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HRIS Evolution

Before the conception of HRIS management didn't pay much attention to the data of it's personnel. One of the main reasons that HRIS was developed was due to the government legislation and the implementation of initiatives such as EEO (Equal Employment Opportunities), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and AAP (Affirmative Action Program). These initiatives were launched during the 1960's and 1970's and many organizations were then faced with the responsibilities of maintaining statistics and records to provide evidence that they were in compliance with the newly implemented laws. And faced with the high volumes of employees within their organizations then came the need for a computer based system to provide aid in the completion of the tasks at hand. At the beginning management allocated the responsibilities to information personnel. Then information specialists then started to work with users from the Human Resources department to develop and enter data into large scale computers that where located in the company's information service department and with the implementation of the microcomputer HR personnel were able to process and implement HRIS information in their own area either in stand alone systems or connected by LAN to the company's network. There are also many HR depts. that have even implemented their own mainframes to simplify the process a bit.


Human Resource management can be traced back to prehistoric times, when tribal members were given specific jobs of hunting or gathering. The households of ancient Chinese emperors had employment tests to identify servants with special talents for special jobs. Then there were the apprentice system and artisan guilds, formed to train new workers. In more modern times, the discipline of human resource management (HRM) has become a sophisticated science with theories, experiments and studies that seek to help managers and organizations recruit, retain, and maximize staff productivity. In the 1960s and 1970s, large companies felt a need to centralize their personnel data in large part to facilitate record keeping and meet regulatory needs. Programs were written on large mainframe computers that acted as a central data repository with little transactional processing, usually only for payroll. The Human Resource Information System (HRIS), also know as a Human Resource Management System (HRMS), became prevalent in the 1980s with the popularity of Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) applications and the move from mainframe systems to client server technology. This trend was based on a new school of thinking, one that saw the transformation of transactions into business processes and data into information. HR information can empower companies with intelligence enabling management to make more timely and more informed decisions. All the tier One ERP software vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP included some flavor of human resource management in their suite of applications providing their users with a single, holistic view of their workforce. At the same time, the 1980s saw a shortage in skilled workers, especially in the technology sector. Human Resource Management had long evolved from the basis of a skills management discipline to more of an employee satisfaction and productivity tool. However, by the 1980s, HRIS systems now included a host of feature sets and functional capabilities aimed at attracting, retaining and properly compensating the workforce. By 2000, the human resource software industry saw HRIS grow to include recruitment, benefits management, time management, payroll, compensation management, learning management, expense reporting and reimbursements, and performance management. Self-service applications built on top of the underlining data empowered employees to manage their own data and make timely changes. Online employee portals further consolidated disparate systems, documents and information into one place. As computer hardware prices fell and computing power simultaneously grew, more and more companies were able to afford enterprise software systems and vendors saw a market for standalone HRIS software. Data connectors and application programming interfaces empowered customers with HR systems that need not be delivered with their financial accounting software. They now have an a la carte option and can leverage a higher fit system that better fulfills their HRIS needs and can integrate information such as payroll and headcount to their financial

system. Vendors such as Sage Software and Ultimate Software saw a niche in the midmarket sector for their HRIS offerings. However, Software as a Service (SaaS) found significant adoption in a downsizing economy. Companies can now have all the advantages of an HRIS that fits their specific needs and requirements, integrate relevant information with their financial applications, massage the data with a business intelligence (BI) reporting suite and make management decisions based on facts, figures and trends. And they need not incur the burden or cost of managing the hardware or software environment themselves. Not to be left behind, the Tier One ERP software vendors follow the pack by providing their ERP solutions, packaged with HRIS, as a SaaS option. This offering usually benefits small to midsized companies. However, organizations looking for a SaaS option for their HRIS will have a host of choices. The future of HRIS lies in SaaS and cloud computing. However, as more and more companies outsource their HR departments functionalities, outsourcing organizations such as Randstad and ADP are adding technology to their menus. HR outsourcing services such as TriNet and Achilles Group all offer HRIS tools and solutions for their clients. As the human resources outsourcing market is predicted by Gartner to reach $1.102 billion worldwide by 2012, outsource companies will provide the majority of HRIS processes and management. The immediate future of HRIS is a marriage between outsourced functions and outsourced technology. After that, the pendulum could swing either direction further, whereby all workers are outsourced, not just in HR; or it could swing the other way, where organizations take back control of their workforce, workforce management but probably not the technology.


