How to choose an HRIS: software buying guide

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Jordie Black
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Human resource information systems (HRIS) has become increasingly crucial for businesses of all sizes in managing and streamlining their HR processes. With many features and capabilities, it can be challenging to know what to look for when choosing the right HRIS software for your organisation. This article will look at some of the nice-to-have, ideal, and essential features as well as industry-specific use cases to keep in mind when evaluating HRIS software.

AHRIS is a software solution that integrates and automates various HR processes, such as employee information management, payroll and benefits administration, recruiting and hiring, performance management, and compliance reporting. It serves as a central repository for all HR-related data and allows HR professionals to manage and access it in real time.

HRIS software is designed to streamline HR processes and save time and resources by eliminating manual tasks such as data entry, document tracking, and reporting. The software also provides data-driven insights and analytics, allowing HR professionals to make informed decisions based on real-time data and trends. With the growing importance of HR in organisations, an HRIS system is increasingly becoming a must-have for businesses of all sizes.

Step one: identify your HR needs

The first step for anyone looking to select an HRIS is to identify your Human Resources needs. After all, how can you choose a product that best suits your firm’s unique requirements if you don’t know what those needs are?

 It’s essential to make sure that staff requirements are considered but anything specific to the industry and jurisdiction in which the organisation operates. Furthermore, it would be wise to thoroughly understand the current HR operations and processes as it gives valuable insight into what features could be helpful later in the process. 

Keeping these things in mind when trying to work out your HR needs will ensure you can build a list of must-haves when considering an HRIS effectively.

Step two: Consider the cost of an HRIS system

The cost of an HRIS system boils down to the size of your organisation, the type of features needed, and whether you will be subscribing to an annual purchase or a subscription service. 

When assessing cost, you should determine the cost upfront for purchasing a one-time license, recurring fees associated with subscription models, and other administrative costs like installation, customisation, training, maintenance and support services. Furthermore, you could also factor in potential productivity gains from implementing an HRIS system, as this could mean savings over time through efficient workflows. Investing in research before selecting an HRIS solution is critical to ensure it meets your needs and budget.

Nice-to-have features:

These features are optional but can help streamline processes and improve overall efficiency.

  • Customisable dashboards and reports
  • Mobile app for on-the-go access
  • Employee self-service portals for updating personal information and accessing pay stubs
  • Social media integration for posting job openings and company news
  • Automated onboarding processes for new hires
  • Employee polls and surveys
  • Probation reviews and 121 capabilities 

Ideal features:

These are the features that HR professionals would like to have in their ideal HRIS system.

  • Advanced reporting and analytics capabilities
  • Integrations with other software systems, such as payroll, benefits, background checking and time and attendance
  • Performance management and goal-setting tools
  • Succession planning and talent management features
  • Automated HR compliance reporting

Essential features:

These are the features that need to be included in any HRIS system.

  1. Data security and privacy protection
  2. Employee records and contact information management
  3. Payroll processing capabilities
  4. Leave tracking and absence management
  5. Recruiting, candidate tracking, and hiring tools
  6. Employee personal information management
  7. Payroll and benefits administration
  8. Time and attendance tracking
  9. Recruiting and hiring management
  10. Compliance with local and federal laws and regulations
  11. Company handbook and policies

Industry-specific use cases:

If your organisation operates in a specific industry where additional features are necessary, such as employee scheduling or shift management, be sure to include those when assessing potential vendors. It’s essential to look for a system that can accommodate the specific needs of your industry and ensure all relevant features are available.

  • Healthcare: Integration with electronic medical records systems, ability to track employee certifications and continuing education
  • Manufacturing: Automated time tracking for production employees and tracking of certifications for industrial equipment operation
  • Education: Integration with student information systems and tracking of teacher certifications and continuing education
  • Government: Compliance with specific regulations and reporting requirements, such as Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for contractors
  • Non-profit organisations: Tracking volunteer hours and donations and managing grants and funding sources

Step three: look for ease of use and integration capabilities

Choosing a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for your business is essential. You want to select an HRIS to help manage efficient and effective Human Resource functions. 

Two important things to look for are ease of use and integration capabilities:

  • An easy-to-use HR system will result in faster employee onboarding time and fewer errors while also reducing the need for administrative staff training time. 
  • The ability to integrate seamlessly with other systems in your organisation will enable automated data transfers and save on labour costs due to improved workflows and significantly reduced manual data manipulation. 

For example, integrating your HRIS with background check services and payroll solutions can speed up onboarding. At the same time, integration with financial management systems can automate many HR processes related to salary disbursement.

Step four: consider the effect of migration

It is essential to consider the cost of migration and its effect on your business. There are many factors to consider, such as understanding which databases or systems your prospective HRIS can integrate with and whether they have the skillset required to configure any unique interfaces needed. 

You should also consider whether pre-existing employee information needs to be imported and practices that need replicating so you can ensure a successful transition to the new solution. Before selecting one, a complete analysis of technical capabilities, time requirements, and cost assessments should be undertaken. Ultimately, it is essential to choose an HRIS that not only meets your current needs and accounts for future capabilities.

Step five: Make sure you get support when needed

Choosing the right Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is not to be taken lightly. After all, it will be the system your organisation uses to keep up with personnel data and store important information about its employees— - so a sound decision is paramount.

One crucial factor to consider during the evaluation process is the support you can expect from the vendor. You want to make sure that help is available for any issues or questions. 

Choosing an HRIS with excellent customer support will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your other job responsibilities knowing that skilled assistance is just a phone call or email away.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right Human Resources Information System (HRIS) for your organisation is an important decision that should be taken seriously. It’s critical to evaluate the system in terms of ease of use, integration capabilities, migration costs and customer support availability before making a final selection. Doing so can help ensure that you select an HRIS that will fulfil all your business needs and provide the most efficient and effective HR functions.

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