Human information resources management (HRIM) is a software concept that has spawned an information technology (IT) class of its own, and a thriving industry. There is a trade organization, the International Association of Human Resources Information Management (IHRIM) that has an annual trade show, a newsletter and an assortment of member benefits. You can find them at http://www.ihrim.org and you can also find an enthusiastic, detailed article about the value of HRIM software to small and mid-sized businesses: ( Technology Becomes Affordable to the Small and Midsize Market: Are You Still Doing the Paper Chase?)
HRIM software began as document management software for a segment of business operations that is heavily burdened with paper flow. The job application processs alone requires an application, a resume, various supporting and documents verifying employee eligibility.
Once an employee is in the ranks, the ongoing record keeping spreads to benefits and accounting functions that include insurance status, attendance, periodic performance evaluations, payroll records, tax withholding, etc. Letters of commendation or disciplinary actions, promotions, demotions – all have been paper documents to be filed in some fashion prior to the advent of electronic record keeping.
Human resources information management software consolidates many of these record keeping functions into a database that takes many of the filing cabinets out of the office layout and provides business analytical tools based on the personnel files.
Companies that produce and sell human resources information management software usually design them in modular form. Functions may include:
- HR (hiring)
- Tax Filing
- Record Manager (employee overview)
- Employee (access)
- Manager (access)
These last two features are access to the database for both employees and managers. Employees can access information on insurance issues, personal insurance coverage, payroll records, vacation or time off available, work schedules and so on. Managers can file work schedules and departmental or employee reports as required regarding personnel activities. The interactive features of most HRIM systems are strong selling points as they take the need for personal counseling on each employee question or issue out of management’s daily responsibilities.
Human resources information can be put into database forms that provide management information. Some management decisions regarding worker productivity and streamlining operations can be aided with data developed through HRIM. One software company notes these analytical tools that their software data can generate:
- Effective workforce deployment to meet quality, cost, and customer satisfaction goals
- Labor cost control
- Government regulation compliance
- Employee recruiting, development, and retention
Statistics in these categories matched against industry norms can provide valuable benchmarks for decisions on operational changes. Many of the software firms that provide the basic packages providing the record keeping categories listed above will provide sophisticated analytical modules as options sold separately.
Human resources management software can be a helpful tool for the employee and for mid-level management staff. Software implementation and the impact on employee’s daily routines need to be handled carefully. Many software companies provide company-wide briefings as part of the product sale.