HRIS Benefits HRIS Benefits As companies focus on cost cutting measures, HR departments in many organizations are some of the first to fall victim to downsizing. Ironically, downsizing creates even more work for HR staff as they have to process terminations, compile severance packages, prepare the necessary paperwork and process post termination tasks such a Cobra registration, unemployment benefits, and fielding general questions. Many companies are left with all the extra work and less people to perform them.

A good Human Resource Information System (HRIS) can leverage experienced HR staff to better manage HR related tasks and processes. The benefits include reduced errors, less paper work, quicker processing time, and more accurate information. Reduced Paper and Reduced Errors There is a direct correlation between the amount of paperwork processed and the number of errors incurred. The more paperwork there is the more errors are made. This is due to incorrect deciphering of handwriting, typing errors when transferring handwritten information, nonstandardization of data, multiple data entry points and data entry back-log. With an HRIS system, there is a common central data location and limited data entry points. Your staff can enter some of their own personal data and benefits selection, thus removing the middleman. HR staff can then spend their time verifying information instead of entering it. Adding data validation tools to your HRIS can help to establish data standards. These tools include address verification to reduce address errors and lookup values instead of free form text to reduce varying words that mean the same thing. Faster Processing Time When your staff directly enter their data in an HRIS system, several steps are removed from the process. Paperwork is only collected when necessary, data is not entered into multiple systems, and changes can be quickly handled. An HRIS system that is integrated to other business software systems such as third party providers, government agencies, background checking vendors and payroll processors can be automated with a click of the button. This reduces turnaround time for processes such as new employee boarding, changes to life events, changes in benefits, and open enrollment. Compare the job of one person entering data for 200 employees versus 200 employees entering their own data, which they would have to do on a form anyway. Leveraging Resources Once your Human Resource staff are no longer chasing paperwork, working in multiple systems, or making error corrections, they can be more strategic and less reactive. Your staff can look at trends and metrics and make decisions that could reduce costs and increase employee retention. HRIS systems can generate powerful reports that can help organizations shop for benefits, establish prevention programs, develop employee training and retention campaigns, and create better recruitment strategies. Mundane tasks such as data entry can be replaced by more skilled, HR specific job tasks. HR professionals should not worry that an HRIS will replace their jobs. Skills in a good HRIS can be a valuable tool and adds to a professional quality of life and resume. Happier Employees A good HRIS system ensures that your employee data is safe, secured, and accurate. Employees will feel the benefits of the system when their health coverage is up-to-date, when they do not get rejected by their insurance because of insufficient data, or when their pay check is correct. Employees are happy when they can enter the information just once in the system instead of

filling out numerous forms and applications. HRIS applications can also facilitate their open enrollment process, which is sometimes tedious and confusing. There are many outstanding HRIS solutions available today. Selecting an easy to use, integrated human resource software solution that provides your organization with the business functionality you need today and in the future is key in realizing the full benefits of the HR system.


HRIS Pitfalls Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) Caution Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) can be a productive solution to manage your most valuable assets: your employees. There are many great HR software solutions available in the market today, which is good news and bad news for companies searching for a new HR or payroll system. With so many vendors in the field, the chances are good that there is a solution that fits your needs. However, the crowded market means that companies will need to do their homework and apply a methodical software selection approach to choose the best system. Part of the research should be focused on not just software requirements and system functionality but also an awareness of some of the gotchas and lessons learned from other trailblazers and implementers. Some of the pitfalls in selecting and implementing HRIS are common to many software selection projects. However, since many implementation failures can be attributed back to a failed software selection choice, the issues reviewed in this article can provide advance caution and advice to software selection project teams. Scope Creep It is critical that your organization document goals and prioritized requirements prior to commencing an HR software selection process. This task ensures that requirements are not driven by what the software can do but rather what the company most needs. These key requirements are then broken down and amended with detailed functional as well as technical specifications. A functional requirement is a feature set or functionality that the system performs with or without user interaction such as the ability to send email notifications to employees for recertification. A technical requirement is specific to the technical aspect of the system, such as the required operating system or database. Then there are requirements such as 24/7 uptime,

