What to Look for When Choosing an HRIS System

The key factors to consider when choosing an HRIS system for your business. Our comprehensive guide outlines essential features, benefits, and tips to help you make an informed decision

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
collage of HRIS logos

Introduction to HRIS Systems

In today's fast-paced business environment, human resources (HR) plays a crucial role in the success of any organization. Many companies are using HRIS (Human Resources Information System) systems to streamline HR processes and improve efficiency. HRIS systems are software solutions designed to manage and automate various HR functions, including employee data management, payroll processing, recruitment, performance evaluation, and more.

Choosing the right HRIS system for your organization can be a daunting task. With numerous options available in the market, it's essential to understand your business needs and identify key features that align with your requirements. This article will guide you through selecting an HRIS system that meets your organization's unique needs and helps you maximize productivity and effectiveness.

Understanding Your Business Needs

Before diving into the selection process, it's crucial to understand your organization's HR requirements clearly. Assessing your business needs will help you determine the specific features and functionalities you should look for in an HRIS system. Consider the following questions to get started:

  1. How many employees does your organization have?
  2. What HR processes do you currently handle manually?
  3. What are the pain points in your existing HR system?
  4. What are your long-term HR goals and objectives?
  5. Do you have any specific compliance requirements?

By answering these questions, you'll gain valuable insights into your organization's HR needs and can proceed with selecting the right HRIS system.

Key Features to Look for in an HRIS System

Once you clearly understand your business needs, it's time to explore the key features and functionalities to look for in an HRIS system. Here are some essential features to consider:

Data Management

Effective data management is the backbone of any HRIS system. Look for a system with robust data storage capabilities, including storing and organizing employee information, such as personal details, job history, performance records, etc. Ensure the HRIS system allows for easy data input, updates, and retrieval, ensuring accuracy and accessibility.

Reporting and Analytics

Generating comprehensive reports and performing in-depth analytics is crucial for effective HR management. A good HRIS system should provide various reporting tools and customizable dashboards, allowing you to track key metrics, monitor workforce trends, and gain valuable insights into your HR operations. Look for features such as real-time reporting, data visualization, and the ability to export data in various formats.

Compliance and Security

Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is a top priority for HR departments. When choosing an HRIS system, ensure it has robust compliance features, including handling payroll taxes, benefits administration, and time-off management. Additionally, pay attention to the system's security measures to protect sensitive employee data from unauthorized access. Look for features like role-based access control, data encryption, and regular system updates to stay ahead of potential security threats.

Integration Capabilities

To streamline HR processes and ensure data accuracy, your HRIS system needs to integrate seamlessly with other business systems. Look for a system that offers integration capabilities with payroll software, time and attendance systems, recruitment platforms, and other relevant tools. Integration eliminates the need for manual data entry, reduces errors, and improves overall efficiency.

Customizability and Scalability

Every organization has unique HR requirements, so choosing an HRIS system that can be customized to meet your specific needs is crucial. Look for a system that allows you to configure workflows, create custom fields, and adapt the system to your organization's processes. Additionally, consider the scalability of the system. As your organization grows, your HRIS system should accommodate an increasing number of employees and handle additional functionalities.

Evaluating the User Interface and User Experience

Regarding an HRIS system, a user-friendly interface and a positive user experience are crucial for successful adoption and utilization. The system should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Here are some key aspects to consider when evaluating the user interface and user experience of an HRIS system:

  1. Intuitiveness: The HRIS system should have a clear and logical layout, making it easy for users to find the information and features they need. The navigation should be intuitive, with well-organized menus and a consistent user interface design.
  2. Accessibility: A good HRIS system should be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Look for features such as adjustable font sizes, high contrast options, and keyboard navigation. Accessibility compliance ensures that all employees can use the system effectively.
  3. Training and Support: Evaluate the availability of training resources and user support provided by the HRIS vendor. Are user guides, video tutorials, or an online knowledge base available? A comprehensive onboarding process and ongoing support will help users understand and make the most of the system.
  4. Customization: The ability to customize the user interface can enhance the user experience. Look for options to personalize the dashboard, rearrange modules, or choose color schemes that align with your organization's branding. Customization allows users to tailor the system to their specific needs and preferences.
  5. Mobile Accessibility: In today's mobile-centric world, it's essential to consider the availability of mobile applications or responsive web interfaces for accessing the HRIS system on smartphones or tablets. Mobile accessibility enables employees to access their HR information on the go, enhancing convenience and productivity.
  6. User Feedback: It can be helpful to seek feedback from existing users of the HRIS system. Ask the vendor for references or customer testimonials to gain insights into their experience with the system's user interface and overall usability.

Remember that the user interface and user experience of an HRIS system can significantly impact its adoption and effectiveness within your organization. Choosing a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, and robust support ensures that your HR team and employees can easily navigate and utilize the system, increasing productivity and satisfaction.

Assessing Vendor Support and Service

Vendor support and service are crucial in implementing and using an HRIS system. When considering different vendors, evaluate their level of support, including technical assistance, training programs, and ongoing customer service. Check customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the vendor's responsiveness and commitment to customer satisfaction. A reliable vendor will provide prompt support, regular system updates, and continuous improvement to meet evolving HR needs.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Decision

Choosing the right HRIS system is a significant investment for your organization's HR department. By understanding your business needs, identifying key features, evaluating the user interface, and assessing vendor support, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's objectives and maximizes HR efficiency. Consider factors such as data management, reporting and analytics, compliance and security, integration capabilities, customizability and scalability, user interface and user experience, and vendor support and service.

By investing time and effort into the selection process, you can ensure a seamless implementation and successful adoption of your chosen HRIS system, ultimately driving positive outcomes for your organization and its employees.

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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.


Everything you need to know about OutSail
What is OutSail?
OutSail is the first-ever broker of HR Software. We offer market insights, evaluation tools & advisory services to help organizations research, evaluate and select the right HR software. And best of all - OutSail is free!
How is OutSail free?
OutSail is free due to our one-of-a-kind software broker model. When a company makes a purchase through OutSail, the winning vendor owes us a small fee for making the introduction.

No Hidden Fees - You don't pay for our services and the vendors don't pass our costs along either
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What are the benefits of OutSail?
1.) Market Insights: Access the industry's most trusted data. Read user reviews of every leading HRIS vendor. Access verified pricing data. Use proprietary tools to sort & filter by your selection criteria.
2.) Evaluation Tools: Access to project plans & timelines. Customize your own scorecard tools. Leverage expert-generated demo questions. Collaborate with your team
3.) Advisory Services: Work with HRIS industry experts. Assistance during proposal review and guidance for negotiations. Implementation readiness
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