Human Resources Information Systems, abbreviated as HRIS, are tools employed in human resources management. HRIS integrate the data management capabilities of computer databases as a factor in the administration of human resources services. As companies grow larger and their employees grow more numerous, it becomes more and more difficult to track work-related information and specific details about employees. As it is, the need for better data management for use in Human Resources Management has been identified, and the demand for skilled professionals to manage these special sets of data has risen.
An HRIS is comprised of data entry, storage, sorting, and retrieval software or software sets that enable HR departments to manage employee data more efficiently. These programs may be individual programs or parts of an integrated software suite. With the use of automation, analyzing raw data and identifying trends become much easier and faster, allowing the company to be more adaptive and to respond to employee problems faster. Some of the areas HRISs are used for include payroll, work times, employee personal information, recruiting, performance records, skills, and benefits. Seeing that there is so much to keep track of and analyze, the role of HRIS Managers has been established, specifically to enable the efficient use of database management systems in Human Resource contexts.
The Need for an Educational Foundation
Many companies, when hiring or looking for HRIS Managers, prefer someone who has finished at least an undergraduate degree in Human Resources or Information Technology. The HR degree holders know the needs for the administration of various minutiae in the management of personnel, while Information Technology degree holders are especially well equipped to interface with the computer software required for the job.
An Information Technology degree holder may need to learn the general concepts underlying Human Resources Management and the specific needs of the company. Likewise, an HR graduate will need to learn how to use HRIS software. Learning how to use software does not require enrolling in a college program. There are books and tutorials offered online, as well as short courses for specific programs. Acquiring proficiency certificates will also be a big help.
The requirement that lies at the root of this job is the ability to use computer programs relevant to the task. Software like Oracle and other database management systems are fundamental to this career choice. Proficiencies in office software programs like Microsoft Office or OpenOffice word processors, spreadsheet programs, presentation programs, and communication software are definite pluses. In addition to skill in these computer programs, the prospective HRIS Manager needs to keep his software updated and attend seminars, symposia, and even sales jobs if necessary to stay up-to-date with trends in the HRIS community. Doing so will allow him or her to be better equipped to analyze the needs of the company in relation to the industry as a whole and to advise on matters regarding HRIS software and upgrades, the need for understanding computer systems and business operations systems as a whole.
In order to achieve these, working in the Information Technology department of a company will provide experience and knowledge. By doing so, the prospective HRIS manager will also be given the opportunity to interact with the actual users of the computer programs. Experience will also grant the ability to spot inefficiencies and errors in the system as a whole, which can be brought up in policy meetings and regular performance evaluations.
The ideal candidate for the position of HRIS Manager has experience in all parts of the task: payroll, Information Technology, and Human Resources. Getting experience in all three areas may prove easier by first working at smaller companies which lump two or all of these functions into one department. A well-rounded resume with these qualifications looks very impressive in relation to the HRIS Manager position.
Knowledge and skill in applying scripting languages can help make using HRISs easier. The application of scripting languages like HTML, Java, ASP, and XML will allow the creation of automated processes that analyze, sort, interpret, and format data with little to no intervention from the user, as well as the ability to modify any scripts left by previous holders of the position. Keeping oneself up to speed with updates in these softwares will maintain one’s employee value.
As much as possible, take a jobs manager as an assistant working under a senior HRIS manager. The senior manager should be able to show and explain the system, both generalities and intricacies, since knowing exactly how the system works is critical to the job. The senior manager can show you the ropes, as it were. Make sure to maintain a good relation with your senior, and learn as much as you can under his supervision.
Finally, the ability to speak in public and present information is a must. As a professional dealing with IT and HR matters, one should be able to interpret and elucidate information, as both IT and HR require speaking skills. If you are not confident of your speaking ability, take a class or course in it. The HRIS Manager is responsible for relaying data gathered from analysis, as well as information on software developments, to company executives or large groups of management-level employees.