Any human resource information system (HRIS) is only as good as the information it contains and the ability of the proper people to access that info. Recognizing this fact, many small to mid-sized companies are now moving away from a simple paper and file system to a computerized one that allows more flexibility, enhanced accessibility and greater security while still remaining easy to implement and use.
While the first HRIS that a company obtains is generally sold as complete module, all HRISs can be customized to fit the HR needs of a company as it grows. For example, “on-boarding” activities, training modules and performance review functions can be incorporated into almost any system. In addition, the scale of the system can also grow with the company and there is essentially no limit to the number of employee records that can be efficiently stored.
The ability to access information from any location in the company without having to interact with the HR staff is one of the most powerful features of an in-house HRIS. Managers can input hiring, training and counseling info and leave the HR staff with just a gate keeping task.
Similarly, managers can access pay, training and review info about current employees. This ease of access is doubly beneficial as the manger has the info immediately and the HR staff can concentrate on other matters as it is not inundated with requests for information.
These two issues revolve around the actual process of maintaining and accessing the hardware and the information. In the first case, the physical location of the electronic files is under your direct control. There is no need to be concerned with third party access as in a “cloud-based” solution.
In a similar vein, you or your IT team controls all access to the information. Several levels of permissions can be granted so that managers, HR staff and employees can obtain the information that they need directly from the server through any connected site. These connected sites can be made available on the Internet or, for more security, only on the company intranet.
Remembering and fulfilling the necessary legal requirements when dealing with hiring, firing and other HR issues is a complicated and, sometimes, fruitless exercise. An HRIS can be designed to serve as a gatekeeper on any of these processes. A manager or HR person can be required to fulfill one step in the process before moving to the next. A well designed system can facilitate any HR operation and guarantee that all corporate and governmental mandates are observed.
Ease of Implementation & Use
The preceding benefits are all important factors when considering an HRIS. Still, the system will not be embraced by the employees if it is difficult to maintain or use. For this reason, a qualified HRIS provider should be used to aid in the installation and training of the system.
Of course, there will be a learning curve with the new system and a lag in performance while the old data is integrated with the new. This is the case with any new software and with any new process for that matter.
A thorough grounding in the essentials of the system from the outset will ensure that all involved are able to efficiently and easily use the system. In addition, the process should propagate itself as further employees are trained on the system. Without knowledge of the old, legacy system, the new employees will force any of the “old guard” to utilize this new and effective business tool.
About the Author
Carolyn Sokol writes about issues that may affect small businesses such as human resources, HRMS and HRM Software. She is a founder of PEOcompare.com and contributor to compareHRIS.com which both help match businesses to the right HR or Payroll Service provider for their particular needs.
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