Michelle Salis

Monday, 22 July 2002 09:39

Automated HR

People are a company's most important resource; however, many organizations are unable to generate up-to-date information such as employee turnover rates, employee training needs, costs to hire employees and skills gaps between the current and desired work force.

All of this information is critical if a company wants to compete in today's market.

Many companies have automated most of their business processes, including finance and manufacturing, to maintain their competitiveness in a fast-paced environment. What about the human resources function? How can a human resources information system (HRIS) benefit the bottom line?


Improved information retrieval. Companies must cope with the constant demand for information from the government, the management team and employees. Once the system is up and running, a company can retrieve quickly information such as labor costs, government required reports and employee data. This reduces the time spent retrieving information and increases accuracy.


Reduction in labor costs. An HRIS operates from a single database that serves all HR functions: payroll, benefits administration, HR management, recruiting and training. There is no need to enter employee information in HR records, then again in payroll. Employee data is entered and updated just once for all functions, reducing errors and cutting down on clerical time.


Simplified benefits administration. Many time-consuming benefits operations (tracking entitlements, notifying employees of coverage options and costs, etc.) are handled automatically by an HRIS. Costs associated with regulatory compliance are kept to a minimum, with immediate bottom line gain.


Instant development of government required reports. An HRIS generates standard reports that meet government requirements. The system guides the company in complying with EEO, OSHA, Workers' Compensation, Affirmative Action and other government regulations with no errors and in less time compared to handling these functions manually.


Improved service to key customers. Questions are answered faster and more accurately. Reports can be printed that detail information employees commonly ask for, such as benefit and wage information. Managers can quickly access performance reviews, pay and job history to help them make key decisions. Less time is spent searching for data through multiple files and spreadsheets, and both management and employees can focus more time on value-added activities.


Key information provided for strategic planning. An HRIS enables your company to be responsive to strategic needs. Customized reports support analysis, forecasting and planning. The information your company needs to formulate and modify strategy is easily accessible.


With an effective HRIS, a company can manage both the day-to-day administration of human resources and the deeper level of strategy. Both the short-term and long-term benefits of using an HRIS have a positive impact on your company's bottom line.

Michelle Salis is a senior consultant for HR Consulting, an affiliate company of Bruner-Cox. She can be reached at (330) 498-0897.