HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

HRIS Implementation

Implementing an HRIS system is no small feat. It requires plenty of time, careful planning and ongoing maintenance. Continue reading to learn why implementation is important, what challenges you may encounter and more!

What Is HRIS Implementation?

Human Resource Information System (HRIS) implementation is a long-term strategic process that involves analyzing, creating, testing, and integrating the new platform. Although it requires plenty of time and careful planning, the result can be a highly effective cornerstone for your HR department that engages your workforce.

Why Is HRIS Implementation Important?

The end result of HRIS implementation includes automated processes, centralized data, and real-time insights. Your leadership will be able to manage processes more easily through automated workflows, increased compliance, and data comparison.
  • Automate processes. Implementing an HRIS system can open the door to streamlining your HR and business processes. Your HRIS will allow employees to perform transactional actions within the software. This means you’ll be able to focus more on strategic initiatives. Automation will reduce human errors and will increase efficiency. Less paperwork means reduced cost of materials. Automated workflows can be especially helpful if your organization operates in several locations so you can achieve consistent HR practices.
  • Centralize data. With your HRIS implemented, you’ll be able to centralize your data as opposed to having it in separate locations. With greater accessibility comes greater organization, which can increase compliance with government regulations. A few examples of data you can centralize include recruiting, time management, payroll, performance evaluations and employee profiles. An HRIS system allows you to set security levels for the various roles in your organization so that you can guard access to confidential information.
  • Real-time insights. Managing important numbers and data can be made simpler through implementing an HRIS, including turnover, salary spend, and headcount. Some platforms allow you to compare current to past data which can help predict and analyze trends.

Common Challenges of HRIS Implementation

There are several challenges of HRIS implementation. A few that your company should be prepared to manage are resistance to change, a correct understanding of the project length, and the need to run data tests before importing into the system.

Resistance to Change

Before your company decides to move forward with HRIS implementation, it’s important that management, leadership, and key stakeholders agree that the change is necessary. They need to understand that their buy-in is essential to the success of the project. You can garner feedback through focus groups from the above groups, check-ins, and surveys. Feedback can help you overcome barriers to change and help direct implementation.

Misunderstanding of Project Length

Integrating an HRIS into your business will be a lengthy process. As you choose your project team, you don’t have to choose members with the most free time to help carry it out. In fact, you should avoid this. Select members who will be best suited to complete long-term strategic objectives. Your team should be able to clearly define the end result throughout the implementation and should have the skills, desire, and appropriate expectation about the project length. This can increase team engagement. The greater the engagement, the greater likelihood the project will be executed successfully.

Data Integrity

A simple data discrepancy can have a dramatically negative impact on your organization. If you’re trying to implement an HRIS with various sources of data that don't match, data can become compromised. It’s important to run tests before you import all your data into your new HRIS. Once you’ve had several successful reports, you can move forward with importing your data.

The Steps of HRIS Implementation

There are various steps you can follow to make sure that your implementation goes according to plan. Refer to the following as a guide for implementation.

Step 1: Determine Company Needs

In order to effectively implement an HRIS system, the HR department must work with other department leaders and management to gain a holistic understanding of company needs. HR should learn about the business strategy and long-term goals. Most HRIS systems offer a variety of modules to choose from, such as recruiting, benefit administration, payroll, employee self-service (ESS), etc.

Step 2: Assess the Project Scope

You’ll need to determine your company’s budget for implementation along with the IT support required for the system. Will your organization host the HRIS through an on-premise option, will it choose a software as a service (SaaS), or something else? You’ll need to consider any time constraints that might prevent your project team from completing the implementation in a timely manner.

Step 3: Organize Your Project Committee

Your committee should be made up of employees who have a good understanding of needs beyond the HR department. These employees typically come from payroll, talent acquisition, HR, training and development, IT and the operations department.

Step 4: Demo and Request for Proposal (RFP)

Once you’ve selected several systems that meet your project scope assessment and the needs of your company, begin requesting proposals and scheduling demonstrations. Demos are a great time to ask clarifying questions and measure the systems’ performance against your pre-determined company needs.

Step 5: Configuration

Your service agreement will typically outline the length of time implementation is expected to last. It could take from several months to several years. Expect to work closely with your representative and representatives assigned to you from your HRIS company. Continue designing, testing and configuring the various workflows, processes, security settings, forms, etc. until they satisfy the demands of your project team.

Step 6: Pilot the System

“A good first impression can work wonders.” — J. K. Rowling The first impression your HRIS system leaves on management and employees will last a long time. Make sure you dedicate adequate time to pilot the software with both your project team and others in your organization who can provide honest feedback. Consider testing the system with employees with longer tenure with the company since they might be the most resistant to change. This will give you a great opportunity to understand possible concerns and overcome them before deploying the system.

Step 7: Train Your Workforce

A robust training program for your workforce before and after deployment will ensure they’re sufficiently prepared and capable of using the system. Training materials may already be provided by your HRIS company. Speak with your rep if you’re unsure where they’re located. If training materials are not provided, a third party may have training or you can create your own. Make sure the training is in a location where it can be easily accessed by your workforce.

Step 8: Deployment

You’re ready to deploy your HRIS system and can begin reaping the rewards of your hard work. Congratulations!

Tips for Effective HRIS Implementation

Now that you’ve deployed your new HRIS, here are a few tips. Expect ongoing maintenance with your HRIS to make sure it continues to run smoothly. Don’t forget to understand your audience and rely on your representative(s)!

Tip 1: Ongoing Maintenance

After you’ve deployed your HRIS software, there will likely be plenty of work to do to make sure it performs as expected and continues to meet expectations. By creating a testing schedule, you can make sure you stay on top of possible deficiencies within the system. If a new update or feature is released, be sure to communicate it to your workforce in a timely manner. You may also need to provide additional training to keep up with updates.

Tip 2: Understand Your Audience

As you train your workforce on how to use the HRIS, remember to keep in mind the audience you’re working with. For workers who struggle with learning new technology, be certain your training is easily understood. If you have different shifts or are working across different time zones, a live training may not be feasible. You could record trainings or create PDFs employees can refer to at their own convenience.

Tip 3: Rely on Your Representative(s)

Your HRIS representative will have likely guided other companies through a similar integration. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance or recommendations throughout the implementation. Things may not go according to plan, which is why it’s important to rely on their expertise.
James Barrett

James Barrett

James has worked in the HR field going on 5+ years and has held various positions of leadership. His areas of expertise are in benefits, recruiting, onboarding, HR analytics, engagement, employee relations, and workforce development. He has earned a masters degree in HR, along with a nationally recognized SHRM-SCP certification.
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