Human Resource Information System

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Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 05/06/2010 12:26 PM

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A human resource information system (HRIS) is defined as a computer based application for assembling and processing data related to the human resource management (HRM) function. As in other types of information systems, an HRIS consists of a database, which contains one or more files in which the data relevant to the system are maintained, and a database management system, which provides the means by which users of the system access and utilize these data. The HRIS thus contains tools that allow users to input new data and edit existing data; in addition, such programs provide users with the opportunity to select from an array of predefined reports that may either be printed or displayed on a monitor. Reports may address any of a number of different HRM issues (e.g., succession planning, compensation planning, equal employment opportunity monitoring). HRISs also generally include tools by which users or system administrators may generate ad hoc reports and select specific cases or subsets of cases for display.

In order to understand the types of applications available to HRIS users, it is best to consider the evolving nature of human resource information systems applications. The HRM field lagged behind a number of other functional areas of management in the utilization of computer applications, but beginning in the late 1980s extensive use of sophisticated applications began to appear. Prior to that time, manual record systems often dominated in personnel or human resource departments. Computer applications used in the field were generally limited to basic record keeping and payroll management systems. Virtually all such systems were based on mainframe computers and required extensive support from information systems professionals. Thus, human resource managers had little opportunity to design sophisticated reports and computer-based analytical tools to aid in managerial decision making. In general, uses of computers in HRM fell into the category of electronic...