The Importance of a Human Resource Information System

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Organizations must look for ways to manage their internal processes efficiently while preserving the integrity of each practice. In human resources, this involves many transactions affecting people, including the benefits they receive and the ways they are treated by the organization. Tracking HR activities through a human resources information system is efficient and effective for many business organizations. For the owner, it's usually a matter of which system is affordable and suited to the organization's needs.

Identify Manpower Requirements

In the most basic sense, an HR information system organizes information about every job in your organization. This information might include details such as who is currently in the position, what she is paid and what her job responsibilities, training needs and assigned benefits are. You can use reports about groups of positions or your entire workforce to determine your manpower requirements. To increase production on the factory floor, for example, you must ensure there are enough employees to staff the expansion to your schedule. With a computerized system, you can study the impact of expansion, such as how much it will cost to add the employees that will be needed.

Identifying Resources

When you must make decisions such as how much manpower will be required, you want to determine quickly what resources are already at your disposal. Using an HRIS, you can make better decisions. Instead of jumping immediately to a plan to recruit and train new employees for factory production expansion, you could pull a report from the HRIS, identifying employees who have skills and training required to be promoted to the new positions. Then, you can recruit less-skilled workers to replace them.


In most firms, there is a critical need to manage how employees are treated, especially to comply with the requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964 and other laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is easier when you have all the ways that applicants and employees are handled and their data, from their application to their termination, in one powerful information system. For example, an HR manager could pull a report about the diversity of the organization, including percentages of employees in each occupation by their race, gender or national origin. This report would help to show whether the business is complying with Equal Employment Opportunity regulations.

Meeting Training Needs

An HRIS system can help employers manage training needs, allowing them to complete mandated and optional training. For example, in the HRIS, an employee might go into a description of available training courses and request courses for her personal learning. When that training becomes available, the HRIS notifies her so she can register and complete the training. In this kind of model, the HRIS helps the organization to automatically manage the fulfillment of many training needs. Also, when employees are ready to apply for a promotion, they may already have much of the training they need because they have taken it in anticipation of promotion.

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