Ease the Future. Implement HRIS.

If you are still doubting whether your company is ready to implement a HRIS, take your time and find out just how beneficial it can be for the future of your business

Due to the increasing presence of globalization and technology, within the last decades information systems have been used in various functions and departments.

Most of the organizations choose to replace several related systems, such as personnel database, payroll and benefit system, with one HRIS that takes care of it all.

HRIS is indeed a must have!

Yet often organizations do not realize that implementation of a new HRIS will most likely have a much deeper effect on the company than anticipated thus challenging the operating structure and principles of all the HR-related departments.

This article will provide some general information about HRIS and choosing the most appropriate system, as well as broaden your view on HRIS benefits and drawbacks, its development throughout the years and, most importantly, visible proof that HRIS is indeed a must have!

Implementation of a new HRIS will most likely have a much deeper effect on the company

Scholar C. Cathcart (1999) defines a human resource information system (HRIS)  as “a systematic procedure for collecting, storing, maintaining, retrieving, and validating data needed by an organization about its human resources“.

In addition, Horney and Ruddle (1998) refer to HRIS as an organizational support that ensures that internal operations are running smoothly.

According to Business Dictionary, HRIS is “a system which seeks to merge the activities associated with human resource management (HRM) and information technology (IT) into one common database through the use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software”.

No matter what industry you’re in, you need an efficient human resources process in order to reach your business goals

The first computerized information systems have been used since the 1950s when the installation of automated payroll systems marked its way to the HRIS we get to experience today.

For an easy comprehension, HRIS consists of three major functions:

  1. input,
  2. data maintenance,
  3. and output.

Input function = all the employee-related information is entered into the system. (data entry, scanning the original documents)

Data maintenance function = new data are updated and added to the database.

Output function = information is generated


Here’re a few reasons why organizations choose to implement a HRIS

  1. To improve HR productivity;
  2. To reduce errors and maintain compliance;
  3. To perform analyses.

Moreover, the use of HRIS significantly improves efficiency thus allowing the HR staff the shift from data maintenance to the strategic use of human resources.

Transaction processing systems, communication systems, decision support systems and elements of artificial intelligence are all part of today’s HRIS.

HRIS software delivers workable solutions to your business, but it’s not always easy to find the right system

Currently, one of the newest trends in HRISs is employee self-service (ESS) – a technology that allows managers to access HR databases without the assistance of the HR department.

It is proven to be very successful, ensuring reduction in transaction costs (HR Technology is Fueling Profits, Cost Savings & Strategy, 2006) as well as lead to less transcription errors when the employee directly enters his information. (Turek, 2000)


When designing a HRIS, follow these steps:

1) Specify the system requirements

Identify who are going to be the target users? What data will be collected? What is the amount of data and how often to collect the data?

2) Design the business system

Identify who will utilize the system? How will it be accessed? How will it be updated?

In the modern workplace, an HRIS is a hybrid of several different types of information systems

An integrated HRIS – one that contains a comprehensive set of human resource functions – is fundamental because it allows the organization to use the system to access data and make decisions.

In her study Kelly O. Weeks emphasizes the importance of HRIS by pointing out that  “an organization will typically use the system for a period of at least eight years”.

Furthermore, her observations show that the selection process can last from three to nine months. Organizations can either reach out to a specialist to recommend a system or purchase an already existing software – CakeHR. Organizations often choose off-the-shelf software to reduce the costs associated with HRISs.

Human Resource Information System

Yet organizations often come to realize that installation of a software designed to fit the “generic” organization does not work for all organizations. If the organization is flexible and willing to learn, the move to an off-the-shelf system can be manageable.

Whereas, if the organization is diverse and resistant to changes, this shelf system often turns out to be unsuccessful. Without diligence and necessary research project team will soon realize that there are not enough resources to implement the HRIS.

The use of an HRIS offers incremental leaps in the efficiency and the response time of many human resource jobs that are traditionally labor intensive

To successfully implement an integrated HRIS, HR management must be actively involved in scoping, implementation, cutover, resourcing and management.

Often companies choose the seemingly easiest route and pay the consultant to perform an implementation. You might think that paying somebody to do precisely what you need might ease the whole process. The truth is – these companies risk becoming dependent on external resources long-term.


What is needed for a HRIS implementation?

  1. Clear understanding “why”
  2. Dedicated team members
  3. Training
  4. Analytical skills
  5. Current business process reengineering and customization 



  1. Ability to consistently develop and manage employees based on their contribution
  2. Cutting repetitive work and speeding the pace thus improving productivity
  3. Relief from clerical transactions to focus on strategic planning
  4. Increased efficiency and profitability


Are you wondering how to cut HRIS related costs?

Well, the move to a web-based system or a corporate intranet is currently the top strategy within organizations that utilize HRIS. The use of these systems improves efficiency. For employees that are familiar with the Internet, using a web-based system is easy.

The use of a web-based system allows the corporation to control the channels of communication to ensure that the information is presented accurately. Moreover, it also benefits the employees because they can access information quickly.

Web-based HR systems can reduce administration cost by 40%. This is especially effective in tasks that require much data entry and can be performed directly by the employee.

Web-based HR systems can reduce administration cost by 40%

Another way to cut the costs is to choose application service providers (ASP) that aid the recruitment aspect of the organization. For example, providers like JobPlanet are there to provide with a high-end, customer-friendly website, facilitating processes like applicant resume preparation, job searches, and availability notifications. Another system is Best! Imperativ HRMS. This system is a lot like the more expensive programs just way more affordable.

Most integrated HRIS packages are very sophisticated in the functionality and processes they offer

The rising costs of HRIS and the related softwares are a leading cause for many organizations to reconsider whether to make such large investments or to let outside vendors take care of it.

Payroll, relocation services, and FMLA compliances are only a few functions that can be outsourced effectively. In the process of selecting unknown companies to manage the HRIS, you need to make sure that the chosen company is the right fit with the right expertise to be able to perform the necessary functions.



Enough of the theory and speculations. Here’s some numbers that everybody’s been waiting for the most.

A research carried out by Kelly O. Weeks contained a survey that targeted 234 department managers and area supervisors working for a major household appliance manufacturer and asked them to respond to 12 questions related to the line employees that were employed before the implementation of HRIS and those who are presently working in their departments (total number of employees around 12600).

The main goal was to compare the performance of the previously employed workers and those who had been employed since the implementation of the system, later studying the effects brought by the introduction of HRIS.

Results were the following:

implementing HRIS software
Implementing HRIS software

HRISare rapidly becoming a vital part to the successful and skillful operation of the modern organization.Taking the leap from basic record-keeping to a full-blown human resource information system can be extremely intimidating, regardless whether a company has any previous experience with such systems or not.  

While finding the right fit for your company is challenging, an effective HRIS provides information on just about anything – be it tracking and analyzing the information about your former, current or potential employees.

Be patient! It may take years for your company to adjust to the new HRIS. Changes throughout the organization are inevitable and so is employee resistance, yet be aware of these natural tendencies and proactively prepare for the new world you are about to enter.

Overall, the author of the research concluded that an improvement can be seen in EVERY aspect of the job studied in this research, proving the usefulness, efficiency and necessity of HRIS implementation.