HRIS in Action

The HRIS can also bump the firm up to a new plateau in terms of the number and variety of HR rated reports it can produce. Citibank for instance (part of Citigroup) has a global database of information on all employees including their compensation, a skills inventory bank of more than 10,000 of its managers, and a compensation and benefits practices database for each of the 98 countries in which the company has employees.

Finally, the HRIS can also help shift HR’s attention from transactions-processing to strategic HR. As the HRIS takes over tasks such as updating employee information and electronically reviewing resumes, the types of HR staff needed and their jobs tend to change. There is less need for entry level HR data processors, for instance, and more for analysts capable of reviewing HR activities in relation to the company’s plans an engaging in activities such as management development. Let’s look, more closely at how these advantages come about.

How exactly can an HRIS achieve these kinds of performance improvements? At some point the employer will outgrow the separate (manual or computerized) component approach to managing HR. Some estimate that firms with fewer than 150 employees can efficiently use computerized components systems, each separately handling talks such as attendance, and benefits and payroll management. However, beyond that point larger firms should turn to either off the shelf or customizable HRIS packages. The advantages of moving from component systems to integrated human resource information systems arise from the following.

Improved Transaction Processing: It’s been said that the bread and butter of HRIS is still basic transaction processing. One study – conducted in a pharmaceutical a company just before it implemented an HRIS – found that 71% of HR employees’ time was devoted to transactional and administrative tasks, for instance. In other words, an enormous amount of time was devoted to tasks like checking leave balances, maintaining address records, and monitoring employee benefits distributions. HRIS packages are intended to be comprehensive. They therefore generally provide relatively powerful computerized processing of a wider range of the firm’s HR transactions than would be possible, if individual systems HR task had to be used.

Online processing: Many HR information systems make it possible (or easier) to make the company’s employees themselves literally part of the HRIS. For example, Merck installed employee kiosks at which employees can verify and correct their home address and work location. Estimated savings reportedly approach $640,000 for the maintenance to those data alone, and many companies report similar savings. At Provident Bank an HR compensation system called Benelogic allows the bank’s employees to enroll in all their desired benefits programs over the Internet at a secure site. One shipping company estimates it will reduce transaction processing and related paperwork from $50 down to $30 or less per employee using direct access kiosks and integrative voice response (IVR) phone scripts. Increasingly, forms like Dell are creating intranet based HR sites. These allow managers and employees to process HR related information with little or no support required from the HR group itself. But using kiosks, or (increasingly) the intranet based systems should not only move the burden of the record keeping from HR to the employees themselves. It also should support employees’ quest for what information relating to, for example the impact on their take pay of various benefits options, insurance coverage retirement planning and more. Some experts refer to advanced Internet based HR service programs like these as electronic HR or (e-HR). It is the application of conventional, Web an voice technologies to improve HR administration transactions and process performance.