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Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have single-handedly changed the manual administrative paper-based function of HR to a technical field of database management. Thanks to software solutions, an organisation can now manage employee information and performance at lower costs and with much more flexibility.

Many Pakistani companies employ high quality HRIS using Enterprise Resource Management tools such as Oracle or SAP. There is also an increasing prevalence of cloud based HRIS as well. These tools are often tailor-made to match a particular organisation’s needs.

Here are some important HR functions that have become more efficient because of HRIS:

Recruitment: Applicants can simply upload their résumés on a given website which stores their data and matches keywords in the job description with the ones on the CVs. This requires CVs to be tailored in much the same way search results are optimised for search engines using keywords – meaning candidates need to up their game even further in order not to miss out on opportunities that highlight particular skill sets as pre-requisites for a job.

Attendance: A card swiping system fails to account for proxy attendances – when someone else swipes an employee’s card. Using a centralised database for multiple office premises, biometric swiping systems need only the employee’s thumbprint to maintain an attendance management system. Additionally, these systems serve as an effective security measure to restrict access to the premises.

Analytics: Using data visualisation tools such as dashboards or project tracking software such as JIRA, business intelligence managers can spot trends, perform multiple scenario-based calculations or generate reports according to defined key performance indicators. Employee data can be produced in a variety of pictorial tables and charts for detailed analysis.

Employee Management: Many organisations empower employees to manage their leaves and pay slips, claim travel expenses or make training requests etc, through Employee Self Service (ESS) systems. Suitable for all types of organisations, ESS requires data security measures to be strict since anyone with another employee’s ID number can potentially access his/her classified information.

– Sadya Siddiqui
The writer is an HR and branding consultant and can be contacted via LinkedIn.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 9, 2012.