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What even is an HRIS – and how to know you need one

Did you know that companies spend almost four months deciding on their HRIS? You don't have to spend that much time. The more you know, the better decisions you'll make. You may now be thinking, "Excuse me, what is an HRIS?" Well, you are in safe hands now. Let's delve deeper.

Alexandros Pantelakis
Alexandros Pantelakis

HR content specialist at Workable, delivering in-depth, data-driven articles to offer insights into industry and tech trends.

What is an HRIS

For small business owners, the journey to effective human resource management is often fraught with challenges. Limited resources and expertise can make traditional HR processes cumbersome and inefficient. 

HRIS enters the room…

By utilizing an HRIS software you can make your business life a lot easier. This technology can ameliorate significantly the way small businesses handle their HR tasks. 

After all, it is no coincidence that 25% of companies identify better functionality as a top reason for using an HRIS. 

And guess what? This article is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of HRIS and its transformative potential for small businesses. 

What is an HRIS?

Don’t panic. A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a software solution that integrates and automates various human resource functions into one centralized system. This is not as technical as it sounds. It really is a software that you can just install on your computer or use it online to help you manage your employees.

It is designed for everyday people to manage employee data, streamline HR processes, and provide strategic insights into workforce management. 

HRIS systems vary in complexity and features, but they all serve the primary purpose of making HR management more efficient and data-driven​​.

What can an HRIS do?

Enough with the terminology. Let’s see now how an HRIS can help small business owners or HR professionals do their job in practice.

Here’s a list of the most popular features of an HRIS: 

  1. Onboard new hires
  2. Consolidating all Paid Time Off (PTO) requests in one place for easy tracking and approval
  3. Automatically updating employee records when they change personal details like address or phone number
  4. Generating payroll automatically, including calculating deductions and taxes
  5. Scheduling and tracking employee performance reviews and storing the outcomes
  6. Providing a portal for employees to access their pay stubs and tax forms.
  7. Monitoring employee training progress and certifications.
  8. Generating compliance reports for labor laws and regulations.
  9. Offering analytics on workforce trends like turnover rates or average time in position.
  10. Sending out automatic reminders for important dates like work anniversaries or certification renewals.
  11. Facilitating internal job postings and transfers within the organization.
  12. Enabling managers to approve expense reports and travel requests.

And this is just for starters. Can you now imagine how helpful an HRIS could be for your organization? 

An HRIS can save you a significant amount of time and money, and also help you identify areas that require human intervention. 

Why do small businesses need an HRIS?

Like everyone operating in a market, all small business were in a position where they were trying to handle different situations and focus on their company’s growth. That is the way to make a small business bigger and bigger. 

However, it comes with no surprise that small businesses often grapple with managing HR tasks efficiently.

Business owners often cope with payroll, schedules, and employee time off manually, either on paper or in spreadsheets. This outdated approach not only consumes a significant amount of time but also introduces the potential for errors, leading to a frustrating experience for you who seek efficiency and accuracy in your day-to-day operations. 

HRIS offers an easy way to deal with these challenges by automating processes such as payroll, benefits administration, and employee data management. This automation not only increases efficiency but also aids in maintaining compliance with various regulatory requirements​​. 

At least, this is what 35.3% of small business owners believe when it comes to increased efficiency

Benefits of implementing HRIS in small businesses

We believe that by now, you have received all the information you need to begin implementing an HRIS. However, if you still can’t find the answer to the question ‘why do I need one,’ please allow us to describe some of the benefits of this software.

Efficiency and time savings: Automation of routine HR tasks leads to significant time savings and enhanced operational efficiency.

Data accuracy and security: HRIS minimizes human errors and securely manages sensitive employee data.

Compliance and risk management: It helps in staying compliant with the constantly changing labor laws and regulations.

Employee self-service: Employees can access and manage their own HR-related data, reducing the administrative burden on HR staff.

Scalability: As the business grows, HRIS can easily adapt and scale according to the changing needs.

Choosing the right HRIS for your business

Selecting an appropriate HRIS requires careful consideration of various factors:

Cost and budget

Evaluate the cost of the HRIS against the budget and expected ROI.

Features and functionalities 

Ensure the HRIS has all the necessary features that meet the specific needs of your business.

Ease of use and training

The system should be user-friendly and require minimal training for staff and employees.

Integration capabilities 

Ensure that the HRIS can integrate with other business software and tools for seamless operations.

Vendor reputation and support 

Research the vendor’s reputation in the market and the level of customer support and training they provide.

For small businesses, an HRIS is not just a tool for managing HR processes; it’s a strategic asset that drives efficiency, compliance, and growth. 

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to understand how it works, as most of them – and especially ours – are incredibly user-friendly and designed for everyday people like me and you.

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