Invariably, information technology has been gradually changing the way the human resource practice. Human resource and human resource management have been main issue for managers in different size organization, what the HR managers are pursuing is how to make their management process and organization operation more effective and efficient. The integrating of information technology and human resource that makes the human resource managers ‘dream comes true. The Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) support organization with faster information exchanging and strategic advantage. Computerized human resource work place substitutes the traditional paper work in contemporary human resource practice, more flexible and reliable computer software and online human resource services are available to support in developing a multifunctional human resource information system.
In the first part of this essay, the different concepts of information systems will be discussed, notwithstanding there are some confusion about how to define the concept of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) when the information technology has been connected widely with HR practice. The simply concept of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) can be defined as a connected systems used to collect, store, and analyze information for human resource in organization function (Hendrickson, 2003). After clear about the concept of HRIS, how this new information system support, guide and assist the human resource professionals in their daily working practice will be the second issue in this essay which includes: the benefit of employee self-service system, utilizing automated phone-response system in customers’ services, and the new office communication way through the Internet-based chartroom. Moreover, an Asian company will be chosen as a colorful example to illustrate how a relatively well designed and developed Human Resource Information Systems to support the organization’s strategic direction.
Finally in this essay whether this Asian company is successfully achieving its objective in terms of HR resource planning and recruitment will also be critically analyzed in the last part, and the examples will be used to justify the product of information technology, such as flexible online human resource software and service that streamlines majority human resource practice and reducing time spend and cost on operation of organization and improving almost all human resource practice effective and efficiency.
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All of Human Resources practice is affected by information technology (IT) and the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) sometimes can give HR directly support and guidance. There are some confusion has arisen in defining the concept of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) when the information technology has been connected widely with HR practice. May be the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) can be simply defined as a connected systems used to collect, store, and analyze information for human resource in organization function (Hendrickson, 2003).
The Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) nevertheless, has been introducing by giving different types of definitions as the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have gradually permeated the human resource function. Boateng (2007) highlights and defines Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) as a kind of system which relays on high technology to collect, store, retrieve, analyze information for human resource of certain organization and guiding the decision making, strategic plan making, and the future plan making of organization. Then, Kovach and Cathcart (1999) define the Human Resource Information Systems in their journal article which as a systematic procedure for collecting, storing, maintaining, retrieving, and validating data that needed by organization about its human resources, personnel activities, and organization unit characteristics.
Moreover, the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) force the human resource information collecting, analysis and management join hand and high level technology of information together, but this integration is not simply comprise the technical aspect which limited to the products of Information Technology it also needs the policies, procedures, and people to manage the HR function (Hendrickson,2003). From the definitions to the Human Resource Information Systems above, it is easy can be seen that the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is comprised by two aspects.
The first component is technology-based products, such as software and hardware, and the other component is no-computerized, the humanity in HR. It’s undoubted that these components could completely assist human resources (HR) professionals achieve the objectives of organizations. The Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is an effective and efficient weapon that arms and supports HR functional applications in different aspects. Cieri et al. , (2008) highlight that the Human Resource Information Systems relies on information technology for high speed information access and decision making to provides competitive and strategic achievements for organizations. Rapid developed information technology completely assists HR professionals in any size of organizations to achieve their objectives in terms of accuracy information and data collection and transactions.
For example, one of most effective products of information technology is an automated system which is a substitute to the traditional manual processes that provide accuracy information collection and analysis for sharing profit and administrating benefits not only available to large corporations but also available to small size organization. The Human Resource Information Systems currently tend to be software-enabled systems and in many large organizations, the Human Resource Information Systems have been used for transaction processing, reporting and tracking; decision support systems; and expert systems (Cieri et al., 2008). For example, according to the current situation of the labor market and organization, HR professionals could be guided by accessing the historical records and collecting new information in order to draw on a predictive model of recruitment by the Human Resource Information Systems. Traditional manual processes are not as effective as the software based new information systems and accuracy historical record statistics and analysis is also the key point.
Based on the accuracy statistics and analysis of the historical data, it‘s easy to get the information of internal labor supply and the details of them within organization, such as who have the specific skills, what job categories they are currently taking. After all the internal recruitment have many advantages, low cost and faster results if consider whether the organization are constraining in budget; shorter socialization period; and even the employee motivation increasing. If there is no one suit for the vacancy from internal, the huge number of information from external could be the first and most inconvenience aspect for the HR.
With the help of the Human Resource Information Systems, both employee and employer could save much time and cost. Through the employee self-service candidates are allowed to send their personal information directly into the Human Resource Information Systems, according to these data which analysis automatically by the hardware or software of information systems, all the information of employees will well organized, such as the relevant working qualification, previous working experience, specific skills, payroll and profile demand.
Besides that the Human Resource Information Systems could make the employee selection globally, and candidates could access the self-service system in every corner of the world and update their information freely. The HR professionals can follow the information which the Human Resource Information Systems report to make their final decision. Saving time, cost, and energy for the HR and applying long range planning for labor force planning and supply and demand forecast. Kovach et al, (2009) also notes that the Human Resource Information Systems also has huge potential to support compensation programs with information on pay increases, salary forecasts, and pay budgets; labor/employee relations with information on contract negotiations and employee assistance needs. The Human Resource Information Systems swipe the traditional HR concept and make the tasks with fewer working hour, with less paper, and with fewer people. Majority people could associate software and hardware with high technology information technology while they firstly hear about the Human Resource Information Systems.
