Managing a Team

Exploring the Different Types of HR Information Systems

Discover the power of various HR information systems and how to best utilize them.

Blog Author - Molly Margulies
Molly Margulies
Feb 26, 20245 minutes
Blog Author - Molly Margulies
Molly Margulies

Molly is a writer and people operations leader with over a decade of experience building teams and coaching executives. With a human-centered approach, Molly focuses on psychological safety and captivating narratives to help teams thrive.

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Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have revolutionized the way HR departments operate. HR information systems have streamlined processes, increased efficiency, provided more transparency and improved data management for employers of all sizes. With the rise of HR tech, there are now various types of HRIS available in the market. In this article, we'll explore the different types of HRIS and their benefits.

What is an HRIS?

Before we dive into the different types of HRIS, let's first understand what it is. An HRIS is a software solution that combines human resource management and information technology to streamline processes. It acts as a single source of truth to collect and assess employee data in a very simple way. Beyond basic employee profile information, an HRIS will commonly host or connect to your payroll service, and include information on benefits and performance evaluations. On the employee side, it offers the ease of having a one-stop shop for HR admin needs, like submitting time off, viewing the company org chart or handbook, and updating their address.

Benefits of HRIS 

An HRIS offers numerous benefits to employers, including:

  • Increased efficiency: With all employee data stored in one system, HR teams and company leaders can easily access and manage information, reducing the time spent on administrative tasks.

  • Improved data management: These systems provide a secure and organized way to store certain employee data, such as offer letters and W2s, oftentimes utilizing two-factor authentication or other security measures.

  • Enhanced reporting and analytics: Through an HRIS you’ll get advanced reporting and analytics capabilities for a variety of data, enabling HR and other leaders to make data-driven decisions based on comprehensive and relevant inputs. 

  • Better employee experience: With self-service portals, employees can access their profile, request time off, look at team details, and update their personal information on their own, providing an easy experience for straightforward but necessary tasks.

Types of HRIS 

There are various types of HRIS available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at the different types of HRIS.

Core HRIS 

A core HRIS focuses on managing employee data, such as personal information, job history, and benefits. This type of HRIS is foundational and is essential for all HR departments, basically a major upgrade to the paper files of yesteryear. Core HRIS commonly offers features such as employee profiles, company org charts, PTO tracking, job history information, and document storage. This is the foundation of good data hygiene for employers and provides the ability to capture and store accurate company information necessary for internal and external reporting. Many core HRIS will have API integrations with other types of HR (think applicant tracking systems and performance management systems) to allow that data to flow seamlessly into your main “source of truth”.

Talent Management HRIS 

Many employers also have talent management HRIS that can operate separately from your core HRIS. These systems focus on attracting and retaining talent. Some common examples of these systems include an applicant tracking system (ATS) for recruiting, a performance management system with engagement and performance reporting, and a learning management system (LMS) to provide employee training. By focusing on talent management, these talent management platforms store data that can offer rich insights regarding recruiting data, employee experience and employee performance. Together these allow businesses to focus on solving the right challenges unique to their workforce and measure the effectiveness of their actions through the reporting functionality. 

Workforce Management HRIS 

While some workforce management features might be included in a core HRIS, a dedicated workforce management HRIS platform generally will focus on scheduling, time and attendance tracking, and labor management. These systems help teams manage employee schedules, track time and attendance, and ensure compliance with labor laws as relates to wage & hour requirements. Workforce management HRIS are especially useful for companies with hourly and shift-based employees.

Benefits Administration HRIS 

Depending on the capabilities of your core HRIS, a benefits administration HRIS will focus on collecting and managing employee benefits information, such as health insurance, FSA/HSA and ancillary benefits. These systems help HR teams track benefit utilization, enroll employees in plans during open enrollment periods, and forecast benefits costs with accounting. It also provides a direct way to employees to view their benefits information and make changes if allowable.

Choosing the Right HRIS for Your Company

With so many types of HRIS available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your company. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an HRIS:

  • Company size: The size of your company will determine the complexity and features you need in an HRIS. A small business may only need a core HRIS system, while a large enterprise may require a more comprehensive solution.

  • Budget: HRIS can vary in cost usually related to the features offered, so it's essential to consider your budget when selecting a system. These platforms commonly have a per-employee-per-month model which is important to your forecasting and any hiring you plan to do. 

  • Integration capabilities: It's crucial to choose an HRIS that can integrate with your existing systems, such as any separate payroll, benefits or accounting software. This will ensure a seamless flow of data and reduce the risk of errors.

  • Scalability: As your company grows, your HRIS should be able to grow with you.  Consider your growth plans for the near future as changing HRIS will be a project to time carefully to ensure there is as little disruption for your team as possible and think about  choosing a system that offers easy scalability and can accommodate your future needs.

  • Features menu and roadmap: Many modern HRIS are consistently innovating and updating their offerings, make sure you understand the full picture of their offerings as well as growth plans for the platform. Though you may not be utilizing everything, you can be strategic in the rollout of your new system to ensure you are getting the most out of it.

HR Automation with HRIS 

One of the most significant benefits of an HRIS is the automation of HR processes. With HR automation, everyone can reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and focus on more strategic initiatives. Here are some examples of HR processes that can be automated with an HRIS:

  • Employee onboarding: HRIS can automate the onboarding process, from sending offer letters, and collecting new hire paperwork to providing bespoke checklists for HR teams to create a meaningful employee experience unique to their organization.

  • Time and attendance tracking: With an HRIS, employees can clock in and out, request time off, and view their schedules, reducing the time spent on manual tracking.

  • Performance evaluations: HRIS can automate the performance evaluation process, from setting goals to collecting feedback from managers and peers.

  • Benefits enrollment: HRIS can streamline the benefits enrollment process, allowing employees to enroll in benefits and make changes online.

There is no doubt HRIS has transformed the way HR teams operate. With less time spent on administrative tasks, HR teams can be true business partners, leveraging data for strategic insights to unlock talent and increase employee satisfaction. When thinking about which option is right for your business, it's essential to choose one that can provide a high ROI not only in terms of freeing up time for your HR team, but the impact it can have on your company goals. 

Justworks can Help

Justworks offers an HRIS that handles your HR needs in minutes. By letting us handle the administrative HR tasks that bog you down, you can get back to running your business. Justworks offers several features mentioned in this article, such as HR tools, time tracking, and analytics that help power your business. Justworks also offers several integrations that will work seamlessly with your tools to ensure you get the most out of your data.  Get started today!

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Molly Margulies
Molly Margulies
Feb 26, 20245 minutes

Molly is a writer and people operations leader with over a decade of experience building teams and coaching executives. With a human-centered approach, Molly focuses on psychological safety and captivating narratives to help teams thrive.

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