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Why do You Need to Invest in Human Resource Information System?

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What's an HRIS?

Put simply, an HRIS system is the integration of HR activities and information technology. It enables data entry, tracking and management for HR, payroll and accounting. Since most HR teams use an HRIS to improve their processes and to stay organised, it is good for everyone working with HR to be familiar with some HRIS basics, such as the variants and definition of HRIS, what an HRIS does, which organisations need HRIS and how an HRIS is best used. Whether you are new to HR, a manager who wants to get a better picture of the world of your HR team, or someone in between, we hope that this HRIS overview will be useful to you!

What does HRIS stand for?

While most seem to think that HRIS stands for Human Resource Information System, some insist that the "S" actually stands for software.

HRIS vs. HRIS System vs. HRIS Software

It may not be as controversial as how to pronounce crayon or caramel, but the terminology for the software used by HR professionals is far from universal. We see all three options - HRIS, HRIS system and HRIS software - together with a fourth, less common option, the Human Resource Management System (HRMS). But the old HRIS is the most widely used option. This is probably because many people feel that the HRIS system and HRIS software are redundant. However, as there is no agreement on what the "S" stands for, it is not necessarily wrong to add "system" or "software".

What does HRIS software do?

An HRIS helps companies to organise and manage personal data:
  • Employee demographic information such as birth date, gender, contact information and more
  • Workplace information for employees such as manager, department, wage rates and more
  • Selection of services
  • Time off credits and applications

Because all this information is tracked in one place, it serves as a single source of accurate data and often allows users to create reports that can be used to identify trends and make business decisions.

What are the advantages of HRIS?

There are many reasons to use an HRIS:

The organisation: With an HRIS you will never have to comb through filing cabinets or search through different versions of spreadsheets again. Any information you need can be easily collected, tracked, updated and searched in seconds.

Compliance: A good HRIS provider keeps track of HR-relevant regulations and adapts its software so that companies can easily meet compliance requirements. For example, BambooHR recently announced that we comply with all requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Saving time: Many lengthy HR processes are made quick and easy with an HRIS. For example, applying for and approving leave of absence only takes a few seconds. Accruals and balances are tracked automatically. And once these policies are in place, HR professionals don't have to spend time maintaining them.

HR strategy: When HR has fewer operational tasks to perform, it can use its valuable skills and time for strategic HR initiatives to improve business results. Improving employee retention, increasing productivity, and monitoring corporate culture are just some of the ways HR can spend its time when it has an HRIS.

Employee experience: Top-class employees like top-class employers. A good HRIS can help to improve employees' perception of their company. Whether it is a smooth and fast induction process, an app that allows them to look up an employee's contact information, or the ability to make updates and request time off, a good HRIS can help to make employees have a better experience.

Convenience: Many of our customers say that their HRIS helps them look like HR rock stars because it is convenient and easy to use. Executives are impressed with its ability to do things like report compilation in seconds and HR professionals appreciate that it only takes a few clicks.

Overall, the benefits of an HRIS often outweigh the purchase price. Of course, you should evaluate the value of any HRIS you are considering to ensure that it is the most appropriate for your organization.

When should I get an HRIS system for my company?

At some point, it becomes impractical (and perhaps even a compliance issue) to track all your employees' information in spreadsheets. In most cases, we recommend that companies with 25 or more employees get an HRIS system. With this size, it becomes difficult to collect, update and track multiple pieces of information for each employee.

It also becomes difficult for each employee to have a meaningful relationship with each other. It is therefore crucial for the HR department to carefully consider the culture and experience of the employees. With an HRIS, the HR department has the freedom to focus on these higher-level elements.

Of course, this recommendation may vary for 25 employees, depending on how advanced your organisation's HR goals are. We have some clients with less than 25 employees, but their managers are incredibly invested in providing HR with the necessary resources and creating an excellent employee experience. For these smaller companies, using an HRIS allows their HR manager to focus on more strategic tasks or to manage the HR department as one of several roles.

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How many employees can an HRIS handle?

This really depends on the system you choose. Not all systems are the same, because not all organizations are created equal. A company with 25 employees has very different needs than an organization with 3,000 employees.

Some HRIS vendors peddle a one-size-fits-all approach, which in most cases does not really suit anyone. These providers say that their maximum number of users is practically unlimited. Instead, we recommend that companies look for an HRIS that focuses on organisations within a certain size range.

