There are two primary functions carried out by a good HR department. First, they thoroughly and completely fulfill their own duties as custodians of company records, procedures and policies. Secondly, they aim to optimize the manpower of their organization. A well designed and implemented human resource information system (HRIS) can significantly improve the efficiency of these two disparate processes.
The Human Resources Department
As any HR director can tell you, the HR department is a morass of paperwork that is intended to enforce compliance with a host of governmental and internal company policies. Managing, tracking and archiving of this information is substantially easier if the bulk of the documents are stored electronically.
In addition, an integrated HRIS system that allows input across every department of a company can tremendously reduce the duplication of effort made by its employees. No longer does the recruiter input information that is then input by the hiring manager and, yet again, by the HR person. One integrated system is accessed by all and the entire body of information, including subsequent updates, are stored in one central location.
The retrieval of information is also significantly expedited. Just imagine a situation where the home office can access the information directly instead of making requests of local HR departments. The decreased amount of phone calls, emails, and voice messages can only be imagined.
In short, instead of shuffling paperwork, your HR people can dedicate themselves to the more important aspects of their job such as finding qualified candidates, optimizing the utilization of current employees and dealing with the more problematical HR issues that face a company.
Useful Across the Entire Company
Human resource problems affect every department in a company. The repercussions are great for any company that fails to follow the law or its own internal guidelines. Unfortunately, many managers, through no fault of their own, are unaware of the correct procedures to follow when a particular HR incident occurs. With an HRIS guiding the manager, any situation from a customer injury to a sexual harassment allegation can be dealt with in the appropriate manner. The benefits to a company are enormous and wide ranging.
Other more mundane tasks can also be expedited. For instance, recruiting and hiring routinely occupy an inordinate amount of a manager’s time. This waste of man-hours is especially distressing when there are no positions to be filled or if the candidate is obviously unqualified. A well designed HRIS system can perform many of the preliminary recruiting and hiring function with little or no manager input. For instance, applications, pre-hire employee screenings and initial hiring documentation can all be handled online with an HRIS.
Similarly, the redeployment of underutilized or high performing individuals is manifestly superior with a human resources management system. A centralized database that tracks education, skills and performance reviews can lead management to the right candidate in a spectacularly shortened time frame. In addition, promotion from within a company pays multiple dividends as it retains a valuable employee, increases employee morale and decreases “poaching” from other companies.
The Next Step
The real beauty of a human resource management system is its versatility and its scalability. A company can take the first step without undermining its budget. As the gains from a decreased payroll or a more efficient workforce develop, the company can further add to the functionality of the HRIS. In short, an HRIS is an opportunity waiting to be developed. Every business should explore the possibilities.
About the Author
Carolyn Sokol writes about issues that may affect small businesses such as human resources, HRMS and HR software. She is a founder of PEOcompare.com and contributer to compareHRIS.com which help match small businesses to the right HR or Payroll Service Provider for their particular needs.
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