Acronyms are often befuddling. Talking generally about the marketers, they have this irresistible urge to turn their products into an acronym. On one hand, some acronyms have more than one meaning (like BPM could mean both business performance management, and beats per minute, depending on whether you are a management person or a musician).
On the other hand, there are multiple acronyms that have a common meaning. And these terms are often very conveniently used interchangeably. This adds to the confusion, making it hard for people to distinguish them. A similar situation arises when it comes to describing the HR software — HRIS and HRMS, as the two are considered to be the same thing in most HR circles.
But is it really the case? Are HRIS and HRMS the two sides of the same coin? What do the terms really represent? Does each of them serve a unique need in HR management? Or is it just a confusion created by industry operators like vendors, marketers et al? This blogpost hopes to straighten things out a bit, so that you have an easier time selecting the right solution for your business.
Before getting into the HRIS vs HRMS debate, it is important to understand what the two terms stand for.
HRIS, or Human Resource Information System, deals more with the information that doesn’t change very often. For ex: employee information such as residential address, educational & professional qualifications, and other details that remain constant are a part of HRIS. An HRIS system, thus, manages the information of a business’ people, procedures and policies.
HRMS, Human Resource Management System, on the other hand helps businesses track variable data such as performance of an employee, recruiting, onboarding, reporting, payroll, and other such personnel management related tasks. It deals more with employee lifecycle management processes.
HRIS vs HRMS?
At the core, both HRIS as well as HRMS solutions act as HR management software. Acting as the single source of workforce information, they automate an organization’s HR tasks and processes. They both house master employee data which the HR department requires to conduct its key HR processes.
These systems may also include other important HR functions such as training and development, applicant tracking, and some self-service options. However, both HRIS and HRMS are predominantly associated with the core HR functions.
But if you talk about what separates the two, the basic difference is that of scope. The HRMS is a broader concept, and its features and functionality overlap that of an HRIS system’s. The other aspect that distinguishes one from the other is the use of information. While an HRMS holds dynamic information like attendance, leaves, payroll, performance appraisal, etc., HRIS holds static information.
In sum, both HRIS as well as HRMS serve as the hub of HR and employee data management, and share this data with the spokes, i.e. other software applications deployed by the businesses.
Safe to say HRIS = HRMS?
The answer to this question depends. There are multiple viewpoints. There is a line of thinking that differentiates the two systems on the basis of timeline, claiming both an HRIS and HRMS are the same systems, and while the former was a concept of the 80s and 90s, the latter is the more advanced, and the developed and contemporary version of the former.
Then there are the HR management software vendors and the savvy marketers, who conveniently coin new terms for different software, simply to match what people commonly call them. HCM/HCMS, which stands for Human Capital Management System, is a classic example in this regard. Many consider it as the latest avatar of the HR management systems, while for many others, it remains just another glossy term.
From the prospective client/buyer’s point of view, HRIS can be known as HRMS, and reverse. To them, there’s nothing really in a name. What they do care about is whether or not they get all the best features possible. Till the time they’re getting all the functionalities, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s the HRIS, HRMS, or even the HCM for that matter.
What matters to your business?
Now we know the HR vendors, analysts & consultants, and marketers can have their own separate terminology for the HR management systems. But what matters is what features an organization needs from the software, and whether a particular vendor can deliver it or not.
Most forward-looking business opt for a contemporary HR management software which covers the features offered by an HRIS as well as HRMS. It can thus be said the systems that are in demand are usually a combination of both HRMS and HRIS. Such single system ensures that both the HRMS and HRIS tasks are taken care of.
It can be called whatever, HRMS or HRIS, but the bottom-line is that it helps HR managers to automate, track and analyze employee and staff related data efficiently and effectively. Before selecting an HRMS, it is always wise to ensure that it not only has HRMS features, but also the static data crunching abilities which an HRIS offers.
Which system should you choose?
In order to decide that, you must assess your organization’s needs and determine which solution best aligns with it, and is most beneficial to it. No matter what your organization’s size and type is, such software unify different aspects of your HR function in one place to increase efficiency, improve usability, reduce operational costs, and offer scalability to grow along with your business.
Going by the current trend, the term HRMS is being used extensively by the marketers, since it has been in demand. The best HRMS system, which also covers the HRIS system’s features, offers the following functionalities:
Time & attendance
How BatchMaster HeRd can help?
An all-in-one HR management software, BatchMaster HeRd can meet all the needs related to your HR function. By automating all your HR-related tasks, and offering access actionable insights to build a better workplace.It covers the features of both HRIS and a traditional HRMS- right from people management, data management, payroll management, attendance,and time management, to recruitments and appraisals.
Also available on a mobile App, it allows your employees to remotely access, update and interact with their data and get the HR-related jobs such as remote login/logout, and apply for leaves, claims etc. done through their smartphones. It can also be deployed on cloud, and comes with a range of integration options.
Still not convinced about the difference between HRIS and HRMS? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Even the industry veterans find it difficult to establish a difference between the two, and continue to debate the terminology. But what is important here is to understand which system works best for your business.
We believe, BatchMaster HeRd does. Connect with our experts today to fix a free demo, or for consultation. They’ll surely help clear the mud from the water as you go about your research for the best HR management system, which we’re confident will end at BatchMaster HeRd.