HRIS Key Terms

Terms you will find when researching HRIS software

HRIS or human resources information systems are software programs and documented processes that help managers in organizations control all the tasks necessary to manage employees, from basic time and attendance tracking to benefits.

HRIS reduces paperwork because it allows for entering all the important information in a database. For some basic information such as address, phone number and emergency contacts, the data entry can be done by the employee themselves thus reducing the need for additional resources.

Personnel management

Personnel management, also referred to as personnel administration, has been replaced by the term human resources management and refers to all the processes associated with managing employees. It includes everything from recruiting them to terminating them. Many of these processes have been automated in an HRIS. 

Compensation management

Compensation management is another function of managing employees and is the art and science of making sure employees are paid fairly. It is one of the most important aspects of an HRIS as your business needs to have record and tracking of who has what and how that affects their pay, etc. 

Payroll Management

An important aspect of HRIS is managing employee payroll; this includes classifications, raises, bonuses, and the various payrates for your employees which can range from contracted hourly to full time salary. If this is too much for your business to take on, consider hiring a payroll service to take over. 

Performance management

Performance management incorporates all the tasks and processes associated with making sure employees do their job. The goal is to ensure that employees know what they are supposed to do every day to help the organization achieve its goals. An HRIS can automate many of the processes and forms associated with this process. 

Benefits administration

Benefits administration refers to the management of benefits or non-wage compensations provided to employees by organizations. These usually include group health insurance, retirement plans, disability insurance, sick leave, vacation, tuition reimbursement and profit sharing. An HRIS can also include a module for benefits administration if required. 

Time and attendance

Time and attendance systems are used by organizations to collect information on how much time employees spend on the job. This can be a highly automated function within an HRIS. 


The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a law that was passed by Congress in 1985 that mandates that all employers maintain an insurance program that gives employees the right to continue health insurance after they leave a company. Due to all the rules and regulations associated with COBRA, they can be built in to an HRIS.

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