Improvements in Technology relating to microcomputers and software have also had a major impact on the use of information for managing human resources. Traditionally computers had been used in human resources only for compensation and benefits-for example, administering payroll. However, new advances in microchips have made it possible to store large quantities of data on personnel computers and to perform statistical analyses that were once only possible with large mainframe computers.
A Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is a system used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve, and distribute information related to the company’s human resources. From the manager’s perspective, an HRIS can be used to support strategic decision making, to avoid litigation, to evaluate programs or policies, or to support daily operating concerns.
A human resource Information system can be as large or as small as is necessary and may contain one or two modules or upto twenty or so. Hundreds of HRIS software packages are being marketed for both mainframe and microcomputers. A great many decisions need to be made in the course of adopting and implementing an HRIS. The specific needs of the organization should dictate the type of human resource Information system chosen. Any project as potentially expensive, complex, and time consuming as the addition or upgrading of an HRIS requires careful analysis and planning.
In adopting a HRIS following issues need to be addressed:
a) Careful need assessment
b) What type and size of HRIS should be adopted
c) Whether to develop software or buy and use off the shelf software
d) Should the HRIS be implemented in total or in stages.
A computerized HRIS is an information system that makes use of computer and monitors control and influences the movement of human being from the time they indicate their intention to join an organization till they separate from it after joining.
It consists of the following sub-system.
a) Recruitment Information: It includes the placement data bank advertisement module, general requirement and training requirement data.
b) Personnel Information: It includes employee information such as transfer monitoring and increment and promotion details.
c) Manpower Planning Information: It seeks to provide information that could assist human resource mobilization, career planning, succession planning and input for skill development.
d) Training Information: It provides information for designing course material, arrange for need base training and cost analysis of training etc.
e) Health Information System: This subsystem provides information for maintenance of health related activities of the employees.
f) Appraisal Information: It deals with the performance appraisal and merit rating information which serves as input for promotion, increment and succession and career planning etc.
g) Payroll System: It consists of information concerning wages, salaries incentives, allowance, perquisite deduction for provident fund etc. Data on compensation pattern of competitor is also included in it.
h) Personnel Statistics System: It is a bank of historic and current data used for various type of analyst.
USES OF HRIS
Human Resource Information System refers to the system of gathering, classifying, processing, recording and dismantling the information required for efficient and effective management of human resource in an organization. Need for such a system arises due to several factor :
a) Organizations that employ a very large number of people, it becomes necessary to develop employee database for taking personnel issues.
b) In a geographically dispersed company every office requires timely and accurate information for manpower management. If information is stored in a multiple location cost and inaccuracy will increase.
c) Modern day compensation package is complex consisting of many allowance and deductions etc. A centrally available data can become useful for taking timely decisions.
d) Organizations have to comply with several laws of the land. A computerized information system would store and retrieve data quickly and correctly enabling the organization to comply with statutory requirements.
e) With the help of computerization personnel information system, employer record and file can be integrated and retrieved for cross-referencing and forecasting. The system should be oriented towards decision making rather then towards record keeping.
f) Necessary flexibility for adaptation to changes taking place in the environment can be built into mechanized information system.
In the field of human resource management, information system has been limited to payroll preparation, job status and work history report of new hires, termination and insurance payment. Gradually however progressive companies have started computerized information system in the area of collective bargaining, employee manual, training, performance appraisal etc. With sophisticated software, computer based information system can be used in almost all the functions of human resource management. A sound HRIS can offer the following advantages:
a) Clear definitions of goal.
b) Reduction in the amount and cost of stored human resource data.
c) Availability of timely and accurate information about human assets.
d) Development of performance standard for the human resource division
e) More meaningful career planning and counselling at all levels.
f) Individual development through linkage between performance reward and job training.
g) High capability to quickly and effectively solve problems.
h) Implementation of training programmes based on knowledge of organizational needs.
i) Ability to respond to ever changing statutory and other environment
j) Status for the human resource functions due to its capability for strategic planning with the total organization.
The type or range of HRIS depend on the nature and the size of the organization, preference of top management, need for government regulation and availability of software package etc. The steps involved in the development of sound HRIS are given below:
a) Preliminary System Analysis: It involves definition of the problem specification of the objectives and operational needs, constraint affecting the system, making feasibility study and submission of the report.
b) System Design: At this stage the problem is described in details, alternatives to meet the objectives are described and evaluated. Broad engineering requirement of the chosen alternative are specified and its effect on people are estimated.
c) System Engineering: In this step a detail study of engineering component and their cost effectiveness is made. Recommendation about the system is then made to the top management.
d) System Testing and Implementation: The total HRIS, Its subsystem and running of the system are tested and installed.
e) System Monitoring and Evaluation: It involves measuring the performance of the system. Its continuous evaluation and modification. It’s necessary to solve properly the human problem in system design and control. For this purpose the organization should determine the potential contribution the HRIS can make to the strategic need and competitive posture of the company. It is necessary to make the people throughout the organization aware of the advantageous of Human resource Information system.