What's an HRIS: Definition and Top Features

Employé souriant sur l'ordinateur
Morgane Lança
August 10 2021
In recent years, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) have been at the forefront of HR discussions and are taking on an increasingly important role in companies’ human resources management. But more concretely, what is an HRIS software solution? What are its key features, and above all, how can it help you reach your organizational goals? 

Definition and Role of an HRIS

A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a software that integrates and manages core HR features such as administrative employee records, therefore supporting the management of administrative tasks and key HR processes.

HRIS tools automate manual processes and offers a clear and global vision of organizational effectiveness, both in terms of business strategy and employee productivity and engagement.

To understand what an HRIS truly entails, why not ask the people who use it everyday?

According to Tracey Beveridge, HR Director at Personnel Checks, here is a comprehensive definition:


I would define HRIS as a centralized system for managing all core HR functions. A good HRIS should streamline key HR processes, save managers and employee time and reduce risk of errors.

It should also directly benefit employees, creating a more seamless experience for them right from hiring and onboarding, throughout their employment and then offboarding. I would expect a modern system also to provide detailed analytics to allow us to easily produce reports and answer any exec team queries.

Our HRIS is absolutely essential to the running of our business. It deals with all of the above, but it also has additional functions to help with the business’s day-to-day running. For example, it contains a knowledge base of training and checklists to assist staff in completing their roles correctly. This is especially valuable as many of the team work away from the office, and it allows management to easily track progress and make sure work is being carried out appropriately. For any business that does not yet have a central HRIS, I would strongly recommend they implement one as soon as possible. There is a wide variety of options available on the market with something to suit all sizes of business, and the amount of time saved and the benefits of having everything all in one place is invaluable and well worth the investment.”


As for Gary Warner, Marketing Manager at Joloda Hydraroll, here is the essential role of an HRIS:

HRIS is, effectively, a single source of the truth for all things related to employees. The alternative is several systems for payroll, recruitment, training, benefits, performance management, etc. Having several systems means that manual updates are usually needed across all systems which can lead to mistakes and omissions.

A good HRIS system saves time, increases accuracy and can provide HR reporting and analytics that are not available when using independent systems. This means things such as hiring trends can be linked to retention, and training can be linked to performance. Insights such as these can be extremely valuable for any organization and help to inform future strategy.

Another bonus of a good HRIS system is the employee portal. This allows employees to do things such as download their payslips and amend their benefits. This not only gives the employee increased flexibility, but also saves the HR and associated teams considerable time.”

Different Types of HR Software


The differences are subtle! Here are short explanations: 

As we have seen, HRIS are data-driven and provide insights. Employee records and profiles represent the core of these systems and they cover almost every aspect of HR management.

The name Human Resources Management System was more frequently used when referring to on-premises systems (not on the cloud). Nowadays, most HRMS are cloud-based and they are often associated with bigger companies that need additional features.

Human Capital Management focuses on talent acquisition, talent management and talent organization to improve employee experience. 

HRIS Top Features

HRIS offer a wide range of features and cover many human resources management administrative tasks. From onboarding to performance reviews and PTO management, your HR software is sure to become your best tool for optimizing all of your daily processes!

Want to know more about key features offered by HRIS? Feel free to read our article on the topic!

HR Dashboard

Interactive HR dashboards give a global vision of the tasks left to be done (vacation approval, for instance) as well as possible incidents or anomalies related to employees. These indicators are all found in one place to provide you with a valuable overview. It is then possible to dig deeper into different categories by accessing the corresponding tabs.

You simply need to use Key Performance Indicators in your day-to-day processes : HR analytics are a must for organizations that want to stay on top of their game!

Employee Profiles

Employee profiles database contain all the information needed for quick navigation (department, positions, supervisor, any note to the file, etc.). As for employees, they have access to their personal information and can quickly update it through the self-service portal if needed.

Better still, they can check their time bank at any moment and request vacation time accordingly, or simply complete their daily timesheet.

Employee Performance Review

Some HR systems also offer performance appraisal features for each employee, with a possibility to view individual progress and the achievement of one’s objectives. This allows managers from each department to identify potential issues related to employees and solve them accordingly.

In short, the Human Resources Information System provides complete and centralized access to all human resources data, thus avoiding wasted time spent collecting information. A valuable automation for the whole organization, which saves considerable time both for managers and employees alike.

But beyond these apparent advantages, how can an HRIS be a key feature for your company’s management? 

The Importance of an HRIS in Business Management

The HRIS’s numerous functionalities offer way more than time savings and clarity in employee data management. The truth is that the HRIS can reshape a company for the better by providing the innovative touch that will make it more productive and ensure its sustainability.

With the HR dashboard software, you can identify at a glance the tasks left to be done, whether they are related to onboarding or vacation requests to be approved, for example. This management tool provides a welcome daily reminder: no more oversights and therefore no more time wasted remembering what has already been done or what remains to be done!

Data dematerialization and centralization helps in having a reliable history of the company’s productivity in the long term. Dematerialization also prevents loss of data from one department to another by avoiding multiple information entries and human error. All your HR processes are made easier on a daily basis!

HR management through an HRIS also allows for a productive and empowering workflow and increases employee engagement, thanks to the employee self-service database and the access to vacation management at all times. An autonomous employee is a committed employee!

To go further and obtain a complete employee performance appraisal over a given period of time, the HRIS offers performance reviews proposing a detailed analysis by department or by employee.  You will no longer have to guess the possible decrease in employee motivation since all data related to their involvement in the company will be readily available. In addition, the HRIS will cover the administrative aspect of performance management while allowing you to act quickly and efficiently on the more strategic dimension to solve internal issues.

This is proof that the HRIS can quickly become an essential tool for your company!

Choice and Implementation

To top it all off, implementing an HRIS solution is quick and adapted to your business challenges. For example, if your company provides professional services, your HR software should help you focus on your client’s needs instead of wasting time managing employee files in Excel spreadsheets.

Folks HR system offers intuitive, comprehensive and user-friendly HR tools and technological solutions that will allow fast software integration in all your organization’s departments. Folks HR will quickly become an essential tool for managing all your common HR tasks and will improve your company’s productivity by facilitating employee management and creating a stable workflow. Additionally, our implementation team and customer service are top-notch!

In addition, integration with different systems (payroll software, benefits management…) is accessible thanks to our flexibility. An example of integrated solution? We work in harmony with Voilà!, a time-tracking tool, which enables us to cover all your core HR processes. And we have many other solution partners!

Need help in implementing an HRIS in your company? We have an article with all the tips you need to convince your boss!

Offering undeniable benefits to reach business goals, Human Resources Information Systems represent the future of workforce management. Less rigid and more empowering, in addition to being true vectors of organizational progress, HR cloud-based technology is definitelt bound to last.

Folks HR offers a flexible and easy-to-implement software that will optimize your human resource functions while saving you considerable time daily. We have numerous standout features for you to discover!

Want to learn more about Folks HR?

Discover Human Resources professionals' favourite HRIS!

Download our free guide

We are always open to adapt to your specific HR needs, so feel free to contact our team to find out what integrations are possible!

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