Human Resource Information Systems: Definition, Types & Examples

Human Resource Information Systems: Definition, Types & Examples
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  • 0:04 Human Resource…
  • 1:11 HRIS Definition and Types
  • 3:05 Examples of HRIS Software
  • 4:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anthony Aparicio

Tony taught Business and Aeronautics courses for eight years; he holds a Master's degree in Management and is completing a PhD in Organizational Psychology

Human resource information systems are software programs that allow HR professionals to store and organize vast amounts of employee information. These programs should allow management to access information and improve decision making.

Human Resource Information Systems

There are many types of information systems (referred to as IS) on the market that perform a wide variety of tasks. One category of IS that is specifically designed to help human resource (HR) professionals in the course of their duties is called a human resource information system (HRIS) and is sometimes referred to as human resource management systems.

As the owner of Profits, Inc., your job is to oversee all of the operations of your growing company. You want your employees to be organized, so you go to the HR department to see what they are doing. In the HR department, you see people working on many tasks that relate to employee recruiting, hiring, pay and benefits, training, evaluation, and even attendance. Additionally, you want your management team to have the information necessary to make decisions regarding employees. Profits, Inc. is a service industry, and your chief financial officer informs you that employee costs are the largest expenses that your company faces. As such, your goal is to do all you can to keep employee costs low.

HRIS Definition and Types

Your HR executive suggests that the company invest in an HRIS and explains that there are a number of types of HRIS that are made up by a combination of modules within the system - one module for each major task performed by HR personnel. One module may be dedicated to helping to receive, scan, email, and organize resumes to help sort through the many applicants that apply for each position within a company. Other modules may help a user to create an organizational chart or plan to find a replacement for personnel who are planning to leave or retire from a company.

The major function of the HRIS is to save time by taking repetitive functions and allowing one person to be able to do the work of many. For example, a company that has 1,000 employees, each of whom get paid every two weeks, would need an entire staff of people to compute the amount of taxes such as federal withholding, social security, Medicare, state withholding, as well as allotments, deductions, sick leave, vacation leave, and other factors for each employee. One module in the HRIS can automatically compute payroll information for all of the employees just by putting in the hours worked (for hourly employees) and whether there was any leave taken during the period.

You believe that managerial decision making is also a critical factor in choosing the specific type of HRIS. For example, Profits, Inc. employees are selected to perform particular jobs based on their training. Right now each manager has to either remember the training that each employee has or manually create reports that list each employee's training. If anyone else needs the information, they might need to go to five or six supervisors in order to get the information, and it may take a few days to do so. An HRIS could be loaded with the employee training data for many departments and would be able to produce a current training report within a few seconds.

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