Human Resource Information Systems


Human Resources Information Systems is an integration of information systems and HRM which enables managers to acquire, store, retrieve, analyze, manipulate and distribute relevant information about the human resources of an organization. In future, there will be world-wide mergers and acquisitions of organizations leading to formation of large companies which will find a great need of an integrated HRIS to effectively coordinate different operations of their HR. The HR is relieved of his routine activities by the HRIS since it takes over the updating of information regarding the employees (Information resources management, 2010).

The technology is thought to be useful in keeping complete, accurate, updated database that is retrievable when required from an organization's reports. HRIS is also able to reduce the costs of HR by information automation which reduces the need to have large HR employee numbers, by enabling the employees to control personally related information and by making it easy for managers to have access to relevant data and information, make decisions, conduct analysis and communicate without the need to consult an HR professional (Awazu & Desouza, 2003; Ball, 2001). Ideally, if HRIS is used appropriately, performance of administrative tasks which may include record keeping would need less people. This would consequently allow HR managers to help by providing data on strategic stages.

The human resource information resource revolution has slowly, although inevitably, had great impacts on the manner in which human resource process is practiced. The HRIS' influences are now observable in all working practices inside the function. However, the HRIS' strategic significance has recently been presented as a familiar characteristic of an organization life (Storey, 2007). The main objective of the essay is to explore the impact of the information systems

About Information Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

HRIS have developed from those systems mostly used for transactional and administrative purposes to the use of processes using IT, for instance, selection and recruitment, integrated call center technology, flexible e-learning and rewards systems, self service and shared service systems. In the course of improving technology, information systems are finding a great use in organizations in the management of a larger number of HR processes in a manner that is increasingly effective so as to contribute to information and technology considered to be strategically significant. This would consequently improve competitive advantage (Storey, 2007).

The strategically focused HRM ethos growth which has led to the increased demand for human resource information has indicated a HRIS' central role in the support of the HR function thus increasing its importance to the organization. This has also been contributed in part by a perceived increase in the HRM's strategic influence (Storey, 2007).

Impacts of HRIS to HR function

Positive Impacts of HRIS

There is need for organizations to ensure both soft and hard HRIS benefits so as to evaluate the possible achievement implementation of this new program.

It therefore assists the managers to carry out the HR functions more systematic and effective way using this technology. It also provides current and valuable information for management that is essential for strategic planning (Bhatia & Mittal, n.d).

Operational Impacts

The use of HRIS within the HR practices focuses on the operation of operational efficiency and improvement of productivity following a heavy burden of administration within the HR. This has resulted to automation of routine clerical activities and record keeping such as benefits and payroll administration in a more sensible way. Paperwork has also been eliminated thus providing room for automated systems with the potential for organizational overhead reduction leading to significant cost savings. HRIS has can also enable reduction of costs which consequently cause productivity improvement through automation of routine practices and tasks. Its impact forms the first arguments for a project to be supported and consequently funded (Reddick, 2009).

The effectiveness of HRIS is based on technology's potential impact on the role the HR function plays. The HR could be able to overcome the challenge of being more strategic and also more cost efficient and customer focused through the use of information technology. The use of HRIS implies that it is possible to accomplish much administration by use of self-service or automated systems translates to less time spent by needed by HR practitioners for administration tasks. The HR function time allows strategic management of human resources thus becoming a business partner fully.

The increased demand for detailed and accurate information can now be produced at the touch of a button as a result of the use of HRIS. This information is useful both for more support of analytical decision making and for efficiency purposes that would lead to reduction in time for management and cost. In addition, it can help in driving an organization's strategic information. Therefore, the HRIS will enable the HR function to have the HR driven strategies developed and contribute a lot to decision making in strategic business.

The introduction of the HRIS technology in companies led to a reduction of operational costs through a number of effects on the routinely processes in the business. 77% of U.S respondents and 59% from the rest of the world said that their goals of saving on administrative costs had been met according to a research carried out by Cedar Crestone in 2006 (Information resources management, 2010).

Relational Impacts

The HR function relationship with other external parties within the structure of the organization can now be influenced by HRIS technology. Through it, the HR function is able to enhance service by provision of employees and managers with remote access to the databases of HR, enabling their support on the decisions related to HR as well as empowering them to have a connection to other parties. The IT technology avails information online, HR is able to eliminate waste, enhance customization and flexibility and improve the quality of decision.

The relational aspect of the technology in the HR function has an implication on increasing service levels and timeliness with managers and employees including outside parties. As a result of increasing the ability of managers and employees to have a connection with different parts of the organization and external service providers as well as providing them with remote access to HR information and databases, they can go ahead and perform HR activities by themselves. This would facilitate reduction in response time reduction and ensure improved service levels (Reddick, 2009). Also, HRIS technology is suitable for promoting understanding and communication in an organization's HR function. The efficiency of those performing it is increased thus allowing more time for them to meet and interact with employees (Bhatia & Mittal, n.d).

Transformational Impact of HRIS

The IT transformational impact comprises of fundamental improvements both in the scope and function involving the HR department. It is about reengineering the activities of the employees with customer or client needs. This makes jobs more flexible and designed based on skills, projects and roles instead of stable tasks. Also, IT provides a more flexible workforce, sharing of information both within and outside of the organization function of the HR. The HRIS has enabled sharing of information through their communication across geographical boundaries hence the barrier of time and space has been eliminated (Reddick, 2009).

