Technology has resulted to an immense change in the manner in which organisations increase the effectiveness of their human resource functions. The concepts of human resource systems were first established at general motors’ in 1950s.
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Since then, “HRIS have advanced from a basic process to convert manual information keeping systems into computerised systems to the HR information systems that are used today” (Friesen 2003, p.28). This change has been associated with the need to integrate various functions of HR to a common platform.
The aftermath is the emergence of a third generation HRIS that is computerised. This generation “has taken HR data systems far beyond being mere data repositories by creating tools with which human resource professionals could do much more” (Byars, 2004).
Additionally, the generation comprises of self-contained feature-rich and broad-based human resource information systems. The purpose of this paper is to provide a plan and a set of recommendations that would identify protocols and parameters for devising a HR DBMS in an industry of tertiary education.
The organisation considered is a university undergoing an immense growth and needs to recruit 500 staff within a year. It also needs to “identify the performance and skill profiles of present employees for later possible redundancies” (Hagood & Friedman 2002, p.544).
Setting plan for HR DBMS
To set a plan for setting recommendations critical in identification of parameters and protocols for coming up with HR DBMS in a university undergoing tremendous growth requires that a consideration be made of the characteristics of a credible HR data base.
It is however crucial to note that, even with the inclusion of computer applications in automation and integration of human resource functions within an organisation, the traditional function of HR has not changed. Consequently, an ample HR database needs to have the capacity to house all these functions from which the developed HR software can process the data to yield HR organisational decisions.
A database having all the requisite concerns of the HR is also critical in ensuring that HR realises its auditing and metrics development that are vital for standardisation rapidly.
A credible HR database also needs to provide HRIS with the capacity to “provide real-time people information to non –HR processes systems as well standardise and automate key HR process and policies” (Hagood & Friedman 2002, p.544). Arguably, such a database needs to be customised to ensure cute automation of various workflows coupled with myriads of HR competences.
This is right from the fundamental information of an employee stored as an individual entity within the database to facilitate the overall decisions vital in setting the overall workforce’s compensation mechanisms, training and education, and in the generation of payrolls.
Design modifications to undertake organisational operations
In planning for a HRIS, a number of factors are vital for consideration. In its actual nature, human resource information system is meant to enhance the enforcement of disciplines in the derivation of HR policies coupled with processes.
Arguably, “organisations, which have been working on agile decision making mechanisms initially find implementation a challenge since the flexibility of decision making as per circumstances is significantly reduced” (Uyen 2005, p.7).
Consequently, the most vital elements that HR database developers need to pay credible attention to while planning for a HRIS in a university undergoing rapid growth is the magnitude of strategic maturity desired to be realised through the system being developed.
Among the factors considered in the development of a credible HRIS includes identification of processes that are desired to get automated and reports that are anticipated to be realised through processing of the data contained in the database.
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They also include the magnitude of information security required, the necessity of conducting an improvement of processes of the HR to match the market requirement, the anticipated decision making, and the business units supported by the system.
Moreover, according to Wojcik (2004), other factors include “people who need to run the systems and their internal capability, the monetary and man power investment needed to be made when planning the HRIS and knowing the way out of the legacy systems when migrating to the new system” (p.19).
Once all these factors are given ample consideration, it becomes critical to consider the specific design modifications required to undertake and address recruitment, training and development, career planning, performance review, occupational health, and safety operations within the tertiary educational industry.
Recruitment and selection
There are main changes to the design of recruitment and selection while deriving a new HRIS in a tertiary education. One is to ensure online recruiting and selection becomes the central methodology of the HR department.
This change is credible since it would aid an “organisation to garner potential candidates for available positions within minimal time and cost” (Avison & Fitzgerald 2003, p.79). Redesigning the recruitment and selection this way can help the university to recruit 500 employees within the available time span of 12 months.
Training and development
Training and development encompasses one of the noble obligations of HR in an organisation. To enhance the effectiveness of this task, a change is required to incorporate a LMS (learning management system) as an integral part of HR system developed in the university.
According to Conway and Monks (2008), A LMS facilitates “HR to track education, qualifications and skills of the employees, as well as outlining what training courses, books, CDs, web based learning or materials that are available to develop necessary skills” (p.73).
Consequently, it would become possible to utilise the employees’ information stored in the HR database “to offer various courses during particular sessions in which all the delegates coupled with the resources used in the training process are managed and mapped on to a common information system” (Walker 1982, p.56). Such a system would also permit the HR to authenticate training budgets and appraisal metrics.
At the heart of organisational success rests the need for HR to conduct research on the emerging needs of further career development among the employees to ensure that the organisation benefits from the most recent technological development. For the university’s case, this may include the emergence of new research methods or new disciplines within the areas of specialisation of tutors.
The desired alteration of the HRIS is to incorporate mechanisms of tracking the profiles of the existing university human resource and match them with the possible emerging career opportunities. This is followed by subsequent placement of these employees to such opportunities.
A performance review module is necessary for incorporation as a design modification for the HRIS utilised in the university. Such a system deserves to garner and process information related to work efforts, which are then merged with the established remuneration procedures adopted by the university.
The results obtained from analysis conducted by performance review module could be credible in basing decisions on possible redundancies of the employees within the university.
Occupational health and safety
In addition to the discussed roles of HR in an organisation, it is also the role of the department to ensure that the employees’ occupational health and safety issue are proactively managed to enhance the productivity of the workforce.
The modification changes in the new HRIS system ensure that the system facilitates quick querying of teaching and non-teaching staff concerns of their safety and occupational health on an online environment. This is anticipated to boost morale of the workforce since such concerns may act as stressors.
Role of IT in assisting to design modifications to undertake organisational operations
In enhancing a practical realisation of the above modification changes, IT personnel play critical roles. In this regard, Broderick and Boudreau (1992) reckon, “HR executives depend on internal or external IT professionals to develop and maintain an integrated HRIS” (p.6).
Therefore, the IT team is charged with development of a database with field taking in data relevant to the mandates of HR department within an organisation. These include “payrolls, time attendance, appraisal performance, benefit administration, recruiting, performance record, employees’ self-service, and scheduling and absence management” (Sandberg 2000, p.13).
This information is necessary for making sure that human resource accomplishes its tasks, which not only entails the management of the workforce but also in aiding to create business intelligence and tracking the resource available to an organisation to make it more productive, cost effective, and fostering the brand.
More importantly, the role of the IT is to develop the software entities for processing various HR-related data besides integrating these entities into a common platform that enables the HR to make compound decisions.
Avison, E & Fitzgerald, G 2003, Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools, McGraw-Hill, London.
Broderick, R & Boudreau, J 1992, ‘Human resource management, information Technology, and the competitive edge’, Academy of Management Executive, vol.6 no. 2, pp. 7–17.
Byars, L & Rue, W 2004, Human Resource Management, The McGraw-Hill Companies, London.
Conway, E & Monks, K 2008, ‘HR practices and commitment to change: an employee-level Analysis’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 18 no.1, pp. 72–89.
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Hagood, W & Friedman, L 2002, ‘Using the balanced scorecard to measure the performance of your HR information system’, Public Personnel Management, vol. 31 no. 4, pp. 543-558.
Sandberg, J 2000, ‘Understanding Human Competence at Work: An Interpretative Approach’, Academy of Management Journal, vol.43 no.1, pp. 9–25.
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Walker, J 1982, HRIS Development: A Project Team Guide to Building an Effective Personnel Information System, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Wojcik, J 2004, ‘Toshiba Employee Handbook Goes Online, Business Insurance’, vol. 38 no.49, pp. 18-23.