In the present globalized era the environmental changes took place very frequently. So if an organization wants to compete in the cut throat competition they have to cope up with these changes. In the past several decades, technology has had a dramatic impact on human resource management (HRM) processes and practices. For example, technology, especially the World Wide Web, has helped modify many HR processes including human resource planning, recruitment, selection, performance management, work flow, and compensation. These new systems have enabled HR professionals to provide better service to all of their stakeholders (e.g. Customers, Shareholders, Suppliers, Government, Employees etc) and reduced the administrative burden in the field.
Despite the widespread use of these systems, there has been a surprising dearth of theory and research on the topic. As a result, the purpose of this special issue is to (a) Human Resource Information System, (b) advance theory and research on human resource management systems (HRMS) and electronic human resource management (eHRM), and (c) Enhance the effectiveness of these systems in organizations. As a result, this article reviews the evolution of HRIS and provides a brief overview of the existing literature, and introduces the article in the special issue.
“HRIS is a management system designed specifically to provide managers with information to make HR decisions.” In the present vast knowledge economy information is power. For efficient management of human assets, HR professional requires accurate and timely data on Recruitment & Selection, Training and Development, Human Resource Planning etc so the aim of paper is to present a conceptual knowledge of HRIS and to explore the impact of information system on HR performance.
HRM, HRIS, eHRM, HRMS, Stakeholders
Since the emergence of the internet throughout the world around 1995, many business functions have been transformed. After dealing with accounting, finance and marketing, many companies are shifted their attentions to find a better way of monitoring their Human Resource Management (HRM). Many companies are transforming their HRM functions from manual workflow to computerized workflow. Computers have made the tasks of analyzing the tremendous amount of human resource data into a simple task. Computer hardware, software and data base help organizations maintain and retrieve human resource better and simpler.
According to Gara (2001) and Walker (1982), a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) will help organizations “keep an accurate, complete, updated data base that can be retrieve when needed from reports and manuals.” Then Tannenbaum (1990) defines an HRIS as a system that will acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve and distribute information about an organization’s human resources. Kavanagh et al. (1990) defined HRIS as “a system used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve and distribute information about an organization’s human resources. An HRIS is not simply computer hardware and associated HR-related software. Although an HRIS includes hardware and software, it also includes people, forms, policies and procedures and data”.
HRIS is a key management tool which collects, maintain, analyses and reports information on people and jobs. It is a system because it integrates all the relevant data, which otherwise might have been lying in a fragmented and scattered way at various points ion the larger system; converts this data in to meaningful conclusions or information and makes it accessible to the persons, who need it for their decisions. It is a concept which utilizes the development of Information Technology for effective management of the HR functions and applications. HRIS helps organizations in managing all HR information. It helps in recoding and analyzing employees and organizational information and documents, such as employee handbook, emergency evacuation and safety procedures.
The nature of HRIS varies among organizations in relation to their size. In small organizations, it tends to be informal whereas in large organizations, it is more formal and coordinated. Lengnick-Hall and Moritz prompt HRIS to be implemented at three different levels:
• The publishing of information
• The automation of transactions
• Transformation of HR into a strategic partner with the line business
2. HRIS – Why it is needed?
• Storing information and data for each individual employee.
• Providing a basis for planning, decision making, controlling and other human resource functions.
• Meeting daily transactional requirements such as marking absent and present and granting leave.
• Supplying data and submitting returns to government and other statutory agencies.
• Building organizational capabilities.
• Job design and organizational structure.
• Increasing size of workforce.
• Technological advances
• Computerized information system
• Changes in legal environment
3. COMPONENTS OF HRIS
There are three major functional components of HRIS :
• Input function – It enters personnel information into the HRIS. Data entry in the past had been one way, but today, scanning technology permits scanning and storage of actual image of an original document, including signatures and handwritten notes. • Maintenance function – It updates and adds new data to the database after data have been entered into the HRIS. • Output function – It is the most visible function of HRIS. In order to generate valuable output for computer users, HRIS processes output, makes necessary calculations and formats the presentation.
It should be noted that most important elements of HRIS are not the computers, rather, the information. So, the components of HRIS should support validity, reliability and utility of information.
4. HRIS APPLICATIONS AND UTILITIES
Personnel administration – It will encompass information about each employee, such as name address, personal details etc.