service level agreements and future version upgrade requirements which are considered nonfunctional but essential. Although it is important to thoroughly understand your organizations needs and requirements, the risks increase as the number and complexities of the requirements increase. To mitigate this, if your requirements are extensive, segment them or break them into phases. What are the most critical functionalities that you need to have working from day one? Can you live with a system that just collects employee data for Phase One? Can Open Enrollment be scheduled for Phase Three since it occurs later in the year? Is time reporting so critical that it needs to be tackled first? It is also important to be able to discern between the nice to haves and the must haves. Prioritize your requirements as critical (must have), work around (system can handle part of the requirement but some work around is needed), nice feature (it would be helpful but not necessary). Timing Plan ahead. If you are looking at HRIS applications for your open enrollment process, plan it at least six to eight months ahead of time. Be aware of other projects which compete for time and attention within your organization. Change management is critical and normally underestimated in an HRIS implementation. It is easily controlled if you plan ahead of time. However, if your users are inundated with other changes, HRIS projects are often slated low on users priorities because they are not considered critical to revenue generation. Timing also refers to project time line and duration. Many projects can get sidetracked because of holidays and vacations. Asking employees to reschedule family vacations or even training is not uncommon but can cause resentment and low team morale. If other team members have to pick up the slack, it could even have a wider effect. Data Quality Any system, be it HRIS, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), is only as good as the data it processes and reports. If you are converting from a legacy system to a new HR or payroll application, make sure you convert all the data you need, not just from an operating standpoint but also from a legal perspective. Data conversion often involves data cleansing as well. This is the perfect opportunity to remove unnecessary data, eliminate duplicate data, implement standardization, and identify additional information needed. This latter activity is often ignored. Legacy systems are often limited in not just functionalities but also data. For example, your legacy system may not have been able to store skills, licenses or certifications. This information was typically stored in the employee paper file but the new system can track and manage these employee accomplishments with its additional fields. Capture data from paper files, spreadsheets, and other shadow or disparate systems and consolidate them into your data quality and conversion plan. Management Support

The most important factor to the success of any HRIS selection and implementation project is senior management sponsorship. The message from the top has to be strong and convincing. Benefits must be clearly communicated to employees by the project team and line managers, however, the magic pill is support and enforcement from the company's leadership. Support is not just grandstanding and motivating speeches. Support also comes in the form of making sure resources are available for the project, allocation of bonuses or incentives for project participants, and recognition of the teams hard work. Positive reinforcements must also be accompanied by enforcement of responsibilities and accountability. All employees are not just encouraged to use the new HRIS; they have to in order to process their benefits or even their time keeping. No other forms of processing should be accepted. There should be no exceptions even for managers and officers. In summary, remember that HRIS systems are unique in that they usually affect every employee in the company, whether you implement self-service capabilities or not. Besides payroll, to your employees, human resources is the most critical software application in your company because it affects them directly. With the addition of self-service HR and time keeping, all employees have direct access and interface with the system. Make sure that processes are streamlined and the system is easy to use and you will maximize your opportunity to achieve a positive user experience

In this model the flow of data starts from internal sources as well as environmental sources and then is processed through one of three input subsystems they are the following: Accounting Information Systems (AIS) - where the data is classified as personal data elements and accounting data elements. Human Resources Research Subsystem -

where a number of researches are conducted such as succession studies, job analysis, evaluations and and grievance studies in order to gather data. Human Resources Intelligence Subsystem - is where HR gathers data that it related to the firm's environment such as government intelligence, supplier intelligence, competitor intelligence, etc. Then once the data goes through one of the three subsystems it then is processed into the HRIS database. >From the database the data then goes through a subsystem output. These are the following: Work force Planning Subsystem Recruiting Subsystem Work force Management Subsystem Compensation Subsystem. Benefits Subsystem Environmental Reporting Subsystem Once the data goes through the output subsystems then it has arrived to the users as information where the user decides to use this information for whatever use they want.

I was going through your posting and thought to respond. I am working with a big consultancy firm in Delhi and we use "Recruit Plus - A product from ITCONS e-Solutions". One has to take a judicious decision before purchasing an ATS; to my understanding,

following points

to be taken into consideration.

1. Is there a need for automated ATS (Applicant Tracking System) - Yes, It not only helps organizing resumes but a good ATS helps reducing the total time of seaching and processing a resume. 2. If yes what would be salient features the industry would prefer - One shd see if this helps in searching the resumes on various search conditions like total experience, current company, designation, past company, salary, education, college name, location etc apart from a key word search. 3. What are the common pain points for Recruitment and Staffing Companies? - To get the data lying in the mails, which is unused and to search for the right fitment from the database quickly. 4. Would you prefer it to be on a subscription model or a onetime payment model - Since most of the companies offer ATS on both the models, one has to see the one time purchase cost vis a vis TCO in monthly subcription model. To me, if the company is small say till 5 users, they shd opt for monthly model. 5. What would be the price you will be willing to pay for both the models - I have seen demos of all the good ATS in India, every one is priced on number of users license basis model. roughly each user license is between 7k to 15k. more at