What Is HRIS and How Can It Benefit Your HR Function?

Filip Dimkovski - TBR writer
By Filip Dimkovski
Kirsty Macdougall - Editor for TBR
Edited by Kirsty Macdougall

Published September 12, 2022.

A young professional seated at the desk in her office, with a notebook, cup of coffee and a saucer, as well as her laptop on the table in front of her. There is an overlay featuring pathways, as well as individual and group icons across the image.

Human resources information systems (HRIS) are primarily used to collect, store, and adequately manage employee data in a company. In the vast majority of cases, however, this system does more than work with employee data—it also serves as a system for managing new recruits, tracking performance, and steering the company in the right direction.

With the basics out of the way, let's dive deeper into HRIS and uncover how it works.

HRIS Explained

An HRIS is a software solution that eliminates the need for manually managing human resources. A solution like this is often used to store and manage employee records, like their performance, history, and compensation.

With technological advancements, HRIS solutions have become much more sophisticated, offering complex features like new talent acquisition, tracking efficiency, and keeping pace with new trends in the workplace.

The main goal of a software solution like this is to help HR teams meet their company's strategic goals. With the right HRIS solution, companies have a clear overview of employees' skills and performance, helping them advance in their careers while driving efficiency in the workplace.

Common HRIS Functions

Most HRIS solutions offer the same basic functions, though additional features can be added to cater to a business's needs. These are the most common functions required by an HRIS solution:

Attendance Tracking

After the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking attendance became much more challenging. This is because many companies started to offer remote positions, so tracking attendance was no longer limited to swiping an employee card.

If you're having difficulty managing attendance, it's advisable to look into the best software for employee time tracking to simplify the process.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

A good HRIS solution can help HR teams get a better overview of their applications. Using some of the best hiring and onboarding software apps will give you access to preliminary screening and even background checks.

Benefits Administration

HR managers are tasked with managing and tracking workers' compensation. However, employees' benefits aren't limited to their compensation alone. They could also include health insurance, gym memberships, and mileage reimbursements.

Employee Self-Service

More and more organizations are starting to benefit from their employees managing their requests without requiring direct supervision.

The right HRIS software allows an employee to request a paid vacation or sick days without having to directly discuss the matter with the HR department. This lessens the burden on the HR department while simultaneously increasing employee satisfaction.


It's no easy feat to issue paychecks when managing a large team of employees. With a suitable HRIS, you'll have a software-automated payroll process, ensuring that every hour of work is paid.

Performance Management

Many companies confuse attendance tracking with performance management, but the truth is that they're very different.

For example, a frequently absent employee could, in fact, be more productive than an attendant one but be compensated less due to having fewer hours in the workplace. Having an HRIS solution helps the HR department distinguish this line, ensuring that well-performing employees are adequately compensated.

Reporting & Analytics

Managing reporting and analytics with HRIS software usually refers to automated HR reports on relevant employee data, like their performance or absence. Such a system can help the HR team make better decisions based on these reports.

Succession Planning

Sometimes, people leave the workplace for alternative employment, which is why having an available replacement is crucial. An HRIS can help your company find a replacement quickly if an employee leaves.


Training is essential to steer a company in the right direction, especially regarding new talent. An HRIS solution often entails having a learning management system with featured e-learning and courses.

Benefits of HRIS for Human Resource Managers

These are the main benefits HR managers can expect from an HRIS solution.

Increase in Productivity

The main benefit of an HRIS is the increase in productivity it offers. A key example is streamlining payroll processes to save time. By automating everyday tasks and functions, HR departments can focus on more important tasks and enjoy improved productivity.

Improvement of Operational Performance

Not only will HRIS software improve productivity in the HR department, but it will also boost operational performance. If an HR team has better overviews and access to data, it can make better decisions for the company.

Streamlined Compliance Management

A successful HRIS ensures that all employee data is adequately managed and stored due to improved reporting and analytics. This can help you avoid any compliance issues.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Another significant benefit of an HRIS solution is that it allows for data-driven, accurate decision-making. With all the data stored in one place, HR teams can make better decisions and develop new strategies based on facts and figures.

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

HRIS software streamlines and automates many administrative operational processes. Employees are able to quickly and easily make requests, which fosters greater employee satisfaction.

HRIS: Beneficial to All

A strategic and successful HRIS solution offers substantial benefits to both the HR department and employees. By automating common tasks and processes, HR personnel can enjoy improved productivity and focus on more important job duties. Most importantly, they can focus on what really matters in the company—the people.

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