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The following essay is about the Human Resource Information System. It describes the technology used in organisation to manage shuman resource activities.
In addition, it discusses the use of HRIS in hiring the employees as well as catering for the employees’ welfare in monitoring, evaluating and rewarding their performance.
The essay also identifies organisations that are currently using the HRIS technology in the two HR functions (hiring and evaluating employees’ performance).
It demonstrates evidence of critical analysis of various sources of information concerning human resource information systems (Clemons 2008).
Human Resource Information Systems refers to the collection of technological application software, hardware and network infrastructure that are used to store, analyse and distribute information concerning human resource (O’Brien 2011).
A good HRIS has electronic data processing for calculations, classifications and summary of the data.
It also has management information system for analysis of the human resource data and finally the decision support system, which provides information to support the decisions made by the organisation (Brown 2003).
Current HRIS technologies
With the change in business environment, accurate and timely information about employees in an organisation is important. The traditional way of managing human resources is inappropriate, as it may not provide all the information needed by the organisation concerning the employees (Harold 2009).
The other aspect of human resource management is an appropriate way of developing the employees, acquiring new skills as well as experiences. The human resources managers must therefore know about the changes if they are going to make informed decisions (Clemons 2008).
The commonly used applications for human resource management are the Enterprise Resource Systems that have been the preserve for large enterprises. The ERP however are not efficient as they have too many applications and need costly technical training of the employees.
The other challenge is that the ERP is an application meant for departments such as accounting, front office sales and human resources management, which limits it as Human Resource Information Systems software.
The human resource software is specialist software whose applications specifically deal with issues that affect human resources. It may include applications on training, hiring staff, employees’ background and competency, performance, complaints and payroll management.
This makes the HRIS applications in an organisation an imperative aspect in managing the modern human resources (Brown 2003).
There are common applications of the human resource software. The first one is hiring and recruitment of new staff.
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The software has interfaces, which are networked with various recruitment agencies where the manager can post the advertisement on notice boards, web sites and web listing so that interested candidates can apply (Head 2005).
In addition, after submission of applications the software can shortlist the applications based on the experience and other requirements as stated in the application schedule. This makes it easier for the human resource managers to select the best candidate for the job.
Through the software, the manager can obtain information about the candidates from online sources therefore validating whether the information provided by the applicants is true or false. This application has an email auto responder to alert on receipt of applications for the job (Becker 2003).
The second application of the Human Resource Information System software is in the evaluation of the employees’ performance. The software stores data that concerns each employee and their performances over a given time.
This enables the human resource manager to have an overview of who is best suited for promotion, demotion or retrenchment based on the information in the database. It enables the human resource department to reward the employees based on their performances.
This application provides data on complaints and comments about the employees. It makes it easy to trace employees’ history, performance and background thereby making informed decisions (Becker 2003).
The Human Resource Information System software has limitations because it is costly. The high cost of the software is due to the complexity of programming required. In addition, the company must invest its resources to train the staff on how to use it.
The training is always a costly process (O’Brien 2011). The other challenge is that some of the software is not customisable, as it already has fixed applications that may not satisfy the needs of the organisation.
Companies hoping to use the information systems must have good evaluation criteria of the applications that the software has on whether they are effective (Khosrow 2006).
The other challenge relates to the security where appropriate mechanisms are necessary to ensure that unauthorised persons do not access the information stored in the Human Resource Information Systems database.
This is because matters relating to the human resource are private and confidential to that particular organisation and may affect the company negatively when accessed by unauthorised malicious persons (King 2005).
The future of HRIS s
To institute a good HRIS the organisation must conduct a need analysis on the issues that the information systems will simplify in the execution of human resource operations.
The need analysis should aim at obtaining information about the areas where the data on the human resources is applicable. In addition, It should justify funding by outlining the cost benefits of having the human resources information systems in the organisation (Harold, 2009).
The need analysis should have specifications of what the human resource department needs. One of the needs include data storage regarding the performance and evaluation of the employees.
