IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
IceHrm IceHrm team write blogs and tutorials about using IceHrm efficiently to manage HR activities of your organization. Create Your IceHrm installtion here:

Types of HRIS

  Reading Time:

When looking at HRIS solutions, acronyms and associated definitions can be confusing. If these terms are not well understood, it can be more difficult to identify the software solutions that will best serve your organization.

What do HR systems manage?

The first step to understanding different software solutions is to understand what the systems manage. HRM stands for Human Resources Management and can refer to both the technological and human aspects of aligning people's work with broader organizational goals. TMS stands for Talent Management Systems and can be used to focus more specifically on specific areas of the organization to achieve goals. ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Software and refers to the management of information collected from potential employees. When these acronyms become clear, it is easy to see how different software solutions can best manage each area.

What are the most important HR software solutions?

The three main abbreviations used to describe human resource management systems are HRIS, HCM and HRMS. Each type of system has explicit capabilities and features that are best suited to different organizational needs. It is important to understand these differences before purchasing a new system.

Vendors often refer to HCM and HRMS at the same time as HRIS and use these terms almost interchangeably. Marketing professionals and analysts may also talk about HRM, TMS and ATS. Once all these different acronyms and their meanings are understood, it is easy to see that using acronyms saves time, but it may seem like a different language until then.

Confusion about the types of HRIS systems: HRIS vs HCM vs HRMS in the search for new technological solutions for HR? These acronyms have caused confusion in the industry as vendors, marketers and analysts seem to share the use of these terms in marketing their technology solutions. Many other acronyms are used to describe HR software solutions such as HRM (Human Resource Management), TMS (Talent Management System), ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and LMS (Learning Management System), but the three most commonly used terms to describe HR, payroll and/or talent management software are;

  • HRIS (Human Resources Information System)
  • HCM (Human Capital Management)
  • HRMS (Human Resources Management System)

So what is the difference between these types of HRIS systems? HRIS vs HCM vs HRMS?

When considering HRIS solutions, acronyms and related definitions can be confusing. If you do not fully understand these terms, it can be more difficult to identify the software solutions that are most beneficial to your organization.

HRIS -  Human Resources Information System

HCM - Redirect to HRM Human Resource Management - (HRM, or simply HR) is a function in organizations that is designed to maximize the performance of employees in the service of the employer's strategic goals. HR is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, with a focus on policies and systems. Human resources departments and units within organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including recruitment, employee training, performance appraisal and compensation (e.g., managing compensation and benefit systems). The Human Resources department also deals with industrial relations, that is, the balance between organizational practices and regulations resulting from collective bargaining and government legislation.

HRMS - Human Resources Management System (HRMS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS), refers to the systems and processes at the interface between Human Resources Management (HRM) and information technology [1]. It links HRM as a discipline, and in particular its core HR activities and processes, with the field of information technology, while the programming of data processing systems has developed into standardised routines and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

If these definitions have given you a better understanding of the difference, do not go any further. Vendors often speak of HCM and HRMS simultaneously and use these terms almost interchangeably. Marketing professionals and analysts may also talk about HRM, TMS and ATS. Once all these different acronyms and their meanings are understood, it is easy to see that using acronyms saves time, but up to this point it may seem like another language.


HRIS stands for Human Resources Information Systems. HRIS software is useful for managing the policies and procedures that guide employees. HRIS software also helps companies organize and make employee information accessible.

HRIS solutions can typically help companies in the following areas:
  • Recruitment / ATS (Applicant Tracking System)
  • Core Human Resources
  • Performance Management / Open Registration
  • Absence management
  • Compensation Management
  • Training and Development
  • Workflow
  • Self-service (candidate/employee/manager)
  • Reports


HCM stands for Human Capital Management. These systems are usually somewhat more comprehensive than HRIS systems and include most elements of HRIS systems, but also have additional capabilities such as talent management. HCM systems are often able to deliver translations between several languages and currencies. In addition, HCM solutions have features that can help companies with many aspects of planning. Salary planning, goal setting, budgeting, and succession planning can be performed with HCM systems. Performance analysis and evaluation can also be used to monitor progress and make changes to plans.

Here are the most important functional elements that a vendor can call an HCM solution;
  • HRIS
  • Integration
  • Performance and goal management
  • Position control / budgeting
  • Succession planning
  • Salary planning
  • Global
  • Analytics


HRMS stands for Human Resources Management Systems. HRMS solutions generally contain the functions of HRIS and can include some elements of HCM systems. Most human resources management solutions include functions to support time and labor management and, at the same time, functions to support salary administration. In addition to these functions, HRMS solutions can be very different. Some HRMS solutions can provide planning and evaluation tools, while others focus primarily on organizing employee information. Some may provide planning functions, others may not. When considering HRMS solutions, it is very important to ensure that the system in question provides all the necessary functions, as these systems are very different.

  • Payroll
  • Time and labor management (TLM)
Not all HRMS vendors offer programming capabilities in their offerings

This should bring some clarity to these three acronyms, but it is fairly easy to get sucked into the confusion over the types of HRIS systems. Here are two simple scenarios in which the lines can be even more blurred:

Talent Management vendors mainly refer to their offerings as "HCM" or "Talent Management" (TM) because they elevate their identity and solution beyond best-in-class applications. Most of the sensitivities that convince potential executives to invest in new HRIS, HCM or HRMS systems are those surrounding talent management capabilities, which can be overlooked because the fundamentals are taken for granted. Should talent management be included under the acronym HCM or remain independent?

Vendors of stand-alone time and labor management systems generally refer to their offerings as "workforce management," but they can be grouped under the acronym HRMS. Does workforce management fall under the acronym HRMS or should it be referred to as Time & Attendance?

The HR technology industry continues to evolve at the speed of light with the arrival of new cloud computing providers and consistent M&A activity. I don't think vendors and analysts agree 100% with these definitions, but I believe that by defining acronyms and applying a specific level of functionality to each term, HR technology vendors can be better evaluated.

If you’re looking for a Human Resource Management system, we suggest you IceHrm which is one of the best HRIS systems which has so many HR functions automated into one system.

IceHrm is a Human resource management system for small and medium-sized organizations. This HRM software centralizes employee data and allows only one authorized person to access it, providing a high level of security. The presence module monitors employee time based on information about insertion and perforation. It covers all the basic HRM needs of a company such as Time Management, Training, and Development, Attendance Management, Expense management, leave management, Recruitment management and handling employee information.

Benefits of a cloud-based HR system

Today, human resources are no longer limited to the back office dealing with document batches. Thanks to the Internet and modern technology, the HR department has...

Common HRIS Systems

An HRIS, also known as Human Resources Information System or Human Resources Management System (HRMS), is actually an intersection of human resources and information technology through...

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.