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Consulting Services • Published 8/20/2020 HRIS: Finding the Right Tool to Align Talent and Business Strategy


The impact of COVID-19 across all areas of business shows that change is no longer on the horizon; it’s here. Organizations around the globe are in the midst of massive restructuring to accommodate the sudden changes to their workforce necessary to keep businesses afloat. It’s now evident that developing a sound, technology-based business infrastructure could ultimately be what makes or breaks an organization in the years to come. Human resources technology is no exception to this new normal.

The incorporation of technology and human resource management systems are now critical components to any discussion on change management and business strategy. Implementing the right human resources information system (HRIS) allows HR leaders to turn their attention toward strategic initiatives within their organization rather than focusing on administrative tasks, while potentially saving a company thousands of dollars in operational costs each year.

What is a Human Resource Information System?

Human resource information systems were initially designed to eliminate paper-based techniques of monitoring, recording, and storing employee records. Over the years, HRIS's have evolved from simply managing personnel files. Now, these systems are integral tools for managing every aspect of the employee lifecycle from talent acquisition and benefits administration to payroll allocation, timekeeping, and employee development. There are HR software systems designed to cover every facet of human resource management.

When carefully selected and implemented, the right HRIS can take an organization to the next level.

Why should an organization consider an HRIS?

An efficient human resource information system can essentially transform an organization by providing the framework necessary to streamline many of its HR policies and procedures. These systems can also reduce overhead costs, monitor legal compliance, and produce real-time analytics necessary to effectively align your workforce and business strategy. For instance, the applicant trackers once used to house resumes and score applications are now cloud-based platforms with virtual interviewing and onboarding capabilities. Recruiters engage candidates remotely by texting or with chat bots.

The traditional time clocks employees used to punch in and out are frequently being replaced by mobile apps equipped with geo-fencing to pinpoint an employee’s location. This new method of timekeeping not only tracks hours worked, but can also take the data and auto-populate it into payroll systems with the coding necessary to distinguish billable hours from tasks completed.

Even tracking compliance is done with greater accuracy and efficiency. With increasing pressure to allow more flexibility in day to day operations, many organizations have found that a company’s remote work capabilities, or lack thereof, play a significant factor in recruitment, workflow, and retention.

How do you successfully make the transition from paper to technology?

Make no mistake, there are risk factors involved in implementing a new system or even upgrading a current one. Introducing new technologies or processes within an organization can cause huge disruptions and exacerbate inefficiencies if not done properly. To better navigate the hurdles and manage unforeseen challenges it is recommended that companies:

  • Thoroughly assess the situation; don’t be afraid to challenge current processes in order to make room for improvement. It’s important at this stage to get to the root of the problem and determine what’s most important to your organization.
  • Establish clearly-defined goals and objectives for the project plan and budget. Communicate the desired outcome early on and actively engage your team.
  • Develop a diverse team of key players from C-level executives and frontline end-users. Choose staff who are authorized to approve decisions as well as those who can make informed recommendations and execute the required tasks. Keep the team abreast of your progress along the way by documenting wins and sharing findings.
  • Build a strong partnership with the selected vendor—and choose wisely. Vendor selection is more than an RFI and implementation. The point person for problem-solving and system maintenance is just as important.
  • Decide on a ‘Big Bang’ implementation versus a phased release. In this stage, timing is everything. Consider what works best for the team—and the budget.
  • Prepare for the aftermath; build in time to assess the project post-implementation.

Taking these few strategic steps before, during, and after the initial rollout increases the return on investment.

When carefully selected and implemented, the right HRIS can take an organization to the next level. It will allow leadership to empower their workforce, manage, measure, and act on critical data in real-time, and enhance business strategies designed to improve your organization’s performance.


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