Effective HR policies and practices are the cornerstone of a well-performing company, but the effort involved in proper recordkeeping can sometimes be overwhelming. A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) can help ease the burden of your day-to-day tasks by taking your manual processes and bringing them online. An HRIS system will consolidate all the important employment-related information about your employees and give you a central location to view, manage, and report on your organization.
Where To Begin When Choosing An HRIS System
Start by evaluating your current workflows and processes. What are you spending the most time on? What are your biggest pain points? Identifying where you’re currently inefficient will give you a good place to start looking. HRIS systems offer many features, but be sure to focus on the ones you will actually use instead of the ones you might use. Keeping it simple, especially to start, will help increase adoption and usage of the system.
What To Look For
One of the biggest benefits of an HRIS system is the introduction of electronic workflows. Moving a process from pen and paper to an electronic method can increase productivity and reduce errors. Furthermore, most systems can be configured with business rules specific to your business or employees, so the right information is getting delivered to the right people.
Some of the workflows you will find in an HRIS system include:
- Electronic onboarding: New employees can fill out their employment forms electronically, including their I-9, W-4, direct deposit, benefit elections forms, and more.
- Employee separation: Terminating an employee.
- Leaves of absence: Track any employees on a leave.
- Pay rate changes: Manage and schedule pay rate changes.
- Performance management: Track performance reviews and other metrics for your employees.
- Training, skills, and certifications: Track the trainings, skills, and certifications your employees hold, including the dates they need to be renewed by.
Most workflows can be configured to add approval procedures as well. If new hires and terminations require manager approval, you can configure the workflow to require that approval before completing. Approvals can provide an important check and balance to your workflows, but be careful not to overdo it to the point that your employees end up stalled in an approval queue.
Storing Records & Reporting
Another major benefit to an HRIS system? It stores all your data for you, creates electronic personnel files, and tracks all the changes you make to an employee’s record. Having proper records are important in case of an audit or lawsuit. Be sure the system you choose lets you easily retrieve and report on this data, because there’s no benefit to information you can’t view. Identify some metrics that are important to your organization, and make sure the system will track and report on it in a meaningful way.
Re-evaluate As You Go
Be sure to periodically re-evaluate the system and workflows you’re using and adjust as your business changes. You want your HRIS system to support your business, so don’t bend your workflows to fit the system if it doesn’t.