An article in this weeks Professional Manager covered a research project that had been completed by Birmingham University and funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). The survey highlighted that when Human Resources (HR) departments use sophisticated information systems competently, they do not appear to struggle with gaining recognition from the rest of their organisation as much as those that don't.
In organisations where the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is less sophisticated, more problems appear between HR and the rest of the organisation. This will also often lead to identity crisis within the department.
By ensuring that useful information is being passed to strategic and line managers from the HR Department, is placing them in more of an indispensable position.
Two surveys were completed, the first covered 470 small businesses and they were asked to identify if they had HRIS and which features they used and also how it fitted in with their organisation. The other survey covered systems suppliers and they were questionned about their products and customer base.
Here are the key findings:
The larger the company, the more likely that the HR function were to hold information electronically about the individual and the organisation.
Information Analysis is more common in larger organisations.
Only 50% of organisations that employ less than 500 people use HRIS and even then they may only use the core HR modules rather than additional training and recruitment modules.
Later purchasers of HRIS are more likely to buy additional HR modules.
HRIS is still being used administratively in the main.
The most used integrated module was time and attendance.
Among company's that supplied HRIS, the results highlighted a definite split between those that had started by selling payroll and/or hardware and had then diversified into the software market and those that had set up in the early days of Windows and stayed within the pure HR market.
The younger organisation was far more fluid and customer -led, while the larger, older organisations took the we know best approach.