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    A Complete Guide to Getting Started with an HRIS: Requirements Checklist

    August 26, 2023

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    79% of HR leaders are accelerating digital transformation as per PWC's 2022 survey across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. Human resource information systems, or HRIS, are a crucial part of this journey. To select the best HRIS software for your company, you need a detailed HR software requirements checklist. This article shares a 20-point HR software requirements checklist to help you in this process, and provides you with selection and implementation tips.  

    An HRIS is the foundation of your HR tech stack because it centralizes all HR information. That's why you need to choose the right solution carefully, based on your organization's requirements. An HR system requirements checklist helps you identify the most suitable vendor for your organization and prepare for successful implementation. 

    Understanding the Role of HRIS 

    Human resource information systems or HRIS is the meeting ground or an amalgamation of human resources and information technology. It is, at its core, a scalable and integrated database. 

    It is an integrated system that stores, records, and maintains all data associated with the organization's human resources activities, including worker demographics, time off balances, absenteeism or attendance, medical data, and benefit programs. Everything from enrolment to attendance can be monitored and controlled through a single platform, saving time and boosting productivity.  

    Most HR professionals use an HRIS to enhance employee management and streamline processes. With the right authorizations, all essential HR information is available from any location and at any time. Also, it can automate employee records administration in line with all applicable privacy regulations. 

    Why Implement Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)? 

    The HRIS plays a major role in optimizing HR processes with technology. In both big and small organizations, human resources is responsible for a wide range of crucial tasks involving the documentation, storage, and retrieval of data. Managing this digitally with a robust HRIS makes the HR department run more efficiently.  

    It is important to choose the right software, and a well-crafted HRIS functional requirements checklist will help with finding the best software for your organization.  

    HRIS systems can boost productivity by automating repetitive HR administrative tasks and facilitating access to relevant information.

    Learn More: The Need for HRIS: A Comprehensive Guide To Transforming Employee Experience for HR Leaders 

    The Ultimate HR System Requirements Checklist and Specifications 

    HRIS is now a multi-billion-dollar market and is expected to grow steadily over the next few years, as companies’ digital needs intensify. Also, human resource information systems are constantly evolving – by introducing the cloud, integration, automation, and even artificial intelligence. This can make it hard to choose the best HRIS solution for you.

    This HRIS software requirements checklist will assist you in your search for the right HRIS for your organization: 

    1. Onboarding support

    While choosing an HRIS, it is important to ensure that it provides onboarding support for new employees It improves the employee’s induction experience by allowing them to submit all paperwork online. Automatic reminders can be sent to new team members to guide them through each phase. Workflows can be set up to customize the process according to the demands of your organization. 

    1. Attendance and leave management

    An HRIS removes the necessity for timesheets by streamlining and automating the tracking of time off and attendance. Integrating biometric devices can also boost data accuracy. Easily converting staff absences to leaves ensures that attendance data isn't unclear or jumbled up. You can also adjust leaves and time off criteria according to the location or sector of your company's operations. 

    1. Payroll

    Payroll processing is made easier in an HRIS because payroll and attendance administration are integrated. The HRIS generates reports that detail the precise number of working hours and days for each employee. On a single platform, pay slips, financial declarations, and reimbursement invoices can be managed. 

    1. Performance management

    End-to-end HRIS platforms should ideally support performance management for the organization. Regular performance evaluations can be carried out to offer continuous feedback all through the year. This includes self-evaluations, while managers motivate employees by setting clear objectives and targets. The purpose of performance reports is to assess and enhance the overall efficiency of an organization. The HRIS should be able to store all of this performance management data. 

    1. Learning and development

    An HRIS can integrate all your employee learning, training, and personnel development programs. This is particularly helpful for organizations that require licenses and certifications. It lets you create talent inventory and succession planning reports. 

    1. Benefits management

    An effective HRIS should provide an exhaustive overview of benefits, including insurance, paid time off, reimbursement information, plans for retirement, and wellness programs. The HRIS facilitates the administration of employee benefits by supporting the tracking, management, and communication of employee benefits at scale. 

    1. Employee surveys

    A key HRIS feature that lends employees a voice is anonymous surveys. Typically, HRIS platforms include an extensive collection of survey forms that can save you time. Additionally, you will be able to contrast and compare the results to other timeframes. 