Although we support some very large companies with up to 1000 employees, we know that our HR software is best suited for companies with 25-500 employees. We focus on this group and build our HR software to meet their needs.

Features of the HRIS software

The characteristics of HRIS vary widely, but the most common are:
  • Employee database and directory
  • 401k tracking
  • Prosecution of applicants
  • Administration of the services
  • Payroll
  • Scheduling
  • Time and attendance
  • Tracking of the time lapse
  • Electronic signatures
  • Customizable and standard reports
  • Employee self-service
More advanced systems go beyond simple tracking and provide features that allow HR managers to leverage the experience and culture of employees with features such as:
  • Self entry of the employee
  • Performance Management
  • Mobile applications

When searching for an HRIS, try not to think of functions such as a shopping list of items to be checked off. Just because a system claims to do everything, does not mean that it does everything well. Identify your organisation's biggest challenges and evaluate your options according to how well the HRIS solves these problems. Pay attention to usability as well. If your software is overly complicated, no one will use it - and if no one uses it, no one benefits much.

What are some examples of HRIS systems?

So you understand the features offered, but how exactly do they work? There are several examples of HRIS systems that can help you streamline key HR tasks:

Payroll and benefits administration: Probably the most time consuming part of HR administration is payroll and benefits administration. HRIS databases help to alleviate the headaches associated with these processes. For example, an HRIS can collect and store payroll and benefits data for each employee. It can keep track of your full-time and part-time employees and give them full access to information on their benefits. It can also help your team decide what types of benefits might be appropriate for your company.
Candidate tracking: Most HRIS systems offer a candidate tracking system, where all CVs can be collected and stored in one place by name and location. In addition, features such as automatic rankings and keyword searches allow you to filter resumes to find the right candidate for the job.
Onboarding checklist: HRIS can provide an employee self-service that allows HR managers to send new hires at their own pace to complete onboarding tasks (paperwork, training, etc.) before the first day. They can create electronic signatures to help fill out paperwork, as well as introductory e-mails to encourage contact with the new employees' future colleagues.
It is important to remember that not all HRIS systems are the same, as companies are not the same. Therefore, some companies may use different types of HRIS systems than others.

How do I use an HRIS system?

Once you have selected your HRIS system, you can take the following steps to get the most out of it:

Use it all: Make sure you make full use of the software. You pay for it, so you should use it! Take the time to understand all features. Let all your data migrate. Take your time, even if it takes a while to get used to new processes. Once you have decided on a good HRIS, the benefits of using the new system far outweigh the initial pain of setting it up and making adjustments.
Focus on implementation: Ensuring that your staff and managers adopt your HRIS is one of the best ways to take full advantage of your new system. The first step is, of course, choosing a user-friendly HRIS, but you can also provide training to facilitate implementation. If employees are using the software, you can rely on them for updates. Your participation in the new processes will also save you time. When managers use the software, they can access their own reports and benefit from the additional information.
Lean on the vendor: Your HRIS provider should be your partner. He should be dedicated to solving your problems and promoting your success. Choose an HRIS that understands and cares about HR, find out what customer service options they offer and ask for training for you and your staff. Then let them show you how you can get more out of your HRIS.
Stay up to date: An innovative HRIS provider will regularly update and improve its software, which means you will always get more value. But it also means that you need to take the time to keep up to date with changes so that you can take advantage of the latest and greatest features.

If you have specific questions about how to use your software, work with your vendor's team. Once you have decided on a good HRIS, the team will be ready to teach you everything you want to know.

Why are HRIS systems important?

HRIS systems reduce data duplication and human error. They make HR operations simple, efficient and productive. More importantly, HRIS provides real-time information that enables HR professionals to collect and track accurate data to create reports. This makes it easy to gain a comprehensive understanding of where your business stands and how you can spend and save money.

Managing businesses and employees can be a challenge. But if you lay the foundation for organization and automated services, you can put your business and employees on the road to success. An HRIS gives you the tools you need to take a comprehensive look at your business and identify weaknesses, strengths and opportunities for action.


Choosing an HRIS is a task that should not be taken lightly. The right system can help solve your company's biggest problems and give your HR team the freedom to make a massive strategic impact on your business. If you have any questions during your HRIS research, including whether an HRIS is the best option for your organisation or not, just give us a call! We look forward to reviewing your organization's greatest needs and making a recommendation.

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