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What is HRIS: the features & benefits of this software

What is HRIS: the features & benefits of this software

from  December 6, 2021 | 8 min read

Most people are familiar with artificial intelligence (AI) virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. Did you know that HR teams can rely on AI assistant-like technology? We’re talking about the human resource information system.

If AI assistants help users to complete tasks through voice commands, HRIS software automates repetitive manual activities. While the HR technology doesn’t have speech recognition abilities, it comes with features that likewise increase flexibility and reduce costs.

Let’s delve deeper into this digital solution, its essential features, and how it benefits your business. 

What is an HRIS?

Short for human resource information system, HRIS is software that manages, stores, and processes employee information in a single, online location. It’s built around the databases, hence the ‘information’ part of its name.

The system provides a central repository of people-related data needed in human resource management, including:

  • employee’s birth date, gender, contact information, bank account details
  • employee job information (i.e., manager, department, pay rates, etc.)
  • time-off balances and requests
  • benefits selections

What are the key features of an HRIS?

As with other human resource management solutions, most HRIS systems vary in terms of software features. The most common functionalities include the following:

  • Applicant tracking. HRIS software integrates with applicant tracking system (ATS), helping recruiters manage online applications.
  • Benefits administration. The benefits administration functionality allows HR administrators to process employee requests (i.e., benefit elections, re-election, enrolment changes, etc.) directly in the platform.
  • Compensation management. HRIS solutions also integrate with other financial and account systems. 
  • Employee database. The online employee directory makes personnel records easily accessible and manageable.
  • Employee self-onboarding. HRIS software is a single source for onboarding documents and workflows, making it easier for new hires to get accustomed to their surroundings and adapt to the business processes. 
  • Employee self-service. The self-service portal lets employees manage their own affairs, including updating personal information, tracking payroll and benefits, and requesting time-offs or leaves.
  • Electronic signatures. eSignature or electronic signature is integrated into HRIS to facilitate simpler document management.
  • Leave and absence management. Human resource information systems also help manage absences and time-off requests (i.e., sickness, vacation, maternity leave, etc.).
  • Reports and insights functions. Some HRIS systems have insights and reporting functionalities. These features help HR managers monitor and export important people data from the system.

Time tracking and scheduling. With these features, HR administrators can oversee the hours worked of employees, ensure workers get paid accurately, and create employee schedules for projects.

What are the benefits of an HRIS?

Most companies invest in an HRIS system to improve their internal processes and perform typical HR functions with great efficiency. If you’re new to this software and curious whether you should jump on the bandwagon, may these benefits of HRIS help you decide:

Benefits of an HRIS System

    1. Better employee data management

    Unlike paper-based HR management systems, human resource information systems facilitate better record keeping. You will never have to rummage through file cabinets or look through disparate sheets as the software maintains records of all personnel data.

    Since the system acts as a hub for employee information, users may gather, track, update, and search relevant data with a tap of a finger.

    2. Reduce costs and save time

    Switching to HRIS allows companies to save a great deal of money. The HR technology covers several routine tasks, eliminating the need for hiring additional staff members. Examples of such HR activities include:

    • benefits administration
    • absence management 
    • employee onboarding
    • workforce reporting
    • time-off approvals

    Not only does HRIS help HR teams manage many time-consuming processes more effectively, but it also makes companies freer of paper waster. Your business can cut down on unnecessary paper and printing costs because the software stores employee data, policies, forms, checklists and other essential documents electronically.

    3. Improve overall productivity

    One of the most notable benefits of HRIS is improved enterprise productivity. The software streamlines operations and boosts productivity across organisations.

    For instance, HR administrators can automate the records management, benefits enrolment, and tax documentation instead of performing manual transactions. They can also approve leaves and time-offs via the platform, saving them from piles of printed leave forms to sign.

    In short, HRIS systems keep clerical tasks at a minimum. When human resource professionals have fewer operational obligations, they can devote their time and skills in planning and implementing strategic initiatives that will drive business growth and success.

    4. Boost employee satisfaction

    The best human resource information system should provide a better employee experience. It gives employees access to and direct control over their select personal information.

    Through the employee self-service (ESS) portal, employees can update their data (i.e., address, contact number, banking information), check their payroll, and manage their benefits online without HR intervention.

    5. Optimise HR processes

    Above all, HRIS software offers one promise: optimised HR processes. HR workflows become more manageable and several repetitive HR tasks become more convenient. The HR process optimisation ensure the following:

    • corporate governance and compliance
    • transparent and faster HR operations
    • reduce administrative burden
    • safe handling of HR data
    • reduced human errors

    Bonus: signs you need an HRIS

    While paper-based HR management systems and spreadsheet programs are handy options for managing the workforce, they lack many things that human resource information software can offer. So, if you’re unsure whether HRIS is good for your business, carry on reading.

    Features of HRIS Software

    Here are a few signs you need this HR technology:

    1. Your team is struggling with paperwork

    Human resource departments manage hundreds, if not thousands, of employee information. If your team still handles paper-bound data and spends more time on HR paperwork, your business is likely to suffer from low productivity and profitability.

    2. Employee data is spread out across spreadsheets

    Employee data can get extra confusing when maintained in different spreadsheets. Tracking, updating, and generating reports could exhaust HR professionals since data is contained in disparate systems.

    3. Your team is stuck doing routine administrative tasks

    The problem with administrative tasks, such as document filling, recordkeeping, leave management and approval, and time and attendance tracking is that they’re monotonous and unproductive.

    HR administrators may spend most of their valued time on these activities, instead of focusing on other work that matters.

    4. HR reports take forever to collect and generate

    Does your team often render overtime whenever it’s time to submit attendance reports, finance reports or other work-focused reports? The culprit behind this slower reporting time is the disparate databases. Jumping from one system to another takes a lot of time, and so is the reporting process.

    5. Forecasting and planning are becoming challenging

    HR forecasting and analysis involve projecting company’s staffing requirements using existing data. Not only does it help you in predicting future needs, but it also plays crucial roles in building a skilled workforce and in preparing for waves of retiring employees.

    Without proper collection and management of HR data, your HR team can’t assess your current workforce, determine gaps, create development plans, and perform workforce forecasting effectively.

    The good news: the HRIS system can solve these HR challenges. Don’t let your company fall into these traps. And if your HR staff are already on the brink of experiencing these things, act now and switch to a digital HR solution.


    Choosing an HRIS is not a task to be taken lightly. The appropriate system may assist your HR staff tackle your organisation's toughest challenges while also allowing them to have a significant, strategic impact.  

    To succeed, your HR team needs the most capable tools available like HRIS. The good news is you can find plenty of reliable HR software in Unit4 Prosoft is one.

    Built on the Unit4 People Platform, our human resource solution provides you with global as well as region-specific solutions to help your organisation transform your people’s work into a more meaningful and inspiring experience.

    Unit4 Prosoft

    Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.