    The best HRIS systems will automatically trigger surveys at key stages of the employee lifecycle and store the data in a centralized system. 

    These are the seven HR processes that you will be looking to streamline through an HRIS implementation. Next, on the HR system requirement checklist, let us look at the technical capabilities the software should have. 

    1. Real-time data synchronization

    Each HR process must be seamlessly integrated with other business systems. The information is always synchronized and displayed in real time, and time-consuming dual-entry is eliminated. For instance, if you alter an employee's salary structure in the payroll module, it will be tweaked in all other records instantaneously. 

    1. Import and export

    The ability to both import and export data gives greater flexibility to HR teams. If you can fill in your new HRIS by gathering as much information as possible from other sources, the task will be considerably less difficult than manual entry. And, given the constant evolution of both technology and the workforce as a whole, you might soon need to transition to a new or upgraded HRIS. The ability to export data makes the transition much easier. 

    1. Cloud hosting

    The cloud, also known as software as a service (SaaS), is a collection of servers that stores information, runs apps, and delivers online services. An HRIS can be hosted on the cloud with a subscription model or on-premise with HR software and hardware. Since a cloud HRIS is entirely accessible online, it cuts down on physical storage space. It also reduces operating expenses compared to an on-premises system. 

    Learn More: Key IT Strategy & Implementation Best Practices for an HR Digital Transformation 

    1. Automation

    Eventually, most business operations – including HR – will be taken over by automation. Everyday tasks, like data entry or documentation, can be performed efficiently by technology. It's one of the fastest and easiest methods to free up your time so you can focus on developing strategies that improve team efficiency, productivity, and retention. 

    1. Analytics

    The ideal HRIS platform will allow you to create customized reports to meet your own unique needs. It will have KPI dashboards that categorize the most important business trends at a glance. HR teams must ensure that the HRIS can collect and process various kinds of data including statistics on gender equality, retention rates, attrition rates, efficiency, and inter-team partnerships when filling out the HR software requirement specifications. 

    1. Data security

    Organizations are trusted with a substantial amount of extremely sensitive and classified employee information. Your HRIS will store personal information like banking details or identification numbers. A breach of HRIS data can be catastrophic for the organization and its employees. 

    You must be confident that your HRIS has the necessary safeguards in place to defend against both external and internal threats. It must be sufficiently advanced to deter intruders – like using an encrypted cloud platform for hosting. Additionally, users must be able to view or modify the data to which they have access. That’s why role-based access and zero-trust privileges are key elements on the HRIS requirements checklist. 

    1. HRIS integrations

    As useful as the HRIS platform is, it can't carry out all tasks by itself. To efficiently manage all your HR activities, you have to link your HRIS with other applications. Integration connects your HRIS to other applications, typically through their application programming interfaces (APIs).  

    Once linked, applications are able to readily exchange data and enable the creation of connected workflows. Accounting and Finance, risk administration, project supervision, and industry-specific software are instances of common third-party integrations.  

    Finally, you need to check for user experience and admin features when selecting the best HRIS system. The HRIS requirement checklist will include the following features. 

    1. Compliance

    As part of the HRIS requirements checklist, compliance consists of two aspects. Its primary responsibility is to ensure alignment with regional and national labor laws and regulations. Moreover, in European companies, your HRIS must process employee data in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines. An HRIS can be configured to send alerts regarding reporting deadlines and regulatory changes demanding action. 

    1. Reporting

      With HRIS reporting, HR managers can share data-driven insights with senior executives. Reports include headcount, recruitment, performance evaluation, inclusivity, compliance, and remuneration. HRIS software makes these reports readily available according to the business's needs. HR teams could also check out preloaded assets, forms, and customized reports. A helpful feature is recurring reporting, and this can be automated based on the user's preferred schedule

    2. Mobile access

    Using an HRIS mobile application, nearly all HR functions can be performed on the go. All data is accessible at all times and in all locations, and all HR services are available on mobile. 

    1. Employee self-service

    An HRIS will allow employees to examine enterprise-wide assets and their own records via self-service. Team executives must also be able to access pertinent employee management data. HR professionals can save a great deal of time, when employees use the self-service tool to ask for time off, enroll in rewards or benefits programs, and edit their personal data on their own.  

