Choosing the Best HRIS for Your Company

Mar 14, 2024
Reading time: 7 min
Sharon Rusinowitz
Director of Content Marketing

Choosing an HRIS is one of the most important decisions for any People team.

That’s because, as the system of record for people data, the HRIS (human resource information system) is central to all HR processes and something every People team needs.

Specifically, an HRIS streamlines HR data management, allowing People teams to access, update, and analyze data. It also helps optimize HR processes and increase overall efficiency by automating previous manual tasks. All in, the right HRIS can help People teams become more data-driven and strategic.

So what exactly do you need to know to choose the best HRIS for your company? There’s no one right answer for everyone, as which platform is right for each team depends on several factors. Here’s what to consider as you start your search.

Benefits of HRIS Platforms

First, it’s important to understand the benefits of an HRIS. Outlining the most important benefits to your team will help ensure you choose a solution that can deliver on your expectations. Key benefits of HRIS platforms include:

  • Reducing paperwork and duplicate work: HRIS platforms can reduce (or even eliminate) the need for manual HR processes, like entering data into spreadsheets. Centralizing people data into a single source of truth and automating related processes also saves valuable time by eliminating redundant efforts.
  • Empowering employees to be self-sufficient: Constant requests to change personal data or track down information on pay, benefits, and more can be a huge pain for both People teams and employees alike. An HRIS platform can put an end to all that by making it easy for employees to view and update information like time off requests, performance reviews, training details, and more on their own.
  • Supporting managers and leaders effectively: Organizational leaders, including executives and managers, regularly need to complete tasks like approving time off requests and planning for headcount changes. An HRIS can help streamline these efforts and ensure consistency across the company by introducing clear approval workflows.
  • Improving efficiency across departments: By automating and streamlining key processes, like onboarding and offboarding, an HRIS can save time for the People team and beyond. This level of automation enables everyone across the organization to spend less time worrying about the process itself and more time getting the necessary information, that way they can devote their efforts to other, higher-level tasks.
  • Gaining insights into analytics and reporting: Having an HRIS house all your people data ensures you have a single view of people data that you can trust, which in turn allows your People team to keep a pulse on the organization and find trends in HR metrics. For example, this level of people analytics makes it possible to understand data like retention, demographics, and engagement. Making these insights easily available to leaders ensures people data underpins important organizational decisions.
  • Tightening data security: Features like role-based access control, encryption, and secure data storage ensure confidential information remains private. This is especially important in cases where collaboration is necessary – for example, when it comes to compensation reviews – that way your team can rest assured only the designated people can view and modify specific data.

When is it Time for a New HRIS Platform?

There are several scenarios that indicate your team might be ready for a new HRIS platform. The most common of these include:

Your People team is getting bogged down with operational tasks

Chances are, you didn’t get into HR to juggle multiple technologies, move data back and forth between those systems, and figure out how to properly share information across the company. But all too often, this is exactly what happens.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. With the right HRIS, your People team should be able to get all the data they need from a single system. In turn, this should make it easier to run HR processes, aggregate and analyze data, and simply get work done. Overall, it should allow your team to spend less time on operational tasks and more time on strategic, data-backed efforts that will move the needle for your people and your business.

Your employee experience is lacking

Employee experience is everything in today’s workforce, and numerous factors – including your HRIS – can impact that experience. If you’re seeking to create a company culture of accountability and transparency, you need an HRIS that supports those ideals.

For example, if employees have difficulty finding information or understanding how to engage in certain processes, then those roadblocks will stick with them and can have a trickle down effect. On the other hand, an HRIS that empowers employees to view their information, easily take action, and even find basic details on their peers (like who sits where in the organization or who else is located in their city), it can make all the difference in their day-to-day experience.

Your employee base is changing

Organizations change in size for any number of reasons, but regardless of the reason why, your People team needs the right solution to manage those changes. As your company changes in size and composition, understanding your employee base becomes more important than ever.

That means your team needs a solution that can help them easily pull together a variety of data to understand points like demographics, turnover and flight risks, overall engagement (especially overlaid with performance or compensation trends), team sizes and structures, and more. The right HRIS should bring all of this people data together and make it easy to find and analyze insights.

6 Steps to Choose the Best HRIS for Your Company

With all of that in mind, choosing an HRIS for your company isn’t a decision you should approach lightly. Consider the following six steps to do your research effectively and make an informed decision:

  • Identify your goals: Start with a comprehensive list of your goals for a new HRIS. Map your current challenges and your desired goals for a new system, that way you have a clear picture of what success looks like for your team.
  • Determine your must-have functionality, including integrations: There are a variety of HRIS options available, each of which offers different functionality. Determine which specific functions of an HRIS will be most important to your team so you have a checklist of features. Be sure to include must-have integrations too, as you’ll need a system that plays well with other solutions your organization has in place.
  • Assemble your team of decision-makers: With a system as critical as your HRIS, you’ll likely need multiple people to weigh in on the decision. Having input from a variety of people – both those within your People team and other leaders throughout your organization – can also help better uncover current pain points and future needs for a thorough process. For example, you might want to include your Finance leader, someone from the executive team, and even a few representative managers and employees.
  • Make a short list of options: Next, you can begin to research the market and make a short list of options that seem to match your requirements. As you start to engage with the partners on that short list, keep in mind your goals and HRIS requirement checklist of must-have functionality so that you stay true to your initial plan. You should also consider other points like:
    • How well can each system scale to evolve alongside your organization?
    • How user-friendly is the system interface? Will it be easy for your users to adopt and use regularly?
    • What level of support can you expect from each HRIS partner?
    • How does the price point and available feature set align with your budget?
  • Choose and implement your new HRIS platform: Once you make a decision, it’s time to implement your new HRIS platform. Your chosen partner will help you along the way, though it’s important to consider how you’ll communicate the change to your employees and what kind of support or training you’ll offer to get everyone up to speed and into the system.
  • Evaluate your HRIS post-implementation: Finally, take the time to step back and determine how everything is going. Meet with your team of decision-makers to collect feedback post-implementation, that way you can continue to make tweaks to your program as needed and get ahead of any new needs before they become major pain points.

The Right HRIS Can Make All the Difference

Having the right HRIS platform in place can make all the difference for your company. It can centralize people data to support more efficient processes and more empowered employees, enabling your People team to be more strategic in everything they do.

But choosing the right HRIS can be overwhelming if you don’t have a clear plan in place. Understanding what you’re looking for and following the six steps outlined above can help. Along the way, remember that the goal is not necessarily to find the most feature-rich platform, but rather the one that best meets the specific needs and goals of your organization. In doing so, you'll pave the way for improved HR processes, enhanced organizational efficiency, and better overall workforce management.

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