HR Management & Compliance

HRIS: Advantages … and Disadvantages

For departments that are not fully digitized, this is a good time to review your status. What is an HRIS (Human Resources Information System)? We’re defining it as a software or online platform that assists HR professionals by integrating the management of employee data with the performance of common HR tasks.


What Are the Advantages of an HRIS?

  • One-stop shopping. One of the most frequently mentioned advantages of an HRIS is that you enter information only once for many HR-related employee tasks. And, similarly, you need to update only one place when employee information changes.
  • Integration of data. Furthermore, different parts of the system can “talk to each other” allowing more meaningful reporting and analysis capabilities, including internal evaluations and audits and preparation of data for outsiders.
  • Accuracy. Improved accuracy is likely assuming data are entered and manipulated correctly.
  • Self service. This feature can be a great timesaver for HR. Employees may enter the system to change data (for example, change their own addresses) and managers and supervisors may enter the system to enter data (for example, performance reviews) or to retrieve data without bothering HR.
  • Automated reminders. Systems can schedule events, such as performance appraisals and benefit deadlines, automatically notifying and nudging if actions have not been performed.
  • Hosting of company-related documents. The system can host such materials as employee handbooks, procedures, and safety guidelines. The materials are easily updated in one place.
  • Benefits administration. This could include enrollment, notices, changes, and reporting.
  • Recruiting management. This may include applicant tracking, management, and reporting.

Yes, you do have the budget and time to train managers and supervisors with BLR’s® 10-Minute HR Trainer. Get it Now.

What Are the Disadvantages?

There are, of course, some disadvantages to using an HRIS.

  • Security. Security is one of the biggest worries. Systems must be designed to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential data and also the unintended publication of such information. This typically required many “compartments” and many levels of authority for access, all of which have to be monitored and maintained.
  • Cost. Then there is the cost factor. Especially for smaller companies, this can pose a problem. With any system, there are acquisition costs and maintenance costs. SaaS (software as a service) systems are somewhat easier to handle from a cost standpoint since they are cloud-based and don’t require as much initial outlay.
  • Staffing. With larger installations, there’s probably the cost of hiring an IT specialist to manage the system.

Recent HRIS Survey Findings

Last year’s survey revealed that:

  • About half of respondents use an HRIS system and about half of those use systems that are cloud-based or a SaaS system.
  • Almost 80% of HRIS users have 100 or more employees.
  • Of survey respondents who use an HRIS, 28% are logged in for more than half of the day.
  • Reporting data, payroll management, PTO/leave tracking, and benefits management were the most common uses among respondents.
  • ADP was the most popular system used by respondents, with 21% of respondents.

How Big Do You Have to Be?

How big do you have to be to use an HRIS? Almost 80% of HRIS users responding to the survey have 100 or more employees; however, 8% of HRIS users among customers surveyed had fewer than 50 employees. With the rise in cloud computing and SaaS, smaller employers may now be better able to afford HRIS solutions, as the start-up and support costs are generally less prohibitive.

What Is the Typical Share of Day?

Of survey respondents who use an HRIS, 28% are logged in for more than half of the day, while 59% of users spend more than an hour in their HRIS everyday.

Logged In?


Logged in at all times


4 to 8 hours


2 to 4 hours


1 to 2 hours


30 min to 1 hour


< 30 min


Which Vendors Do Survey Respondents Prefer?

Vendor Used?
















Yes, you do have the budget and time to train managers and supervisors with BLR’s® 10-Minute HR Trainer. Get it Now.

How Is the Service Delivered?

There are three common delivery systems for HRIS:

  • Cloud/Software as a Service (SaaS): Customer logs in to a remote website or Web portal to use the service. The customer’s data are also stored remotely.
  • On-site/on-premises: Customer uses software that is installed on a physical hard drive or server on the business premises. Data are also stored on-site.
  • Hybrid: Customers may download software/modules onto their own networks from centralized databases.

System Resides?


Cloud/ SaaS






In tomorrow’s Advisor, a handy HRIS checklist from BLR’s premier HR website, plus an introduction to the unique 10-minutes-at-a-time training system.

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