Understand the HRIS Input Requirements

Have a Full Understanding of your HRIS Input Requirements Before You Purchase

A new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) can save you tremendous amounts of time and make you and your staff far more effective at your job, but it is important to understand work will be required to maintain the database and maximize results. I would estimate that at least 20% of companies purchasing HR software, and other HR technology related products, stop using those products within six months because they are unable to keep up with the input required to maintain the data. So it is extremely important before you have your company make an investment into an HR information system that you have a complete understanding of exactly how much input will be required from you and your staff. Follow these steps to minimize the amount of data you have to manually input into your human resources application.

HRIS Setup Input

Before selecting an HRIS system, you need to have a complete understanding of what data will be imported into your system and where that data is coming from. You may have the data in Excel, a payroll system, or another HR product. Regardless how much data you have in another product, there will still be required input. Rarely will you have the capability of importing benefits data or history, so it’s important to understand that this data will have to be manually input the majority of the time. Any data that you can’t import, or that is not available in another system, will have to be manually input as well. I would recommend asking for an exact list of data fields that will be populated from other sources by the implementation team; ensure it is included in the contract and the scope of the engagement.

Use HR Software Interfaces Wherever Possible

Interfaces allow for data to be transferred from one system to another, but they are not real time and require some type of action to transfer the data. The advantage of an interface is that it can save tremendous amounts of time associated with manual entry. That saved time can mean the difference between a helpful product that your employees use and one that they abandon because it’s too cumbersome. If you are using one system for HR and a different product for payroll, make sure you have an interface for transferring data included in the scope of the project. It’s important to note that while this step will reduce your input requirements and time investment, it won’t eliminate them; there are numerous fields in an HR product that your payroll system may not offer, and they will have to be manually updated. Also remember that historical and benefits data are rarely included in Payroll interfaces.  

Maintaining the Database

To receive maximum benefit from your HR management system, you should make sure that the data in that system is up to date and accurate. Interfaces and a good implementation can assist with this, but additional work is always required. For example, all of your code tables for job titles, department titles, and benefits codes will be created at setup, but there will eventually be additions and changes to this information. Whether you’re using an interface or an integrated system, input will be required on your end to maintain the database. Make sure you have a plan in place as to when data will be input and who will maintain it.

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