Human Resource Management
Technology use in the Human Resource field has increased rapidly and this is changing the way employees, managers and executives perform management activities in their organizations. There has been a drastic improvement in the systems that manage information in the human resource departments from the 1970s.
According to Sims, the information systems within the human resource departments have become major tools that most business organizations use today not just for administrative purposes but also in making critical and strategic decisions (140). Actually, the future organizational success is largely dependent on the performance of the human resource department.
Additionally, Sims notes that human resource management entails activities and procedures that include different aspects of the human resource operations in the organizations’ business (140). A company faces different external forces including a stiff market as it grows. Human resource plays a very important role in the management of the encountered challenges. As such, most business organizations implement management systems in the human resource department that depend on technology. This paper tries to review the Human Resource Information Management System (HRIMS) concept and the important role that it plays in the management of the human resources of organizations.
Human Resource Information Management System
With the continued growth of an organization, management of the human resource becomes a crucial and critical aspect of the organization that demands automated reports generation and maintenance of information that relates to the employees. As such, management of the human resource is viewed at as a critical activity in a business organization. Successful and effective management of these resources requires information from varied sources. Computing technology enables business organizations to bring together all human resources in a single database. The database is used for managerial and private purposes.
According to Walker, HRIMS comprises of hardware, software, support functions as well as the application procedures and policies which together form an automated process that is designed to support operational and strategic functions of the organization’s human resource department (102). Among the functions of the human resource include staff regulatory and development compliance, planning, record keeping, employee selection and recruitment, performance appraisal, budget control, government reporting and benefits administration. These functions ought to have a connection with the entire strategy of a company.
As Walker notes, taking a strategic approach in managing employees’ relations with an emphasis on leveraging the capabilities of the people is very important in the realization of a competitive advantage (104). The use of information systems within the human resource department is becoming a technology sector of its own. Most business organizations are taking advantage of technology to provide information to workers efficiently and at an affordable price to employees. Even small organizations with approximately 20 employees should know the essence of incorporating HRIMS in their operations to enhance efficiency. The current economic times require organizations to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in all sectors of their operations.
Applications of Human Resource Information Management System
Human Resource Performance and Planning Management: The use of information systems in the human resource department enables a company to play an active role of organizational planning. Planning in human resource management is considered as a process by which the current and future human resource needs of an organization are identified in the accomplishment of strategic goals as well as predicting the future supply and demand of an organization.
Planning in human resource is very important in examining several ‘what if’ cases or simulating different strategic alternatives (Boudreau 6). Automating the activities of an organization facilitates instant forecasting as well as efficient and effective costs management. Additionally, HRIMS comprises of all activities that are involved in the decision making process of an organization when determining the positions that an organization needs to fill as well as the procedure to be followed in filling them (Boudreau 10).
In addition, companies with long term plans such as plans to expand to a new market as well as plans to open branches elsewhere need information about the workforce that is available in those places so that they can meet the set strategic goals. As such, HRIMS serves as the instrument that contributes to the fabrication and development of the plans of the human resource, both on quantitative and qualitative bases while feeding certain management purposes. HR planning acts as a link that connects different strategic plans in an organization. According to Boudreau, HRIMS is a persistent activity that is used in both long-term and short-term planning (Boudreau 15).
Employee selection, recruitment as well as position control: Information systems play a crucial role in the human resource of developing job descriptions and posts that include all major competencies, academic and physical requirements as well as the experiences required to fill certain job positions successfully. According to Kavanagh, Thite and Jonson, selection in the human resource is an activity that entails gathering individual information and evaluation with an aim of extending an employment offer (20). There are environmental and legal constraints under which the execution of this activity takes place which address the individual and firm’s interest in the future.
Selection in the human resource is regarded as a process that entails the identification of individuals who are qualified to fill specific job positions. Employees, job analysis and job design are the basis of recruitment which entails the selection of different individuals to perform certain activities as well as how they affect them. At the Human Resource Information System’s operational level, data may be used in the identification of possible internal applicants of the vacant posts, costs of external recruitment as well as assuring career opportunities to employees (Sims 138).
