What Is HRIS Software and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Two women looking at an HRIS on a laptop
Whether you just want to learn more or find out if an HRIS is right for your business, this post explains everything you need to know.


Key points about HRIS software:


  • An HRIS automates HR and payroll processes, making it easier to gather, track, and manage employee data.
  • HR technology can help any organization save time, stay compliant, and engage employees.

Human Resources departments handle almost every aspect of a business. From recruiting and onboarding to payroll, analytics, and everything in between, HR professionals have a lot to manage. An HRIS can help them stay organized while streamlining their daily responsibilities. 

Whether you just want to learn more about HR technology or find out if HRIS software is right for your business, this post explains everything you need to know.

What Is an HRIS?

A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a piece of software that combines human resources and information technology. It provides a single database for all of your HR information, eliminating the need for separate systems. By unifying and automating HR and payroll processes, an HRIS makes it easier to stay organized, track employees, and otherwise manage employee information.

How Is an HRIS Different from Other HR Technology?

Some providers refer to their software as a Human Resources Management System (HRMS) or Human Capital Management (HCM) system. Although they use different names, these programs are very similar to HRIS software. All three programs help HR professionals manage HR processes, employees, and data. 

Some providers use these terms interchangeably, while others claim that there are distinct differences. Because of this, it’s difficult to recommend one system over another. If you’re looking for HR technology, you can’t rely on the term the provider uses. You have to look at each program in-depth to determine whether it has the functionality you need.

What Features Does an HRIS Have?

Like the HR professionals that use it, an HRIS impacts almost all areas of the employee lifecycle. The features and functionality included vary, but most programs include:

What Are the Benefits of an HRIS?

HRIS software is designed to streamline your processes, simplify data management, and support your HR strategy. Because of this, it offers several benefits that make it worth the investment:

All-in-one capabilities

If you have an HRIS, you don’t need to purchase separate platforms for payroll, applicant tracking, and talent management. An HRIS can handle almost every aspect of HR, so you only need one system. This saves money and eliminates repetitive data entry.

Time savings

An HRIS uses automated workflows to streamline manual processes. You won’t need to spend time completing tasks by hand or manually prompting employees to take action. The software will do it for you.

For example, 58% of organizations say their onboarding program is focused on paperwork. With an HRIS, an automated onboarding workflow gives you the time to focus on the new hire instead of the paperwork. Notifications prompt new hires to complete tasks like adding direct deposit information or signing documents. As soon as they finish one task, the software will automatically ask them to complete the next.


If you rely on paper-based processes, an HRIS can help you reduce your paper consumption and create a more sustainable workplace. Digital document management lets you obtain compliant eSignatures and store records securely in the cloud.


HR professionals juggle a variety of tasks, which can make it hard for them to keep track of new legislation and ensure compliance. Most HRIS programs have built-in audit and compliance tools to catch any errors. They also provide the most up-to-date forms and send alerts when laws change, an employee approaches overtime, or other compliance issues arise. Some HRIS providers even offer services for things like ACA compliance to make this even easier.

Data security

Whether you currently store your employee information in paper files or a digital format, keeping your data secure is a top priority. HR software has encryption, risk management, and other security standards in place to keep your information safe. 

HRIS providers also ensure high reliability and availability. This means that you have consistent access to your information and data losses are kept to a minimum.

Access to HR metrics

If you rely on paper processes and spreadsheets, it can take time to gather and analyze your HR data. An HRIS makes it easier to assess important HR metrics like turnover, benefits participation, and absences. You can see your data in real-time, and the software helps you generate reports in just a few steps. You won’t have to re-enter information or perform calculations by hand.

Streamlined employee experience

Organizations with cloud-based HR technology increase efficiency and productivity by 44% and improve the employee experience by 40%. Organizations without cloud-based HR technology only see an increase of 18% and 19%, respectively. 

An HRIS gives your employees the power to take action themselves. They don’t need to ask you to change their contact information, add a new dependent, or enroll in a benefits plan. Instead, employees can self-service. You’ll still be able to manage approvals, but your employees will have a more engaging experience. In the long run, this can lead to higher productivity, employee satisfaction, and retention rates.

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How Do You Know If You Need an HRIS? Is It Right for Your Organization?

Regardless of your organization’s size, industry, or HR needs, an HRIS can streamline your processes and relieve some of your HR burden. Simply put, an HRIS benefits almost every business.

However, certain circumstances may make this technology more attractive. It may be time to find a provider if you:

Have overworked HR professionals

Your HR department handles a wide range of tasks and processes. If your HR professionals are overwhelmed or burnt out, an HRIS can automate the majority of their daily processes and reduce their stress.

Notice errors

Frequent errors can cost your business money and create extra work for your HR department. If you notice errors like incorrect pay stubs, noncompliant records, or something similar, you may want an HRIS to help you stay accurate and compliant. Audit tools and other automated workflows can help you check your work and catch any errors before you’re penalized.

Experience growth

While any business can benefit from an HRIS, growing companies often find them especially beneficial. The reason is simple: when a business has more employees, they have more data to gather, track, and manage. It can be harder to develop and connect with each employee, too. An HRIS can help you manage more data while ensuring no employee is neglected.

Think you need HR technology

In truth, there is no specific set of criteria your business needs to meet in order to implement an HRIS. You know your organization best—if you think this software could help, you’re probably right.

Is an HRIS Worth the Investment?

An HRIS can be a major investment, but it can also dramatically impact your HR department (and your business as a whole). Reduced costs and data entry, increased efficiency and productivity, streamlined workflows…the benefits of an HRIS make the investment well-worth it, especially when you see the ROI almost immediately after implementation

If you’re ready to learn more about how an HRIS can help your business specifically, you can reach out to one of our product experts for advice. We’ll be happy to help you learn more.


The Sentric Team

The Sentric Team

At Sentric, we help businesses make people management easier with industry-leading technology and standout support.

Sentric HR & Payroll Insights

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