8 Features That HR Leaders Would Love to See in Their HRIS Platform

We spoke to eight HR leaders to better understand the gaps that they're currently finding in their own HRIS platforms. What challenges are you having with your current solution?

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems

What processes or features do you wish your HRIS supported?

From "the ability to export employee data" to "self-service," here are eight answers from HR leaders on which features should exist in an HRIS:

  • Approve Team Leave
  • Help With Equipment Management
  • Workforce Planning Headcount Reconciliation
  • Headcount Planning
  • Ability to Export & Import Employee Data
  • Creating Customized Reports
  • Employee Self-service
  • Company Stock Options Eligibility

Approve Team Leave

Our HRIS doesn’t have a feature that allows managers to approve or disapprove their own leave requests. This can be a problem because it means an HR rep has to physically look over their shoulders and review their requests. This process is both time-consuming and difficult to scale. It’s something I wish our HRIS had because it would take a lot of strain off our HR team and make things easier for our managers.

In addition, managers might feel micromanaged by HR because they have to approve their own leave requests. It can create a bad work culture where people feel over-scrutinized and micromanaged. That’s why it’s important to have a system that can automate this process, so it’s less hands-on for HR and managers alike.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

Help With Equipment Management

Every year, companies get closer to developing the ultimate HRIS Software. Unfortunately, to date it simply does not exist. One feature I wish our current ATS offered is a robust system for managing equipment. With approximately half of our workforce remote, the ability to deploy, track and receive equipment seamlessly would be a serious value add for my team. My team could seriously increase our productivity if our current HRIS could differentiate between the different types of equipment needed for different teams and provide hassle-free options for employees to return equipment at offboarding. As our company continues to grow, this need will only increase. Our HRIS does a lot for us. Adding this functionality would be an amazing help to my organization and others with similar challenges.

Brittney Simpson, HR Operations Manager, Walker Miller Energy Services

Workforce Planning Headcount Reconciliation

I love a strong HRIS tool!  However, none are able to definitively show headcount planned growth vs actual headcount in real-time. Meaning, if you are a high-growth company that is hiring over 100 employees a year, and need to run reports or analytics against your actual growth in a point of time to manage your spend and runway. It's a very manual process where HR needs to closely partner with finance to reconcile target versus actual in any given month. It would save both functions countless hours on spreadsheets from various systems to create a report. Hours that could be spent driving strategic initiatives, instead of back-office spreadsheets.

Melissa Bruno, Chief People Officer

Headcount Planning

One of the most challenging processes HR professionals do each year is plan and track headcount. The process requires attention to detail, data integrity and the ability to model out different scenarios. For smaller companies without a robust HR system like Workday, this typically means building complex spreadsheets that require pulling reports from their HRIS. If an HRIS could enable that process within the tool itself, it would save time and increase accuracy, transparency and outcomes for the headcount planning process.

Rachel Kleban, CEO & Principal Consultant, Rachel Kleban, LLC 

Ability to Export & Import Employee Data

One feature that my HRIS cannot currently support is the ability to export employee data in a format that can be automatically uploaded into other applications. This would be extremely beneficial to me since I often have to hire employees from other companies and need their resumes and references quickly to get them on board.

The HRIS I use now does not have this feature and I am forced to manually enter the data for each employee. This can take hours depending on how many years of employment history they have, and it is very time-consuming.

Shaun Connell, Founder, Writing Tips Institute

Creating Customized Reports

There are many features and processes that an HRIS can support, but there are always ways to improve them. One feature that I wish my HRIS had is the ability to create customized reports. Currently, the system only allows for a few standard reports, which can be useful in some situations. However, there are often times when I need specific data that is not included in those reports. For example, I might want to know how many employees have taken advantage of our tuition reimbursement program in the past year. I could easily pull that information if I could create a custom report. Another process that I wish my HRIS could support is online onboarding. We still require new employees to come into the office on their first day to complete paperwork and other tasks. However, if our HRIS could support online onboarding, new employees could complete most of those tasks before their first day, making the onboarding process more efficient.

Jim Campbell, Founder, Wizve Digital Marketing

Employee Self-service

HRIS does not support employee self-service. It might be challenging for SMBs to keep their employee-related data updated. Organizations like ours that have outgrown their startup size and are considering enlarging the HR team to handle the increased workload can rely on HRIS technologies that come with a self-service portal.

Employee Self-Service (ESS) in HRIS will be a valuable feature for addressing this issue. By giving employees access to their personal information (such as their profile, time off, benefits, or payroll), HR personnel can reduce the amount of time they spend on tedious administrative work. 

Arkadiusz Terpilowski, Co-founder, Primetric

Company Stock Options Eligibility

One process or feature that an HRIS can't currently support, but I wish it did, is a way to let employees know whether they are eligible for company stock options. Stock options are a great way to motivate and reward employees, but they're only available to employees who have been with the company for a certain amount of time. This information is usually stored in a spreadsheet or database, but it would be great if there was a way for employees to check and see for themselves whether they are eligible. 

This would save time for both employees and HR staff, and it would also help to ensure that stock options are only given to employees who are eligible. In the future, I hope that this feature will be added to HRIS systems so that everyone can keep track of this information and know exactly how stock options are being allocated.

Luciano Colos, CEO, PitchGrade

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Would you like to submit an alternative answer to the question, “What processes or features do you wish your HRIS supported?” Submit your answer here.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.


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