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Human Resource Information Systems

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Human Resource Information Systems

Introduction

Human Resource Information Management Systems refers to computer programs, online solutions or software that simplify the data entry, recording, payroll management and other human resource functions of the organization. The Human Resource Management System is a combination of contemporary Human resource functions with Information technology. It therefore merges IT functions with Human resource management. Human Resource Information Management Systems (HRIMS) can be purchased from companies that specialize in developing them. The programs are created in database form and can be customized to serve various specific purposes for the organization (Armstrong 2010). The HRIMS has made it easy for human resource managers to carry out their duties.

Human Resource Management (HRM) focuses on the recruitment of workers, management and directing of an organization’s workforce. Human resource management is usually performed by a human resources manager. The Human Resources function in an organization attends to organizational needs concerning remunerations, staff performance, recruitment, training, welfare, rewarding, communication and motivation. Human Resource management therefore deals with functions that provide for the development of the organization’s labor resources and the working environment. The Human Resources function of the organization therefore assists the company in the achievement of its objectives by creating a capable and efficient labor resource (Armstrong 2010). Modern HRM focuses on the development of the workforce. Traditional HRM functions such as recruiting are increasingly being outsourced hence the need to review the roles of the modern human resources manager.

Human Resource Information Management Systems (HRIMS) therefore refers to the merging of Human Resources Management (HRM) with Information Technology (IT) using the Enterprise Resource Planning Program. HRIM reduces the workload of the human resources function of the organization and simplifies the work of the human resources manager. The incorporation of Information Technology into Human resource management has enabled the human resources function to extend its role to other functions. HRMS software assists the company in managing Human resources, employee benefits and payroll administration. In addition, HRIMS can be used to store employees’ background information and produce employee performance reports.

The HRIMS software consists of three main components. The system must contain applications that allow for data input, the data must also be stored and processed and lastly it must provide for output (Durai 2010). The input component of the system provides for the feeding of employee data, other Human resource standards, company objectives and other requirements into the system. The data storage and processing component of the system provides for the holding of diverse data elements within the system in varied forms as provided for by the company. The output component converts the data stored in the HRIMS system into the content desired by the human resource function. Output varies according to the requirements of the Human Resource Department.

Issues to Consider before Acquiring HRMS

HRIMS systems are crucial organizational assets. There are several issues to consider before selecting a HRIMS. Three prominent issues that companies should take into consideration include information security, the system’s capabilities and the financial cost in obtaining the system.

Security

The security of employee information is very important. HRIMS must be able to ensure that vital company and employee data is safe from external interference and accessible to authorized personnel only (Kavanagh & Thite 2010). The HRIMS should utilize secure applications allowing encryptions to prevent access from unscrupulous individuals. HRIMS that have weak security installations put the organization’s information at risk. For instance, vital employee information stored in the system’s databases can be accessed and altered by external or internal individuals with malicious intentions. A breach of the system security has great implications on the functions of the Human Resource department (Stone, Romero & Lukaszewski 2006). An employee might alter their information in the databases to raise their profile or get a promotion. External elements may also breach the internal security of the company to cause chaos in the human resource departments.

Security breaches like the ones listed above have great implications on the performance of the Human resources department of an organization. An alteration of employee data bears heavily on the system’s output. If a breach of security causes an alteration of employee performance data for instance, the system will produce wrong employee information. Since the company’s human resource department makes benefits and rewards decisions based on the output of the HRIMS, they are bound to make the wrong decision. As a result, the wrong employee might be rewarded, promoted, handed a rise or even promoted. On the other hand, a highly productive employee might be punished for wrongs they have not committed. Security of HRIMS is therefore very important in ensuring the effectiveness of HRIMS.

System’s Capabilities

Different organizations are structured differently. Some organizations have complex HRM functions while others prefer simple HRM functions. HRIMS have different features. Some of these features are compatible with certain organizations while some are not. The Human resource department must therefore choose a HRIMS with features that will enable it achieve organizational objectives. According to Thite and Kavanagh (p.16, 2009), Human Resource Information systems have numerous features important in organizational decision-making. However, most Human Resource Management Systems remain virtually unused by organizations that procure HRIMS services. For instance, modern day HRIS are based on Electronic Data Processing (EDP) and Management Information Systems (MIS). Such systems are capable of generating reports such as overtime and employee benefits (Kavanagh & Thite 2009). Some HRIMS however, have limited capabilities and might therefore limit the organization to few capabilities.

An organization that purchases HRIMS that is only limited to traditional human resource functions such as recruiting, staffing and benefits will not enjoy the benefits of advanced HRIMS services such as computer generated employee reports. Such companies therefore have to employ traditional methods of generating such information. Analyzing the capabilities and features of HRIMS enables, the company acquire a custom-made system for all its human resources needs. For example, some HRIMS are developed for large organizations while some are developed for small organizations. Some organizations have a high growth potential, if such companies purchase HRIMS systems meant for small organizations, they would be discarded when the companies expand. Evaluating the component, features and capabilities of HRIMS is crucial for the efficiency of the Human Resources department of the organization.

Financial Cost

Before selecting HRIMS software an organization must decide on the amount, it wants to spend on the software. HRIMS software comes in different makes each with different features and accessories. The financial obligation of the organization must be accompanied by its HRIMS requirements. An organization should not commit a high amount to HRIMS whose outcome does not reflect the amount paid. Secondly, the HRIMS purchasing decision of the company will be based on the perceived performance of the system and the amount available for use by the company. Some HRIMS are more expensive than others are while some have more features. The payment decision of the company must be guided by quality, content and capability. The HRIMS decision should also be based on the budgetary allocations of the company.

The financial decision the company makes concerning the purchase of HRIMS is important. For instance, companies having rigid annual budgetary allocations have to adhere to those allocations. A company that makes an allocation of $120,000 for purchases of new machinery or equipment will require that only that amount be used. The Human resource department will therefore be required to purchase HRIMS that cost $120,000 or less. The company will not make another allocation since that is the only available amount. The same company will also require a system that shows value for money used. HRIMS purchase decisions must therefore take into account costs vis-a-vis quality and capability of the system.

References

Armstrong, M. (2010). Armstrong’s essential human resource management practice: A guide to people management. London: Kogan Page.

Durai, Pravin. (2010). Human Resource Management. Pearson India.

Kavanagh, M. J., & Thite, M. (2009). Human resource information systems: Basics, applications, and future directions. Los Angeles: Sage.

Stone, L. D., Romero, E. F. & Lukaszewski, K. (2006). Factors affecting the acceptance and effectiveness of electronic human resource systems. Human Resource Management Review, 16. 229-244

Torres-Coronas, T., & Arias-Oliva, M. (2005). E-Human resources management: Managing knowledge people. London: Idea Group Pub.

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