It’s hard to imagine what life for an HR professional must have been like back in the 1960s.
I think it’s safe to assume there was a lot of paperwork—A LOT of paperwork. Without technology that we take for granted today, all data and forms had to be tediously completed by hand or typewriter. Recruiting meant you typed up a listing, mailed it to the local paper, and waited for resumes to trickle in.
When you needed to retrieve a document, you had to rummage through a cabinet full of files. Once you made a hire, there was a myriad of forms to be filled out. You probably spent a lot of time on the phone fielding questions, but I bet the majority of the day was spent filing mounds of paperwork into gigantic cabinets.
Most HR processes are the same today, only now (thank goodness) everything can be automated. The industry began to change in the 1980s with the introduction of simple computer applications. Over the decades, these programs have evolved into sophisticated Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), now considered a necessity in most HR departments.
According to SHRM, HRIS “can be briefly defined as integrated systems used to gather, store and analyze information regarding an organization’s human resources.”
These types of software or online platforms can assist HR professionals by integrating the management of employee data with the performance of common HR tasks such as applicant tracking, performance management, attendance, compensation and benefits management, work force analyses, and scheduling. To put it simply, they can help you achieve HR rockstar status.
Here are just some of the ways an HRIS can make your life easier:
Single Record Per Employee
Each employee has one record that contains all relevant data collected over their lifecycle—from job application to offboarding. The record is created once a candidate applies for a job within your company. All important documents can be scanned and stored, eliminating the need for paperwork. Buh bye filing cabinet!
Unlike the stressed HR professional in the 1960s who had to type up job postings and send to local newspapers one at a time, it now is possible to post a job in one or more locations and have millions of people see it all at once with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Applicant tracking allows you to navigate all stages of the hiring process: collecting applications, communicating with candidates, initiating background checks, and making offers.
Once successfully hired, you simply bring up the employee’s pre-populated record to initiate automation of all elements of the onboarding process including new hire forms, handbook review, workstation set up, benefits enrollment, and more. Added bonus, all forms can be completed digitally. Sayonara interoffice mail!
Open enrollment is a breeze. Employees have the ability to enroll online, once again eliminating the need for paper forms. Enrollment data can be captured electronically and stored in the employee’s record for reporting purposes. Some have the added bonus of communicating securely and directly to your carriers, ensuring that updates are received quickly and accurately.
This can be one of your greatest timesavers. It enables employees to access the system to perform certain tasks (like managing their benefits, requesting time off, or viewing important documents) while allowing supervisors to approve time off, manage performance reviews, and retrieve data without having to call on you.
No more nagging or chasing down people to read or sign off on important documents. These systems can schedule events, such as performance appraisals and benefit deadlines automatically, sending email notifications to the designated contacts and nudging them if actions have not been taken.
The hassle of reporting is eliminated since you can create custom reports to address your company’s specific needs. Many systems allow you to export data in a variety of formats including Excel, CSV, PDF, text, and XML. Better yet, you can set up reports for AutoRun and have them automatically emailed to your inbox!
Are You Feeling Stuck In A Time Warp?
The day in the life of a HR professional is very different than it was 50 years ago.
If you feel like you’re stuck in a time warp and not taking advantage of all that is available, it’s time to consider an option like Balance Point’s state-of-the-art HRIS that can provide you will all the benefits listed above and more!
And you won’t go at it alone.