What is an HRIS and what does HRIS software do? Find out everything you need to know about Human Resources Information Systems on our website here.



What does HRIS stand for?

HRIS stands for Human Resource Information System. HRIS is sometimes referred to as ‘HRIS software’ and occasionally as HRMS – Human Resource Management System.

What exactly is HRIS?

Breathe responsive device-minA Human Resource Information System is a software or online solution that helps to automate and manage a business’s HR operations. It is essentially a tool to keep employee data in order. A HRIS can be a standalone solution installed on one or more computer hard drives, or SaaS-based software on the cloud.

A comprehensive HRIS solution provides all of the information required to track and analyse data about existing and past employees and new job applicants. It is a one-stop-shop for organising and managing people data and streamlines everything to do with HR.

We like to keep things simple.  

That's why we've put together two guides to show you and your decision-makers the fantastic benefits of Breathe.


What does HRIS software do?

HRIS software provides a powerful solution for everything to do with HR, from everyday processes to strategic planning. The software enables you to manage all HR functions and processes in one place, including:

  • Storing employee data
  • Payroll administration
  • Expenses management
  • Benefits management
  • Recruitment and applicant tracking
  • On-boarding
  • Training
  • Sickness and absence tracking
  • Managing workloads and time logging
  • Performance monitoring and evaluation
  • Holiday management
  • Strategic reporting

A HRIS serves as a source of accurate data that HR professionals, managers and employees can use to engage, create reports, track trends and utilise data in an instant to make important business decisions.

What are the benefits of HRIS software?

Saves time:                      HR can be incredibly time consuming, especially if you are using an out-dated manual system. HRIS software cuts the time spent on HR administration significantly, leaving HR professionals more time to spend on developing employees and supporting a vibrant working community.

Data access:                    HRIS software ensures relevant data is immediately available, making HR tasks simpler and much more effective.

Data input:                      With a comprehensive HRIS you only need to input employee information once for the many HR-related employee tasks, which reduces the time spent on administration and improves data accuracy.

Self-service:                     A HRIS enables employees to manage and modify their personal information, as well as book holiday. Managers and employees can record information for performance reviews and appraisals, and retrieve essential data without bothering HR. Staff handbooks and HR information are easily accessible to all.

Security:                           HRIS software improves security – sensitive documents no longer have to be stored in filing cabinets. All of the information your store on your HRIS is extremely secure. You can also set permissions to limit access to sensitive information.

Integration:                     Breathe’s fully developed open-source API enables your systems to talk to one another, ensuring more meaningful and integrated reporting and improved efficiency and accuracy. It means you won’t have to manually input data into multiple systems.

Reporting:                        With everything HR related all in one place, strategic reporting is simpler and faster, giving essential information to management for important business planning in real time.

Compliance:                     A comprehensive HRIS will help you stay on top of the compliance regulations that impact HR.

Communication:             A HRIS facilitates communication processes and is a powerful tool for improving employee engagement.

What types of business use a HRIS?

All types and sizes of business use a HR Information System from start-ups to large corporates across a broad range of sectors. As soon as you have a single employee, managing people and HR tasks becomes a necessity. Breathe’s HRIS software is designed specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Why choose a cloud-based HRIS?

There are many benefits of hosting your HRIS on the cloud.

Cost:                    Using SaaS (software as a service) you won’t have to pay upfront for software – costs are spread over a low monthly subscription.

Set up:                As soon as you sign up to your SaaS HRIS provider, you can access the system – there’s no lengthy installation process or complicated IT requirements.

Access:                A cloud-based HR system is accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection using a PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device.

Support:             SaaS HR providers generally offer robust system support via email and online chat. Breathe also offer telephone support, which is unusual for a SaaS HR provider. Cloud solutions cut down the need for an internal IT specialist.

Back-ups:           Cloud-based HRIS solutions are automatically backed-up on a regular basis offering greater protection against data disasters.

Updates:            On the cloud all updates are automatic.

Security:             Data stored with SaaS vendors is more secure than data that is stored locally.

When should my small business invest in a HRIS?

Even with relatively few employees, HR tasks can easily become unmanageable. Tracking employee information in word documents and spreadsheets can become difficult when there are multiple pieces of information in a variety of places.

Gathering and updating HR data can quickly become time consuming. The sooner you invest in a HR information system, the better. Spending less time on HR admin frees you up to spend more time developing employees and making a success of your business.

What should I consider when looking for a HRIS?

There are lots of HRIS solutions available to you, so you will need to decide which one is the best fit for your company. Factors you will want to consider include:

  • Can the system scale? You need a solution that can keep up with business growth and an increasing number of employees. Breathe’s HRIS scales according to the number of employees, up to a maximum of 250.
  • Can you integrate a HRIS with other systems? Some do. Breathe, for example, offer an open-source API which enables you to easily integrate with the other systems in your business.
  • How easy is the software to use? Breathe’s HRIS offers user-friendly visibility dashboards, is super easy to learn and straightforward to use. Our free trial lets you try before you subscribe.
  • What support will you get from the software provider? Every provider is different. At Breathe, we offer comprehensive support from video user guides and help guides to online chat. We’re also at the end of the phone if you need to talk to us, which is unusual for a SaaS provider.

Where is my HR and employee data hosted and is it secure?

With cloud-based HRIS, your data is stored with your SaaS vendor. At Breathe we understand that HR data is particularly sensitive so we take the issue of data security extremely seriously. We store your data in our secure data centre in the UK, which is equipped with CCTV, motion sensors, reinforced door and controlled key storage.

Will a HRIS grow with my company?

Most cloud-based HRIS software is scalable - Breathe’s HRIS software is specifically designed for SMEs and scales easily as your business grows. Our packages start at £10 per month* for 1-10 employees right up to £219 per month* for 101-250 employees.

*All prices are exclusive of VAT


HRIS: A HR Information System that helps organisations, companies and charities store, organise and manage people-related data.

HRMS: A HR Management system is a fully featured information and reporting system that centralises all HR administration and processes.

The cloud: Software and services that run on the Internet, as opposed to locally on your computer. They are accessed through a web browser, such as Google Chrome.

API: An Application Programming Interface (API) enables different applications to interact and communicate with one another.

HR Software can save SMEs up to 4 hours per week on people admin. 


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