    1. Accessibility

    Ensure the easy availability of HR systems for all of your employees, but especially for those with disabilities. When a portion of your employees can't use the resources you offer, you fail to harness their abilities. Accessibility-friendly HRIS allows users to personalize their experiences with aids and tools. A few instances include providing employees with screen reader apps or videophones. 

    1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

    AI has revolutionized HRIS's operations. AI-powered systems can analyze large volumes of data to discover top talent, evaluate applicant potential, and offer data-driven recommendations powered by machine learning algorithms. AI features in HRIS can improve the user experience through employee-facing chatbots, automated FAQ answering, and more. That is why this feature belongs on any modern HRIS requirements checklist. 

    Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to HR Automation 

    How to Select the Best HRIS Software? 

    Organizations typically  shortlist a handful of systems that match the criteria mentioned in the HRIS requirement checklist, and then select the system they want to implement. Before this, the organization has to identify the project's financial limitations. HRIS systems are offered at different price points to accommodate organizations of all sizes. Cloud-based enterprise software is usually more affordable and helps avoid fixed costs. Additionally, the technological constraints of the organization must also be evaluated. 

    Companies must assess any project-specific scheduling challenges. Other initiatives on the HR timetable or yearly events, like open enrolment or performance reviews, might restrict the ability of HR teams to participate actively in the implementation process. Similarly, a hectic IT schedule may restrict access to essential support staff during the installation phase. 

    Based on the above parameters, and the HRIS requirements checklist, it is now time to reach out to shortlisted vendors. 

    From the shortlist of four to seven software packages and vendors, organizations will send out a detailed request for proposals (RFP). Upon getting the responses to the RFP, the HR team must choose up to four vendors for an on-site demonstration.  This will help in identifying the best vendor for the task. 

    Once this process is completed, HR managers will initiate the next step – getting ready for implementation. 

    Requirements Checklist for HRIS Implementation 

    Implementing a new human resource information system – even when it ticks all the right boxes on your HRMS software requirement specification – can feel overwhelming.

    To prevent this, break down the process into the following stages: 

    1. Finalizing the timeline

    Plan for at least a month and a half, or even longer, to complete the HRIS implementation. It is not uncommon for the entire process to span several months or longer, particularly for large organizations. 

    Your HRIS implementation timetable will vary depending on variables like the specific functions of the new HRIS, whether you're merging the new solution into your current HR systems, and the degree of setup assistance offered by your software vendor. 

    1. Installing the software

    Before choosing integrated HRIS software, confirm the provider's extent of involvement in implementation assistance, as firms offer different levels of setup guidance. Some vendors deliver extensive installation support, whereas others just offer instructions and ask you to figure out the remainder on your own. Your IT team will play a crucial role in ensuring that everything runs efficiently, from issuing database access rights to upholding security protocols. 

    1. Moving data into your HRIS

    During the data migration phase, you will gather and move employee and other organizational data to the new system. As with setting up, some software vendors will transfer your data for you, while others will give the IT teams migration guidelines. Clarify these requirements right from the outset to prevent problems (and disruptions in the implementation schedule). 

    1. Configuring the HRIS system

    After data has been migrated to your HRIS and payroll systems, your software provider will set up your HRIS. This involves syncing the HRIS with your organization's existing HR processes (e.g., creating approval protocols for PTO submissions) and verifying that the system can manage all employee updates and requests efficiently. Some service providers will additionally link your current software systems with the new HRIS at this point in time. 

    1. Driving HRIS adoption

    After setup, data transfer, and configuration, you're all set to launch the application. At this point, the HR team must send out emails, share updates on the intranet, and host workshops to make sure that all employees are mindful of the go-live date and can start using the new system. Also, provide extensive guidance and training to make the adoption as effortless as possible. 

    Learn More: The Power of an End-to-End, Complete HR Software 


    A great HRIS is like a Swiss Army knife: versatile and trustworthy. It should include all the essential process-oriented, technical, and user-centric features. A 20-point HRIS requirements checklist will simplify the selection and, eventually, implementation process to help you make the most of your investment in HRIS. 

    Remember that the HRIS must oversee all HR data and processes, ensuring an uninterrupted and efficient workflow. An experienced HRIS vendor will guide you through the journey and provide ample support to address any IT skill gaps in your organization. 

    Speak to Darwinbox experts to start your HRIS journey today. 


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