This FAQ will provide an overview of four common types of HRIMS: stand-alone, enterprise resource planning (ERP), cloud-based, and hybrid based. It is essential that each organisation conduct its own research into the variety of HRIMS available, and choose an option that meets the defined goal for its introduction, as well as the unique and individual needs of the business.
This type of HRIMS does not interact with other systems. Under the stand alone model HR functions and data are generally spilt into separate operating systems (e.g. a payroll system, a recruitment system, a performance management system) rather than integrating with one another. Organisations generally implement stand-alone HRIMS when:
There is a security concern around adopting a cloud-based system (e.g. unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential data or the unintended publication of such information). This typically requires many ‘compartments’ and many levels of authority for access, all of which have to be monitored and maintained
Organisation’s systems/technology does not support a ERP or cloud-based system
There are already successful systems or processes in place for some HR functions, so full functionality is not required
Resources are limited (with any system, there are acquisition costs and maintenance costs. Stand-alone systems can be less expensive as they don’t require as much initial outlay in terms of time, money or other resources)
Experience and expertise is lacking (there may also be the additional cost of hiring an IT specialist to manage an ERP or cloud-based system, particularly at the start).
ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING (ERP) BASED
This type of HRIMS is capable of integrating several data sources and processes into a single, unified system – while providing the functionality of at least two individual systems. For example an organisation may combine the financial and accounting system, with the HRIMS. Organisations generally implement ERP based HRIMS when seeking:
Scalability or a phased in approach (e.g. adding new functionality and systems as the business needs change)
An automated template system (e.g. various departments to access and record the same information)
Improved data access and control (e.g. user management and access control can be better managed than cloud- based systems)
Reduced complexity (e.g. management of individual system/s, rather than cloud-based open to all approach).
This type of internet-based HRIMS is capable of sharing resources and information across computers and other devices on-demand. Cloud-based computing enables ubiquitous, real-time access for employees, managers and HR to a shared pool of information, data and computing resources. For example intranet based employee self-service systems. Organisation’s generally implement a cloud-based HRIMS when seeking:
An integrated system enables users enter information only once, where different parts of the system can ‘talk to each other’ allowing more meaningful reporting and analysis capabilities (e.g. internal evaluations and audits and preparation of data for legal requirements)
Real-time employee and manager self service, which can be a huge timesaver for HR. e.g. employees may enter the system to change data (such as their own addresses) and managers and supervisors may enter the system to enter data (such as performance reviews) or to retrieve data without needing HR’s assistance
Automated reminders (e.g. events can be scheduled into system, such as performance appraisals and benefit deadlines, automatically notifying and prompting organisation-specific actions)
A host for company-related documents (e.g. employee handbooks, procedures, and safety guidelines) that can be easily accessed and updated in one place.
The hybrid approach involves integrating one HRIMS (e.g. a payroll system, a recruitment system, a performance management system) with other HR software or manual processes. Organisations generally implement hybrid options when:
The time, resources, cost and/or risk of replacing all existing HR applications at once outweighs the benefits of doing so. To reduce that risk some organisations will phase-in the HRIMS
Organisations want to keep some of their non-HRIMS applications, and want to integrate them with core HRIMS functionality (e.g. if a system/process is already working successfully)
The organisations operating environment requires some non-HRIMS software (e.g. technological limitations, global requirements, industry-specific applications, or frequent acquisitions, for example).