Impact of HRIS on HR - related Reports

The HRIS use capable of improving the accuracy of the information transmitted through the HR and thus the integrity of the HR data which is a driver to facilitate the technology's implementation (Information resources management, 2010).The HRIS has facilitated an effective recording and therefore satisfied the needs of the HR function hence justifiable for senior business management. Through the system, a variety of reports can be produced in the HR department within a short span (Pravin & Durai, n.d). Some of the human resource data collected and reported by several operational HRIS includes employee information systems, position control systems, selection and placement information systems, performance management information systems and government reporting and compliance information systems (Bhatia & Mittal, n.d).

By optimizing data related processes, the HRIS has helped to significantly lessen administrative burdens, for instance, tracking applicants, management and government reporting. The technology allows the employees to update and review their information and thus reducing the time spent by the HR during data entry (Bhatia & Mittal, n.d). Data stored in some organizations' HRIS may be used for calculations which are used in the HR - related practices' financial impacts. This information is also used to support the on-going programs of the HR which again demonstrates to the managers the way in which the bottom line can be impacted by the HR (Wang, 2003).

Impact of HRIS on Hiring

Hiring may take place before or after the recruitment process. HRIS plays a role in the hiring process since it does not only make it easier to find suitable candidates, but also believed to bring down recruitment cost and the cost per hire. Some believe this system can be important when deciding when to hire. Those who support the system based on the above benefits comprise low statistics probably because of the smaller size of the organizations they represent or they have accepted the cultural hiring behavior practiced in that organization. It changes the perception of the top management that the HR department is merely an administrative tool and not considering it as a serious key player in setting the strategic organization priorities such as hiring.

It is also difficult, without the use of HRIS, to selection of the best candidate if profiles making and maintain is not done properly. The system will help in maintaining a proper profile for employees that consist of number of years with the company, training attended, targets achieved, certifications completed, awards won, and projects participated in. Future, goals, employee aspirations and milestones also need to be included in the system. Through the HRIS system a proper succession plan is supported, which indicates the positions that are to be vacated. It also contains information on the fundamental criteria for evaluating a potential successor. As a result of the employee profiles being linked to succession planning, at least internal hiring can then be facilitated. All this will have taken place at a reduced cost and in the right place.

Impact of HRIS in Improving Training

HRIS is not yet effective in the area of the HR function probably as a result of its immaturity to have an adequate capacity of incorporating employees' training needs. While some believe that it has led to improvement in the process of training them, provided information helpful in identifying time that would be convenient for training program implementation, yet very few argue that HRIS has contributed to decreased training program costs. It may also not play a great impact due to lack of full training for HRIS workers about the its HRIS as a tool capable of increasing efficiency required in the training process.

Training has more strategic function compared rather than an administrative one and for that reason it is ignored by top management. In the current level of HRIS since its introduction and implementation, the assessment forms to meet training needs have not been developed properly. This situation can be rectified by the HR managers who need to envision the system as a vital component in the process of training. The implementation of HRIS through this view of the technology is achievable by careful assessment of training needs employee have and proceed to update them in each employee's profile.

After ascertaining the majority of the training needs of the employees, the HRIS provides for designing of a training schedule relative to those needs. The schedule is then keyed into the profile of an employee and this will help the HR to be aware of the actual training required, the duration required for it to be completed, the regularity of the training and the total training cost. Consequently, this allows the department of HR to closely monitor the employee who has managed to complete the various scheduled training programs and find out whether the employees benefited from that particular training so as to better perform their jobs. With all these present in the profiles of the employees, both their progress and the streamlining of the training process such as duration, objectives, outcomes, relevance, and effectiveness are easily ascertained.

Impact of HRIS' strategic role on HR function

HRIS is capable of providing a competitive advantage to all organizations and the extent to which this it can do it is dependent on the role played by the HR department in a given organization. In the case of organizations in which the HR is mainly confined to employee advocate or personnel role, it becomes quite difficult to understand the contribution made towards an increase in competitive advantage of the organization even by the most effective HRIS. The generated reports might at some point not be user-friendly and this may be the reason why the HRIS generated information has not been properly utilized as expected, to its fullest potential. The possible reason for this is that people the HR department has done very little to encourage people to read their organization's reports which will enable them to make tactical decisions, with regards the information given by the system.

1.13 Impacts on Administrative and Implementation in the HR function

There is a variation of HRIS implementation in different organizational HR department. It may be utilized in reduction of costs, facilitation of better communication or in re-orientation of HR operations in order to increase the strategic contribution of the department. The system is effective in ensuring the management has access to strategic data not only in merging HRIS data into large-scale corporate strategy, but also in and retention recruitment strategies. The data provided by the HRIS is used by the management as a tool for decision making. Proper calculations concerning time required to fill certain jobs, health-care costs per employee, return on human capital invested, pay benefits as a percentage of operating expense, cost per hire, turnover rates and costs, return on training and human value added can be performed by firms when there is proper HR management. However, the results of this calculation do not lead to reduction of costs in the HR function (DeSanctis, 1986: 15).

The implementation of the HRIS is can be more effective if it takes place in three stages, that is, the publishing of information, the automation of transaction, and finally transforming the entire working of the HR department so it plays a more strategic role and adds more value to the organization. The greatest benefit of the HRIS implementation in the HR function was the access to information that it brought and a quick response, while insufficient financial support was the greatest barrier.

The HR department's can now be streamlined by an effective use of the HRIS which has been found to be an affective tool for this purpose. This is achievable through the creation of relevant and elaborate databases. An effective HRIS contain data on individual employees such as level of education attained, training completed, and projects participated in and finished successfully, and awards received, number of years of service, skills and competencies. This data would enable the HR department to make promote formation of strategy in an organization. HR systems development is made easier as a result of an efficient HRIS put in place (Dessler, Griffiths, and Walker, 2004).