The system evaluates the databases of the potential candidates including the employees’ performance records. This makes tracking the characteristics of the employees that each role requires while identifying the right candidate easier. The recruiter uses the data to screen applicants automatically during the recruitment exercise.
Automating the process of recruiting an employee speeds up the rate at which an individual is identified while enhancing transparency in the selection of a candidate. According to Sims, the information can be used in determining how effective the current promotional or recruitment systems are, their cost as well as benefits. This would also facilitate making subsequent changes according to the proposed strategies of the organization. On the other hand, position entails all the activities that a single employee performs.
According to Kavanagh, Thite and Johnson, managers identify the information of unfilled positions using the position-control systems (20). Additionally, retention serves as an important metric in business organizations. Contemporary business organizations require proper understanding of the workforce’s abilities and skills. Integration of performance management and the plan of employee succession seem to be very important in enhancing job satisfaction and employees’ growth. Automation of these processes therefore is crucial in ensuring organizational success and achievement of a competitive advantage.
Record generation, compliance and analysis: Compliance and records are a vital part of the information system in the human resource. They ensure that the legal requirements that mandate the retention and presentation of specific information within the database are met. According to Rampton, Turnbull and Doran, HRMIS serves not just as an automated record that keeps organizational information (67). It tries to integrate different processes as a way of acquiring, storing, analyzing and controlling the flow of HR information within the organization.
Different information systems at the operational level correct and report data to the human resource. This data includes employees and organization’s positions, regulatory compliance and staff development. The HR department should keep information about the activities of the organization for reports purposes. For instance, the database of the employees has information that is organization-related and personal such as the full name, address, contact, marital status, gender, education, employment history, work experience, grade, salary rate and service years among others. The HRIMS also provides information that the organization needs to maintain regulatory compliance and to improve productivity while reducing the costs that relates to employees.
Analysis of reports is also a vital function of the information systems within the human resource department. According to Kavanagh, Thite and Johnson, insurance premium and employees’ cost are growing persistently and therefore organizations should be careful while spending money on such programs (64). This system facilitates effective cost controls. HRMIS enables an organization to effectively control costs while maximizing returns from the invested capital.
Additionally, HRMIS helps in the generation of several ad hoc reports, analysis of the union’s and organization’s positions in regards to the industrial framework and the current economic situation. The information is also important for the teams that negotiate in order to get ad hoc reports in real time. Currently, HRMIS is developed on the basis of the six major divisions of the Human Resource. These are e-payroll, e-self-service, e-benefits, e-time, e-training as well as labor management (Boudreau 48).
Work record and employee attendance data is collected automatically to facilitate performance evaluation. As such, the main benefit of HRMIS in regard to record is timely access and accuracy to varied data that HR manager and team management gets from the system.
Information is very important for strategic management in the human resource of any business organization. Being a major part of the information system of an organization, the HRMIS enables managers to plan and evaluate the operational activities of the human resources and to contribute towards the realization of the strategic objectives and goals of the organization.
The conclusion of Walker is that implementation of information systems within the human resource department provides important information about the capabilities and needs of the human resource. This assists in the creation of the mission of the organization as well as setting the strategic objectives and goals of an organization in motion (106). Additionally, proper allocation and planning of human resource is vital for business planning. Therefore, HRMIS should be designed and implemented properly in order to serve the operational and strategic activities of the organization in the human resources’ management properly.
Boudreau, John W. Hr Information Systems: Exploiting the Full Potential. Ithaca, N.Y: Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, Cornell University, ILR School, 2009. Print.
Kavanagh, Michael J, Mohan Thite, and Richard D. Johnson. Human Resource Information Systems: Basics, Applications, and Future Directions. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE, 2012. Print.
Rampton, Glenn M, Ian J. Turnbull, and J A. Doran. Human Resources Management Systems: A Practical Approach. Toronto: Carswell, 2000. Print.
Sims, Ronald R. Reforming (transforming?) a Public Human Resource Management Agency: The Case of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County, Alabama. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub, 2010. Print.
Walker, Alfred J. Handbook of Human Resource Information Systems: Reshaping the Human Resource Function with Technology. New York ;Montréal: McGraw-Hill, 1993. Print.