Salary administration – Salary review procedure are important function of HRM, a good HRIS system must be able to perform what if analysis and present the reports Of changes.
Leave and absence recording — Essentially be able to provide comprehensive method of controlling leave/absences.
Skill inventory – It is also used to store record of acquired skills and monitor the skill database both employee and organizational level.
Performance appraisal — The system should record individual employee performance, appraisal data, such as due date of appraisal, scores etc.
Human resource planning — HRIS should record details of the organizational requirements in terms of positions
Recruitment — Record details of recruitment activities such as cost and method of recruitment and time to fill the position etc.
Career planning – System must be able to provide with succession plans reports to identify which employee have been earmarked for which position.
Collective bargaining — A computer terminal can be positioned in the conference room linked to database. This will expedite negotiations by readily providing up to date data based on facts and figures and not feelings and fictions.
THE HRIS MODEL
5. CONTRIBUTE VALUES TO HR THROUGH HRIS: HRIS serves two major purposes in organizations:
HR ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONAL ROLE: The first purpose of an HRIS is to improve the efficiency with which data on employees and HR activities is compiled. Many HR activities can be performed more efficiently and with less paperwork if automated.
HR STRATEGIC ROLE: The second purpose of an HRIS is more strategic and related to HR planning. Having accessible data enables HR planning and managerial decision making to be based to a greater degree on information rather than relying on managerial perception and intuition.
6. HRIS IMPLEMENTATION: Implementing anything is part of project Management. Implementing HRIS in organization is a big activity which require support of many stakeholders such functional, HRIT S, IT Vendor and project manager. Implementation can be divided into given below parts.
• Need Analysis.
• Vendor Selection.
• Process Mapping and complete data gathering.
• Creation/Deployment of HRIS application in Test server.
• Testing by sample users.
• Pre-deployment training to users.
• Deployment of HRIS in production.
• Post Training and Support.
7. BENEFITS OF HRIS
When the administrative tasks and processes of any human resources department become overwhelmed, the most appropriate solution would be to implement the human resources information system. Common administrative functions that involve filling reports and completing paperwork take up a lot of time of the human resource department and this is where the HRIS comes in. Many businesses nowadays are now realizing the importance of HRIS and using the software to increase the efficiency of the whole company. The following are some of the major benefits of HRIS. a. Improves productivity
The HRIS systems assist in enhancing both the productivity and workflow of the human resource department. This is because, all the data is usually collected and placed in a central database. This is very beneficial since data is going to be very easily retrieved from the database. b. Saves time
Through reducing the total amount of time spent on the administrative functions, human resource employees are able to focus on other essential duties. For example, they can carry out other productive functions like creating presentations, training staff members, succession planning and recruiting since they have enough time due to the HRIS system. c. Improves communication with the employees
HRIS creates a database that each employee has access to and thus you will be able to communicate better with your employees through the network. It also has email scheduling capabilities that make it very efficient in terms of assigning jobs to various employees in a very short period of time.
d. Creates self-service options
Due to the fact that all the relevant information concerning the company or business is placed in large database, the employees can be able to access useful information without having to spend a lot of time going from one office to the next. At the same time, it is very easy to update the information in the database for proper administration. The only disadvantage is that important data concerning your company might be stolen particularly nowadays where there is a great increase in cyber crime.
8. THE CHALLENGES OF INDUCING HRIS SOFTWARE INCLUDES:
Selecting right HRIS vendor: The selection of software vendor is the most critical of all the decisions. A successful ERP vendor is not always the best provider of an HR solution. A vendor with experience of developing most of the solutions related to human resource, whether in the personnel or talent management domains or other processes associated with HR offers a better choice, and if such a vendor has the strength of utilizing latest technology & a vision to perceive the future needs of HR fraternity, he may rate the highest on the scale. Mere branding of the products does not necessarily mean quality, though it does carry a higher price tag. Moreover, a vendor providing complex solutions, for which special skills may be needed for initial data entry, maintenance & creation of management reports, need not be rated high.
If HRIS software can not configure the existing workflows in an organization and wants the user to adapt to the Vendor HR processes, it is likely to be heavy both on training time & costs and may also gather resistance to its usage at the grass root level. A dedicated and customer oriented vendor will move a mile extra to map all client processes on his solution and indicate well in advance the extent of customization required. He may even introduce a set of best practices provided by his solution but leave their adoption to the client. A good HRIS vendor is conscious of the cost but always sells quality. Onus of responsibility – There is a misconception that introduction of HRIS can relieve HR Manager of all responsibilities. To large extent, HRIS can free up HR Manager from transactional tasks.
