There’s a very good chance that your company has been using the same Human Resource Information System for years now. Certainly there’s something to be said for familiar, reliable software – but much as your six-speed childhood bicycle eventually gave way to a first car, an updated HR information system can give your company freedoms and processes that you never even knew you were missing. While your existing application might feel comfortable and stable, it may well be time to abandon the old status quo and refresh your organization with improved capabilities offered by newer HRIS technology.

But how do you even begin the business of deciding which HRIS is right for you? Considering the following 10 points should help to point you in the right direction. If any of these seem characteristic of your current system, you’re probably overdue for a new HRIS.

1. You can’t email those company reports. Undoubtedly your company has long since transitioned to communicating largely by email, as this is a terrifically efficient and versatile means of exchanging information. It’s only logical that your company HR reports should be emailed, too. Not only will this save on printing costs and cut the hand-delivery inconvenience, it will also allow for digitally-backed copies to be kept at individual discretion.

2. You’re still struggling through the software maze. Absurd as it may sound, plenty of companies can run the same HRIS for a solid decade and still not understand the finer points – or even some of the rough fundamentals! – of their application. If your long-time software is still throwing you curves, it’s probably time to find a new system. You shouldn’t need a PhD to navigate the software high seas, and having a clear-cut, user-friendly interface can make your job easier and decidedly more enjoyable.

3. Everything is Open Sesame. It’s risky business if your HRIS doesn’t allow for substantial password protection. Your employees shouldn’t need to use your password to view their information, and no one ought to know that password but you. An HRIS should provide for each employee to have his own login information to view his own data, and nothing else – this will avoid the potential for mistakes, confusion, and “missing” data.

4. Employees have the ability to change data. Regardless of whether you want your employees to change their data or not, they had better be required to have special permissions to do so. Giving employees a free rein in the data systems might not seem like a big deal at first, but think about just how easily someone could pop in and change their vacation and sick time. The powers to edit and adjust data should be kept cautiously restricted.

5. Your company single-handedly keeps the paper mills in business. There’s no reason for your company to be printing everything – in fact, your company probably shouldn’t be printing much at all. Countless organizations are looking for ways to cut costs, and the paperless venture is probably one of the most effective steps a company can take. Newer HRIS softwares are almost exclusively paperless, and buying in now can save you valuable money down the road.

6. You’re as much a secretary as you are an HR manager. With a regular heap of real responsibilities on your plate, do you seriously think that it should be your job to keep track of employee phone calls and emails requesting time off? Every human resource department should have an automated leave request system built into the HR software, so that management can set aside such distracting little duties in favor of the bigger tasks at hand.

7. Your software is so slow, it’s running backwards. As your company grows and changes, your employee database inevitably grows and changes, too. Software that can support such evolution is paramount to your company’s success, and an HRIS well-suited to your company’s individual needs will only enhance the ways in which your company can develop.

8. Your software resembles the original Mario Bros. Basically, if your human resources software hasn’t been updated in years – it needs to be. Technology from 1995 simply can’t keep pace with the rapidly-changing features and capabilities of modern software, and if you’re working with an outdated program, then all you’re doing is missing out on the bigger and better developments that have come.

9. You can count your software features on two hands. Again, technological changes over the years – especially recent years – have opened up innumerable avenues for HR to explore. No longer should the choice of an HRIS be a matter of compromising company needs, not when so many new and different processes have been made possible. If an application doesn’t cover at minimum 80% of your needs, move on – there will be a system out there that can be tailored to work right for you.

10. You’re jumping through hoops to get technical support. One of the most important keys to optimizing your HRIS is making sure that the company you choose has competent and readily-available support. Whether you need help with fixing corrupted data, recovering a file, or simply transferring data from one server to another, you shouldn’t be left to fend for yourself. Tech support should always be more than happy to help you out.

If any of these problems are similar to those plaguing your system, then it looks like it’s about time for you to start scoping out a new software package. Remember, working with your Human Resource Information System shouldn’t be a constant battle. The purpose of an HRIS is to make your job streamlined, efficient, and overall a little easier – so do yourself a favor and choose the HRIS that’s right for you.

Author's Bio: 

Clay C. Scroggin has over fifteen years of experience in the Human Resource Software industry. Clay is currently the President and owner of, a web site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR software. offers an extremely comprehensive HRIS selection tool to assist you with your HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process. Make sure to download’s free HR and Payroll Software Buyer’s Guide.