The other aspect is on summary application on information in terms of age, performance and experience of the employees. It may contain a complaints option to indicate some of the complaints forwarded by the employees about the organisation (Head, 2005).
After identifying the needs the next step when instituting the human resource information systems is making key decisions.
In order for the need analysis to be successful, the human resource manager must make decisions based on the need analysis on whether to upgrade the existing information system, design a new system for the organisation, or use an external service (Clemons 2008).
The following are features of good HRIS. The first one is that it should be easy to log in and establish contact with the software for the authorised users.
This feature is important as complex software to log in may have other complications, which may adversely affect the pace at which the users identify with the software. The other feature is that the information system dealing with the human resources should have easy to use icons, menus, and codes to enable the user access the relevant information quickly and effectively.
This would ensure that other processes in the organisation are not delayed. Other than having the display icons, the HRIS should have an online tutorial application, to enable users learn about using the software online.
The other aspect is that the software should contain self-explanatory error messages in case an error occurs to avoid wasting time in consulting technicians and also minimize the cost in meeting the services of such technicians.
It should have clearer graphics, which are attractive and readable (King 2005).
There are measures that may help the company in future if there are appropriate mechanisms to support the Human Resource Information management systems.
The companies using the Human Resource Information Systems must ensure that the systems are secure and unauthorised persons do not access them (Khosrow 2006).
This may involve installing secure passwords for the staff. The company can have a policy or legislation against any staff sharing confidential information or distributes unauthorised information from the department.
The policy outlines the disciplinary measures against anyone who discloses the information contained in the software (King 2005).
The other measure in providing effective human resources in an organisation is involving the top management support such as development in the human resource department as it is usually costly and without support by the top management, it would be difficult to receive the necessary funding (O’Brien 2011).
Companies using HRIS
The following are some of the organisations that use the Human Resource Information Systems. The first one is the Australia’s Westfield Company. It started using the Human Resource Information Systems in the year 2008.
Since the company is multinational and has branches in different countries, it is difficult to keep track of its employees. The human resource information enables the company to have information about each employee making it easy to know their performance.
It also makes it easy to handle complaints from the employee, as it is possible to track communication with the employee and the organisation (King 2005).
The Human Resource Information Systems used by the company have a payroll management application for processing the employees’ salaries and other benefits easily irrespective of where they are located.
This centralised human resource management makes the organisation successful in retaining the employees, as the human resources feel attached to the headquarters of the company (Harold 2009).
The other company that uses the Human Resource Information System is Tesco, which is a multinational company with branches all over the world and it’s headquarter is in the United Kingdom.
The company uses the information systems to know the performance of the employees as well as reward them since it has loyalty bonuses for those who have worked for two consecutive years (Khosrow 2006). The information system applications make it easy to trace the history of the employees.
In addition, it enables the company to interact with the managers of different departments in order to receive and process the employees’ appraisal reports (Head 2005).
The Human Resource Information Systems are imperative in the twenty first century management of the employees. With changes in technology, the company must update the records on human resources to ensure timely processing of salaries, promotions based on merit, and effective hiring of the staff.
This will motivate the employees to work in the assigned duties and be productive all the time without supervision.
The Information Systems are therefore crucial in enabling human resource managers to cope up with the increased demand and expectations in their work.
Becker, M 2003, Human resource management: a guide for the design of hiring processes, Oxford University Press, New York.
Brown, C 2003, ‘Managing the next wave of enterprise systems: leveraging lessons from HRIS’, MIS Quarterly Executive, vol. 2, pp. 1.
Clemons, K 2008, ‘HRIS for sustainable employee management’, Information & Management, vol. 3, pp. 131-136.
Harold, K 2009, Human resource management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling, Wiley, London.
Head, S 2005, The new ruthless economy: work and power in the digital age, Oxford University Press, New York.
King, W 2005, ‘Ensuring HRIS implementation success’, Information Systems Management, vol. 6, pp. 3.
Khosrow, M 2006, Emerging trends and challenges in information technology management, Idea Group Press, London.
O’Brien, J 2011, Management information systems, McGraw-Hill, Irwin, New York.