However, it also brings with it a new set of responsibilities to ensure that the software is being used and implemented correctly. The onus of co-operating with the software vendor and ensuring successful deployment lies with the client HR manager. Over expectations – Due to overstress on the benefits of HRIS software, partially by the media and partially by the marketing departments of software vendors, organizations have developed larger-than-life expectations from the software solutions. When the solutions are unable to deliver these over-expectations, the clients tend to lose confidence in the vendors.
The only way out is either pre-sales discussions or a clear statement of user expectations in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP) document, to which the vendor responds as per the strengths of his solution, including the additional effort required for customization, if the same is technically feasible. Resistance to change – Employees at the client location are attitudinally inclined to use only the existing system. They enjoy the loopholes in the processes, moreso the inability of a manual system to track progress. Therefore, they offer great resistance to change, especially if the change calls for the acquisition of new skills by the employee. Their resistance to change leads to lack of enthusiasm and co-operation in successfully implementing software systems.
The onus of responsibility for change management lies entirely with the client, but some vendors do offer HR consultancy as a supplement to their solutions.
Training Requirements – HRIS software may have a completely new interface, large number of functions and specially configured workflows. It may demand users to exhibit some level of expertise in understanding the technology solution. When faced with the new software, user experiences anxiety and may display discomfort in using the system. Such discomfort can result in remaining ignorant of various features, thereby denying to yourself the benefit of full exploitation of the software. A good software vendor can resolve this issue by providing on the system training to key personnel and prepare them as torch bearers. He would also provide sufficient on-line help features to all the users.
Configuration and Data transformation – Configuring software to an organization’s need and transferring data from existing database to new HRIS is another issue that needs to be handled carefully. The existing data may be either on paper or excel files or in some other form of database. Due to ignorance by employees at client location, the data may not enter the new system in the desired manner, thus obstructing the smooth and efficient functioning of the system, besides creating an inventory of bugs. Best solution to this malady is for the Vendor to obtain data from the client as per a standard template, validate it with a program and consider initial data entry as a service provided to the customer.
Software Errors and Bugs – Bugs, error and opportunities for improvement are integral part of software. Expecting HR Software to be picture-perfect and without any errors/ omissions is unfair. These bugs need not scare people since these can be resolved through mutual co-operation between the vendor and client. Once settled, they do not reappear.However, if new bugs surface with higher levels of exploitation of the software, these should be taken as encouraging signals both by the client and the vendor.
Work Flow Changes – When you install HRIS software, you also install some innovative globally accepted HR practices and workflows. If you have these practices for the first time, some of the members in your organization may not feel comfortable with the changes, especially the change of work flow.
Such changes should be handled very carefully as they can have significant emotional impact on the team members. HR should be ready to award benefit of doubt to the members who suffer a negative impact due to these changes and allow ample time for the new workflows to set in. You need preference and commitment to introduce systems. Remember this if you are keen to implement HR software solutions.
HRIS has a very wide scope in developing countries. It is applied in personnel administration, salary administration, leave/absence recording, skill inventory, medical history, performance appraisal, training and development, HR Planning, recruitment, career planning, negotiation etc. It is very important for an organization to clearly identify its system requirements before implementing HRIS. This would enable to decide the appropriate level of sophistication of HRIS and would lead to optimal utilization of scarce resource. HRIS database should be used as a single source of all information. This would lead to the development of an integrated HRIS platform for the whole organization.
In today’s corporate world human resources has come to play a very critical role. Whether it concerns the hiring and firing of employees or whether it concerns employee motivation, the Human Resources department of any organization now enjoys a very central role in not only formulating company policies. A complete HRIS links all human resources data from the time professionals enter pre- service training to when they leave the workforce. Continuous monitoring and evaluation is vital in determining what an HRIS is accomplishing, what needs to be improved and whether results are being achieved. In future, Human Resource Professionals will be more dependent on higher level and integrated HRIS approaches in order to support more complex as well as free forms of organizations.
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6. Lengnick-Hall, Mark L. and Moritz Steve (2003), “The Impact of e-HR on the Human Resource Management Function”, Journal of Labor Research. 24(3), pp. 365-379.
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