Types of human resources administration tools

Take a look at some of the components you might want to include as part of a human resources information system designed to fit your needs. You can tailor reliable, off-the-shelf human resources tools. Choosing the best technologies, however, is not easy; consider this as carefully as you would any other process implementation. Look for affordable solutions to manage different functions, including:

  • Basic employee information
  • Attendance records
  • Benefits and compensation
  • Recruiting and employee skills
  • Payroll

No off-the-shelf human resources information system will meet all of your needs, but a simple one that meets most of them may be able to grow with your business. Be realistic about your requirements, so that you don’t spend more time and money than necessary.

Human resources information systems

Some products are offered as individual applications while others are packaged as a complete system. An integrated system usually consists of human resources management, payroll processing and recruiting administration.

The main advantage of these systems is the single point for data entry and for retrieval and analysis in a common format. When the human resources department applies a premium change to benefits, for example, the information is instantly available to the payroll department and automatically reflected in payroll deductions.

What's in a human resources information system?

These are some of the most common elements found in a human resources information system:

  • Employee benefits
  • Employee records and profiles, job classifications
  • Productivity data
  • Organizational policies and procedures
  • Training and development policies
  • Succession planning information

The types of reports that can be generated automatically include:

  • Employee absenteeism, attendance, performance records, histories
  • Payroll records
  • Human resources plans
  • Job evaluation data, turnover data, applicant database
  • Skills inventories, job descriptions, specifications and postings
  • Health and safety reports and data; disability records
  • Pension plan information; benefits utilization
  • Union contract details; employment equity data

What to look for in an effective human resources information system:

  • Efficient navigation methods
  • Tools to track employee compensation, history, job information and performance reviews
  • Time-saving administration of benefits plans
  • Ability to monitor and process recruiting, payroll and training activities
  • Cost analyses and productivity summaries
  • Up-to-date government reporting for items such as employment equity and workers' compensation, and ability to generate other standard reports
  • Expense Reporting, so travelling employees can track their expenses online with automated expense management

Payroll processing

You can automate payroll processing by outsourcing or by purchasing software compatible with banks' electronic funds transfer systems that allow direct deposits. Some standard accounting software products also have payroll components.

More advanced systems can handle all aspects of payroll processing: calculating accurate earnings, taxes, and deductions; tracking labour costs; analyzing trends instantly, and creating detailed management reports and graphs.

Other time-saving features offered by such products and services allow you to:

  • Reconcile errors before the final payroll run
  • Print cheques on-site
  • Obtain automatic updates of changes to federal and provincial tax legislation
  • Access older payroll information and automatic generation of reports
  • Log on from any computer with Internet access at any time

Employee portals

An employee portal is a single point of entry online to an array of programs and information within your business. Effective portals are custom-designed, so users have quick, easy access to the following types of tools and information:

  • Employee to enterprise — tools to update personal files and answers to questions
  • Employee to employee — tools to facilitate collaboration
  • Employee to task — tools and applications specific to job functions
  • Employee to life services — information about health, for example
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