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Is it Worth Investing in a Human Resources Information System?

hr best practices hr department hr essentials hr for small business hr technology Dec 18, 2023

Once upon a time, in a world not too long ago, there was a department called Personnel that sat at the end of the hall. The desks were metal and had a typewriter on each one, perfect for completing the endless forms that were required. There were walls of file cabinets that contained employee files, past and present. Stacks of resumes were found about, as the team tried to decide who should be brought in for the latest round of interviews.

This was all necessary to meet the needs of the management team and the compliance obligations from the government.

So, what has changed today?

Primarily, the biggest change is in the way we go about handling these activities. We still need to track time, save resumes, complete forms, and meet compliance obligations. The beauty of it all is that we can do everything electronically now.

You know you need up to date technology, but your executives ask: why invest in a Human Resources Information System.  There are so many things to spend money on.  Just because we can handle the human resources information flow electronically now, does it mean we should? The answer is a resounding “yes!”

Here’s why your organization should invest in a Human Resources Information System (HRIS):

  • Well, for starters, because it saves time and money. Efficiency and accuracy are both increased as is the access to information by the team. The best part is they aren’t that expensive any longer either.
  • For organizations with less than 250 employees, the perfect solution is often a payroll service which can provide complete HRIS at a fraction of the cost of standalone products. Generally, for a few dollars per employee, you can have all the bells and whistles of a large organization with minimal setup and ongoing maintenance.
  • Larger organizations will usually have a system that either stands alone or is part of the payroll system. In either case, the databases will speak to one another, allowing for the integration of information that is essential to the management of any business with human capital.

How to Find the Right Human Resources Information System

What should you look for in an HRIS that supports management-level decision-making? These are our top picks for solutions every HR system must have:

Employee Files

There is no reason for paper files anymore.   Electronic records take no room to store, are retained forever, and make management access much easier (which means no more bothering HR for them). They can be password-protected with the same access privileges as the once-famous locked file cabinet, too.  You could simply do this on your current SharePoint drive as long as it can be protected from others.

Applicant Tracking

This is simpler than you might think and is essential to manage the influx of applications businesses receive. A good system will allow you to collect and retain information on candidates, then easily move those hired into your payroll system.  Most of the job boards today do provide the critical components of applicant sorting, storage and communication included in the cost of the ad.  It doesn’t need to be expensive, but every HR department needs to be able to electronically move candidates through the pipeline.


All timekeeping today should be electronic. This includes all manners in tracking time “used” by your employees, whether it be the actual time worked, paid time off, years of service, etc. All employee data management of this type is easily stored in HRIS.

Performance Management

Having everything in one place makes tracking issues much simpler for all. A good system will allow you to input goals, send reminders, track success, and so on. Find a system that allows for full-cycle performance management and use it to its fullest potential.

An HRIS for Every Organization

Depending on the size of your organization and your budget, there is an HRIS for you. Take the time to implement it properly and train others on the benefits and use. You will find the most significant benefit of your new human resources information system is the time and data it provides your HR team, so that it may start operating at a strategic level and adding noticeable value to the organization.

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