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Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Written by

Tiffany Clark

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

Jun 27, 2024
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A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) refers to software or an online tool that assists companies with human resources management needs to complete core HR processes. A comprehensive HRIS can be used for all the data entry, data management, and data tracking needed by human resources departments, including recruitment, learning development, and performance management. 


There are five different types of HRIS systems:1) Operational HRIS, 2) Tactical HRIS, 3) Limited-function HRIS, 4) Strategic HRIS, and 5) Comprehensive HRIS. 


Operational HRIS


An operational HRIS collects and reports data such as job position details, employee records, and performance appraisal information. This type of HRIS can assist companies with standard HR functions and save time that would otherwise be spent digging through disorganized files looking for employee data. 


Tactical HRIS


A tactical HRIS is involved in processes that relate to resource usage. This includes things such as recruiting, vacancies, compensation, and training. With a tactical HRIS, managers can better see the big picture and use the knowledge and tools for tasks such as job analysis, resource allocation, and employee development. A tactical HRIS works well for companies that need to make macro-level decisions about how to allocate resources. 


Limited-Function HRIS


Typically, a limited-function HRIS has just one purpose. This type of tool isn’t designed for strategic management or planning. Rather, the functions are more granular and concrete. 


Strategic HRIS


With a strategic HRIS, an organization can get a handle on strategic decision-making and analysis. Strategic HRIS tools can help human resources teams perform functions such as workforce planning and goal-setting. 


This type of HRIS can help management be more aware of proper workforce planning and available labor resources, as well as managing data that includes operations budgets and market information. A strategic HRIS is an excellent option for companies that want to grow or expand strategically because it gives concrete, data-driven figures. 


Comprehensive HRIS


With a comprehensive HRIS, corporations can access a streamlined platform and database that offers easy management and review of many different tasks, including the following:


  • HR files

  • Employee information

  • Hiring and recruitment details

  • Open positions

  • Skills inventory

  • Employee safety guidelines

  • Benefits and compensation

  • Performance management

  • Training and development




If a company wants to streamline its HR functions so that the HR team is more available to focus on recruiting and hiring, an HRIS can free up their valuable time and automate many functions. Additionally, an HRIS will serve as a record-keeping system that frees up both time and resources.


Related Terms

Human Resource Management (HRM)

refers to the necessary administration of human resources functions for managing employees. These functions can include processing payroll, maintaining employee records, and benefits administration. HRM is a term often used interchangeably with HCM, but HCM extends beyond the HR component to include strategic initiatives designed to optimize and support talent.

Human Capital Management (HCM) Software

takes care of many of the functions and processes needed to effectively manage a workforce. HCM software is focused on human capital, which is the seat of knowledge, experience, and skills employees have accumulated over the course of their lifetimes.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

are sometimes called talent management systems. An ATS is recruiting software that can streamline an organization’s hiring process. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with the phrase recruitment management system, but the two have distinct differences, and an RMS is more robust. The line between recruitment management and applicant tracking systems has become blurry because the two have similar functions.

Recruitment Management System (RMS)

refers to a multifunctional system with tools that help a company manage its recruitment process. Similar to an ATS, an RMS adds functions such as candidate engagement to standard ATS functionality.

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