How To Select Human Resources IT for a Company

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When working in human resources (HR), you can use a computer program to help you track and manage your information. Using human resources IT software can help you manage your various tasks, which may improve your efficiency. If you want to get a human resources IT program for a company, it can help to know the steps and what to look for when selecting a particular product. In this article, we explore what human resources IT is, list common types of human resource information systems and share steps for choosing a program.

What is human resources IT?

Human resources IT is any type of technology or computer program that helps you complete human resources tasks. The most common type of human resources IT is a human resources information system or HRIS. An HRIS is a centralized system that can store, track and manage data related to the human resource functions within a business.

Related: What Is Human Resource Management? (With Duties and Tips)

What are the benefits of using human resources IT?

Using human resources IT, particularly an HRIS, can improve your efficiency by automating common processes so that you can focus on more complex tasks. They can also reduce the amount of paperwork you need to do because all of an employee's information is in a centralized location that anyone with the proper permissions can access. Another advantage is that HRIS programs continually update their software to ensure they're in compliance with general data protection regulations so that you know the information is secure.

Types of HRIS programs

There are four main types of HRIS software, sorted by their functionality:

  • Operational: An operational HRIS focuses on internal employee data. This includes demographic information, addresses and past professional experiences.

  • Tactical: Tactical HRIS programs help managers make decisions about the allocation of resources. Examples include decisions about recruitment, training and employee compensation.

  • Strategic: Strategic HRIS software specializes in helping an organization grow. They do this through managing labor negotiations, workforce planning and information about a particular company.

  • Comprehensive: A comprehensive HRIS is a centralized system that contains all of an organization's human resource data. This type includes the functions of the other HRIS types.

Related: What Is an HRIS? A Definitive Guide

How to select human resources IT

Here are some steps for how to select a human resources IT program:

1. Determine the size of the company

The size of the company may change what kind of features or processes you need from an HRIS. For example, a larger company probably needs more features and tools that can process more people than a smaller company. The size of a company may also affect factors such as budget and how many people need access to the software. You can figure out how many people work at a company to determine its size.

2. Check your system's capabilities

You can also check what the system capabilities of the company are, which may change your HRIS options. Different software programs have different computing requirements and may only run on particular operating systems. If you're already using a software program for HR purposes, you may also want to find a product that works with your existing tools. Consider asking the IT and HR departments about your existing tools and computers.

3. Gather input

Other members of the company may have valuable insight into what they need for an HRIS. Consider gathering input from team members, supervisors and stakeholders to help you determine their particular IT needs and goals. You can ask for feedback directly or create a survey to help you keep track of people's answers.

4. List important features

Once you finish checking system capabilities and gather information from your coworkers, you can create a list of the features you want in an HRIS program. This can allow you to search for an HRIS that meets the organization's particular needs. Common features include employee information storage and management, particular types of report generation, integration with payroll and disciplinary actions tracking.

Related: The 16 Essential HR Documents Every Human Resources Department Needs

5. Determine your type

Understanding what type of HRIS a company needs can help you narrow your research to the particular kind of software you want, which might help save you time. Look at your list of features and see if there are any patterns that may help you choose an HRIS type. For example, if a company mainly requires software that helps store and track employee data, an operational program may work best for it.

6. Research your options

Try to research different HRIS products to determine which program works best for the company. You can use your list of features to check which products have the tools the company needs for their HR department. Consider the budget, company size and computer specifications when making a decision.

7. Implement the product

After you finish researching, discuss the information you find with your team and select a human resources IT program. You can then implement the program within the company and start to use it for your HR needs. Try to choose a date for switching to the product and publicly announce the transition.

Related: 21 Key HR Policies, Procedures and Forms

8. Evaluate your choice

Evaluating how well a particular system works shortly after you implement it can give you valuable feedback about the program. It might also help you decide to try a different system if needed. After a month or two, consider sending a survey to the people who use the program to ask about their experiences. You can use this survey to determine how well the product meets the company's needs.

Tips for selecting human resources IT

Here are some suggestions for choosing a human resources IT program for a company:

Read reviews

When researching your human resources IT options, consider looking at product reviews from other companies. These reviews can provide information about the individual features, user interface and reliability of the program. They can also show you any potential challenges or aspects of the system not advertised by the vendor.

Contact service providers

Contacting a vendor directly can help you learn more about the HRIS software and select a human resources IT program. You can talk to a service provider and request an informational session or live demonstration. Some companies may also give you or your team a free trial so that you can try the software for a limited amount of time before buying it.

Check for training and support

Some HRIS programs have interfaces or features that new users may find challenging. One way to ensure that your team can efficiently use a new system is to find a product that includes training or customer support. When researching your options, check to see if there are any training programs or help services included with the software. You can also check customer reviews to see how useful these training and support services are.

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