By MaryLee Herrmann

HR folks are stressed.

They have to do more with less — and keep everybody happy along the way.

So how about investing in software to make their lives easier — a shiny new HRIS (human resource information system)?

… Except what if that makes things worse?

What if it takes them six months to find time to start figuring out how to use the clunky thing? Then the rest of the staff has to learn it. And it turns out it doesn’t even do everything they need it to.

Not an ideal way to start the year.

Well, luckily for you, Brett Landrum has some tips to help you have a better start.

What an HRIS Can Do

On a recent episode of Tech Tuesday Brett, who’s founder and co-CEO of the professional employer organization Procare HR (a Foresight partner), explains how to incorporate the right HRIS. (Procare HR does offer an HRIS, but this is an educational chat, not a sales pitch.)

In case you haven’t heard of an HRIS, here are some of the things one can help with:

  • Payroll
  • Applicant tracking
  • Talent acquisition
  • Attendance
  • Scheduling
  • Benefits administration
  • Data records

An HRIS can also incorporate employee self-service.

How NOT to Choose an HRIS

Brett shares one of the biggest mistakes operators make when choosing an HR system: They don’t bring all the stakeholders into the conversation.

Often, operators look at it from strictly an HR perspective, when in reality, the majority of the users are outside HR — executive directors, supervisors, and so on.

So, for the HRIS to succeed, it’s important to find out from those people:

  1. How do they need to use this system?
  2. What information do they need to get out of it every day?
  3. What data equips them to do their job better and drive business results?

What to Look for in an HRIS 

Beyond the basics that are bullet pointed above, look for what Brett calls a highly configurable platform.

Surprise: He advises thinking twice about pure customization. If you get a feature specially built out for you, it may not have the support or integration capabilities you’ll need in the future.

So look for a system that can be customized to your needs with the pieces that already exist within it. It’s like looking for the right box of Legos, he says. As long as all the pieces are in there, you can configure it however you need. That way, you’re “not having to go ask the company to create a random Lego that doesn’t fit with everything else, because at some point that random Lego piece is going to cause problems and kinks in the process and the workflows of how all the modules talk and can come together.”

Check out the episode for more in-depth info and tips on HR systems.

Learn more about Procare HR’s HRIS here. You can even schedule a no-pressure 15-minute call to ask questions and find out if this system has all the Lego pieces you need.