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HRIS: What you need to know

HRIS stands for human resources information system. These sophisticated programs may also commonly be referred to as HRM (human resources management) or HCM (human capital management) systems. Though the acronyms differ, the final products are the same—most simply, an HRIS is a software or online platform that assists HR professionals by integrating the management of employee data with the performance of common HR tasks.
The blueprint for HRIS has been around for quite some time—historically, the systems served only payroll processing needs, with perhaps a few additional features for attendance or leave administration. However, with the rise in strategic HR needs, HRIS systems have shifted from payroll to package, including a much broader range of compliance tools. For example, talent management and global service have been recent developments by top HRIS providers.
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One of the key functions of an HRIS is the integration of employee data into the system. This speeds up—and in some cases automates—the performance of common HR administrative tasks.
Businesses that do not currently use an HRIS or a similar centralized data solution may have multiple file cabinets, single-task software programs, and myriad spreadsheets dedicated to leave administration, benefits management, training records, hire paperwork, and the like. With even the most organized HR staff on hand, these manual data solutions can become haphazard, difficult to manage, and frustrating to maintain. For a single employee, you may have data stored in four or five different locations and formats throughout your office before even considering separate supervisor files or HIPAA-protected medical files.
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