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The Importance of Human Resource Information Systems and Technology

Human Resource Information Systems

February 22 2020 - Growth in the use of human resource systems has been spectacular in the last few years. The share of organizations with an enterprise HR systems strategy in 2017 was 31%. It's risen to 70% in 2019.

If you're looking to improve the way you manage your human capital, read on. This article examines the importance of human resource information systems.

What Are Human Resource Information Systems?

An HR information system is a platform to help manage the people employed by an organization. It uses software to handle several people-related processes. It might include employee records, recruitment, performance management, learning, and payroll.

An HR information system is likely to be accessed by people within the human resource team. It's possible that others might have access to it too.

Indirect access to the HR information system could be via interfaces. Such systems include accounting systems, learning systems, and time and attendance systems.

Many organizations have invested in financial systems, inventory management systems, and production systems. Yet they have not invested in human resources information systems.

They have systems to capture the details of every financial transaction and the location of every component in their stores. Despite this, they have little usable information about people.

Human resource information systems bridge that gap. Many organizations recognize that people are their greatest asset. Having the means to manage that asset as they do other assets is important.

Accurate and Up-To-Date

An HR information system is a reliable way of capturing accurate info about employees. Many of these systems provide employees with the means to populate the database with their information and to maintain it. This facility is often via a portal, a dedicated terminal, or online.

If an employee changes address, gets married, or has some other change to their personal information, they update the system. This way, the information is verified by employees and kept up-to-date.

One Version of the Truth

Having a central depositary for information helps maintain one version of the truth. Without this system, organizations might try to maintain records on several platforms.

The personal record system might have similar information to the payroll system. Over time, the information might diverge.

Different versions of the information spread across the organization. It's compounded by different systems having different formats and standards.

HR Team Productivity

Having a central HR information system is more efficient for the HR team. Information is input once and maintained on one central system. Work isn't duplicated, so it's much more productive for the team.

If it needs information, the HR team doesn't have to search across different platforms for it. It’s available from a central source.

Compliance and Control

Much of human resource activity is now concerned with compliance. Regulations covering disabilities, civil rights, and more pose a challenge for most organizations. Monitoring, controlling, and ensuring compliance is easier with a central source of data.

Any organizational goals for diversity can be measured and reported on with an HR information system. This helps with developing strategies for improving equal opportunities.

Tracking and Performance Management

HR management systems can incorporate performance management into the platform. They can then help with aligning each individual's performance with the aims and objectives of the organization as a whole.

Objectives can be cascades down the organization through the management line. Regular performance review discussion and action plans can be of help on the system. Compliance with expectations for the frequency of these discussions is reportable.


Financial systems provide a set of analytics for monitoring financial performance. So human resource information systems can provide similar analytics for the workforce.

Examples of key performance indicators are employee retention rates, payroll, and ethnic diversity.

Reports of high inventories might prompt action to improve asset use. So high employee turnover might drive human resource retention policies.


Managing applications for new positions can be an onerous task. Applications need checking, shortlisting, and responding to. A system that can help with some level of automation is a boon to the HR administration team.

Some systems can perform some automation of selection processes. They compare online applications against a predetermined criterion.

When high volumes of applicants are the norm, this is a fabulous aid to productivity. It allows HR professionals to concentrate on the subtler work - such as qualitative assessment, interviewing, and direct contact with potential employees.

Learning and Certification

Keeping records of learning is important to prove compliance or to defend claims of negligence. Safety training records held on an HR system makes recording and accessing information simple.

HR systems can deploy on-line training through a learning management module. It could also identify the need for refresher training and prompt people to redo training.

Administration for classroom learning can be through a human resource system. This can include enrolment, registers, and mailing of course materials. Training records and certifications can also be part of the follow up.

Standards and Systems Integration

The integration of HR systems is key to getting the most from an enterprise-wide system. For this reason, IT4IT certification is a great aid to maintaining the appropriate standards. IT professionals and managers should learn more about it.

Ready for an HR Information System

The potential impact of human resource information systems on an organization is huge. The implementation can be disruptive, and there's a big learning curve. In the end, it's about effective management of your human resources.

Browse our website for more fascinating articles on human resource management.

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