The Internet however, has been a widely used by organization and provides a kind of medium to exchange information between employees and organizations. Cieri et al. , (2008) note that organizations such as government, educational institutions, and variously agencies provide a well organized and systematically maintained internet for the employees who can communicate with others at their location or across the globe, global team work between employees could step into reality world through different useful and effective accessories of the Internet, such as the Internet chatroom. For example, the faculty of education of Wollongong University has a well organized Internet site which name is “Janison”. The one of most important aspect of this Internet site is the colorful chartroom, every lecturer, staff, managers, and coordinator has their own ID to access this chartroom, information could be exchange through the Internet, leaders can directly dispose the future teaching plan to the lecturers, lecturers can also exchange their teaching experience and ideas to enhance and improve their ability.
Then immediately response is the main advantage of the Internet chartroom, people can communicate each other in same chartroom at the same time. It is more effective than any kind of e-mail and e-bulletin which have different level of information exchange delay, such as leaders can upload the annual teaching and learning plan for their followers, lecturers can put their feeling of their daily teaching, but those words are lifeless without immediately response from their readers. Finally, the traditional telephone has gradually been replaced by the Internet chartroom in this faculty, the images, document, video and audio file can be easily transferred through chartroom, and national and international wide meetings also can be organized without any obstructions which make the daily work more and more effective than before. Besides that, interactive voice technology plays an extremely important role in the Human Resource Information Systems.
Interactive voice technology is constructed by traditional computer unit to establish a kind of system such as automated phone-response system (Cieri et al. , 2008). First of all, this kind of automated phone-response system can help organization improve customer service. This automated phone-response system is utilized in many organizations. Kovach et al. , (2009) indicate that organizations use automated phone-response system that have rebuild and enhanced by using interactive employee information kiosks or Internet-based Web applications.
For example, the Optus utilizing an automated phone-response system which based on interactive voice technology, customers could follow the automatic voice guide to operate their phone to satisfy their needs, if the automated phone-response system could not recognize the voice data from the customers, the call is reconnected to one of the relevant human operator. Designing, developing and utilizing any kind of automated phone-response system which relies on the interactive voice technology that make the required information more efficient and effective or at a lower cost. Besides that kind of elementary utilizing of interactive voice technology, there are many similar automated systems have been using by different organizations to give employees, managers, and leaders more chance to connect with information of organization to apply for jobs, to review and redesign regulations, and to make the communications between employees, managers and leaders more easier (Kovach et al. , 2009, Wat and Ngai, 2006).
Most notably, the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) is a growing zone of HR that could not operate without the HR software and hard ware and web site, and web-based HR practice is upgraded and gradually substitute the computer-based training. Persephone Nicholas in his report claimed that “Technology is developing a different type of human resources professional today than a generation ago, an HR professional who is comfortable working on people issues that can sometimes be soft, but also comfortable in a quantitative environment where people issues are pretty rigorously analyzed and considered before decisions are made. '' Therefore, in this part a regular medium size organization has been chosen to be a vivid example to testify how the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) has been utilized by the medium company for supporting their strategic direction. Bratton and Gold (2003) highlights that the strategic direction and strategic objectives of the organization has direct relationship with strategic human resource management function.
In real case, in order to gain strategic successful in recently global competitive environment and business conditions that the company have to faces, the strategic planning and direction have to be designed and implemented in different levels which reflecting in an organization’s human resource management policies and practices to improve performance. Besides that there are still some vital factors for the success of company could not be ignored, such as current condition, labor market, trends of competitive, social concerns, demographic trends, and especially technological changes (Boateng,2007).
In this case, the target organization medium sized manufacturer located in China. The executive team has some new fresh blood and aim to improve the performance of the whole company. During one year jackaroo life in this company, two of very vital weaknesses of this company before were the very high cost of operating the business and unorganized information and data for recruitment. Besides that, the company had grown without utilizing right human resources result in some parts of company’s business process disjointing, such as, manufacturing and sales and customer satisfaction.
After the new executive team got the baton, a new HR management concept has been brought to this traditional Asian company and drove the company with new the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) as a constructive advantage. Leader team was engaged to design a strategic five years plan based on high information technology. Reducing financial pressure and inducing the operating efficiency were the two main aspects of the strategic plan. In those harshly competitive times, the only one way to make company operate successfully that was the reconnecting the information technology systems and human resource.
At first, no one could deny that the information is the core of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), therefore, information and data collection and historical data retrieve became the first and most important things and some flexible online HR software applications help HR streamlines all problems, such as accurate data collection and coordination, well organized employee self-service system (as graph below). After the information and data collecting, retrieving and analyzing, the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) gave some of constructive guidance of recruitment to suit the current labor market situation.
For example, managers could easily scan and download document of information of employees through the Internet, such as attendance, employee specific skills, and future salary demand. Employees could use their own ID to access the database to upgrade their information and personal details, such as annual leave demand. HR managers just need to utilize the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) to manage their employees, authorize and deal with holiday and leave. The Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) completely reduced administration time for the HR managers of this organization and improved overall HR efficiency. Hussain, Wallace, and Cornelius (2007) note that the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) are being used extensively in organizations of all sizes with both functionality and affordability, and allows the human resource (HR) professional to become a strategic player. The higher level executives and managers could rely on the guides which provided by the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) to design the next step plans in order to suit the strategic direction of the organization.
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