifying stakeholders
- Onboarding and offboarding
- Candidate screening
Self-service empowers employees
With their access to the HR system through a self-service portal, employees can manage their own information, view performance appraisals, and make leave requests independently without being subject to back-and-forth emails or multiple follow-ups for approval.
Single system for streamlining HR processes
At its core, an HRIS enables HR teams to recruit, onboard, engage, and manage employees through a single, unified solution. By comparison, legacy data management platforms such as spreadsheets and other paper-based methods become slow, hard to use, and unsustainable as a company grows. Companies seeking a competitive advantage would do well to replace their legacy systems with an HRIS to help centralise and streamline their HR processes and workflows, ensure accountability, and provide greater transparency.
How HRIS Reports Add Value to Your Company
Human resources information systems add value to organisations by making it easy to collate data to be reported on, providing insight for better decision-making. HR information software typically generates four primary types of reports focused on people, work, finance, and outcomes.
These types of reports show employment anniversaries and employee birthdays while tracking benefits eligibility, compliance data, hiring and recruitment logs, performance and training calendars, and more.
These show information on individual tasks and projects for employee development, such as performance assessment and development, training completion, corrective action, and quality performance analysis.
These are the reports that show how a business has been performing financially with regard to its payroll and human resources. This is achieved by showing attendance and compensation plans, benefits withheld reports, payroll distribution processes, tax information, and more.
These produce summary data for the operations team and stakeholders by considering employee turnover and cost. They also collect data on current and future talent management in addition to looking at the correlation between productivity and cost.
What to Look For in an HR Information System
Implementing a human resources information system will significantly ease your company’s workload, but to achieve the most value and smoothest implementation, you should look for a system that meets the specific needs, budget, and scale of your company.
You should look for HR information software that is best suited for your business needs and provides useful features such as:
Cloud-based systems guarantee data security, are easy to maintain, and can easily be scaled up.
Compliance features ensure your organisation meets the correct standards for whatever industrial, regional, or international regulations you must adhere to.
Having an HR information system that integrates with ERP, finance, CRM, and other software will enable easy synchronisation across multiple business processes within your organisation’s technical infrastructure.
Payroll functionality within an HR information system is important as it gives access to bonus details, payslip views, and tax information. It is also needed for calculating overtime.
Recruiting and onboarding management
Recruitment features allow users to manage important tasks ranging from job postings and onboarding, to facilitating faster recruitment cycles.
Time and attendance management
Advanced time and attendance tracking features can allow you to create region-specific holiday calendars (for businesses with international branches), manage overtime, handle employee paid and unpaid leave, and track time-off accruals/balance.
Finding the Best HRIS for Your Business
YourShortlist can help you find the ideal HR information system for your business by matching your requirements with a bespoke shortlist of HR software providers.
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If you’re on the hunt for a new HR information system, discuss your requirements with a member of our team today to receive your free, bespoke shortlist of HR software Partners.