Customer Stories — 8 min
If your business has employees across the globe, managing your HR operations can be a huge challenge.
This is why it’s important to have an effective human resources information system (HRIS). A well-designed HRIS allows you to centralize your employee data, automate tedious tasks, and create a more positive employee experience.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a HRIS in detail — and explain how the right HRIS can be a game-changer for your business.
When expanding and managing a global team, HR managers face several challenges, such as:
Compliance with local laws and regulations. Labor laws differ in almost every location where employees are based — and they often change, too. Knowing and understanding these laws, and keeping abreast of changes, can be time- and resource-intensive.
Global payroll. Employees need to be paid in their local currencies, and often at different times and frequencies. For instance, an employee in the UK might only need to be paid once per month (in GBP), but an employee in the US may need to be paid once per week (in USD).
Employee benefits. Local laws and — just as importantly — cultural expectations can vary significantly when it comes to benefits. Providing an equitable and attractive package for all your employees can be a tricky task.
Training and development. When working with a global team, all training and upskilling materials need to be available remotely so international employees can also benefit and develop their skills.
A HRIS is a type of software that provides a streamlined solution to these challenges, as well as providing:
A centralized location for all employee data
Automation and integration capabilities with other systems, such as a global employment platform
A self-service function for employees to update and manage their own information
Employee activity and performance reporting
The ability to analyze reports to provide key insights into performance and workflows
So, how can this help companies with a global workforce?
If you’re managing a global team, you need a particularly robust HR solution. Here’s how a HRIS can help you effectively navigate the complexities of managing a global workforce:
HRIS software simplifies and automates numerous administrative tasks and responsibilities, such as:
Employee data management. You can store, update, and find employee info quickly and accurately. Many HRIS platforms also allow for employee self-service, making it easy for employees to keep their own data updated.
Scheduling. An HRIS with self-service portals allows employees to put in requests for time off and see how much PTO they have left.
Time tracking. An HRIS removes the need for timesheets by including a time tracking functionality.
Performance management. You can set goals and track progress for team members, assess their productivity, and analyze their overall performance.
Employee onboarding. An HRIS can automate the onboarding process through the use of digital workflows for tasks and training exercises.
Training. You can centralize all training documentation and track your employees’ progress from anywhere in the world.
Reporting. Many HRIS platforms generate informative analytical reports on headcount, turnover rate, absenteeism, and more.
Employees can use self-service portals to access instructions, documents, or policies without having to contact an HR manager and wait for a response. This is particularly helpful for team members working in different time zones.
Global team members can also benefit from a localized platform, and see key communications in their preferred language.
Data allows HR managers to make informed choices based on objective insights and analyses, and a HRIS enables this in a transparent and efficient way. For instance, the data in a HRIS can add value to performance reviews, allowing you to identify high-performing employees, areas of improvement, skill gaps, and any relevant training needs.
HRIS reports can also help you identify areas where you can save on costs. By analyzing employee turnover, absenteeism, and productivity, you can implement retention initiatives or improve training programs, and even identify where you might need to increase or decrease your workforce. By the same token, you can track the effectiveness of your new initiatives and programs, and improve them where necessary.
Compliance is a particularly complex challenge for global businesses, as you need to adhere to multiple local regulations and labor laws. While HRIS systems aren’t specifically designed to simplify global compliance, they do offer a central location in which to store and configure various policies which help you stay compliant.
A HRIS also lets you audit employee data to track compliance-related tasks, such as training, policy acknowledgments, and data access logs.
You can configure most HRIS systems to accommodate local regulatory requirements and customize payroll, benefits, and time off for each country. You can also automate compliance tracking by creating workflows and built-in rules that you can update manually as needed.
Alternatively, you can save yourself the time and trouble, and work with an all-in-one global HR partner like Remote. As well as providing a robust and effective HRIS, our solution enables you to quickly and easily hire team members in multiple countries, manage payroll, offer benefits, and ensure that you’re always fully compliant with all local laws.
Create an account with G2's top-ranked multi-country payroll software and start onboarding your first employees in minutes.
Retention is another key HR challenge that is amplified in global businesses. An effective HRIS can help keep your top talent sticking around in several ways:
Streamlined onboarding to create a smooth and positive employee experience
Effective communication features that make it easy to connect with team members
Goal tracking for employees, as well as rewards and recognition
Talent management for employees, with career development templates
Employee self-service portals that simplify leave requests and other administrative tasks, helping team members maintain a healthy work-life balance
Despite the benefits, many companies still decide that full-scale HRIS tools aren’t worth the hassle. Small businesses, in particular, often opt for leaner solutions that target their core needs specifically.
While a HRIS can be helpful for companies looking to expand globally, several challenges can arise, such as:
In most cases, a HRIS needs to interact with your existing systems. Setting up the relevant integrations can potentially be disruptive and time-consuming, especially for companies with complex IT systems and full tech stacks.
Keeping your employee data organized and safe while migrating to a new system is no small feat. This can be particularly challenging if your data is stored in several different formats and systems.
Consolidating your employee information into one database is undoubtedly more efficient going forward, but it can feel chaotic during the migration itself. In some cases, for instance, you may have no choice but to input employee data from scratch. In the short term, this can slow productivity and potentially frustrate your employees.
HRIS software is unique because it isn’t limited to a single department or workflow. Instead, it’s used regularly by each and every employee in the company.
Because an HRIS can be accessed from every corner of your business, implementing one can mean a change in company culture and a reinvention of your company’s standard processes.
Resistance to change is normal, so your team may not be overly excited about using the HRIS at first. However, with transparent communication, clear training, and ongoing support, the transition can be smooth and simple.
A HRIS can change the way you compile reports, communicate between departments, access training documentation, pay your employees, and more. As a result, there may be a steep learning curve immediately after implementation.
You and your employees may need time to learn how to operate within the new software framework, and adapt — or overhaul — existing workflows. As people have different levels of learning capacity and flexibility, training times may vary, creating an uneven balance.
In some cases, purchasing a HRIS can be expensive, while the implementation period can involve a steep time investment. Potentially, this can mean lost productivity and momentum.
This is why it’s recommended to use a global HR platform like Remote, which mitigates the disruption of integrating a full-scale HRIS.
Intuitive and user-friendly, Remote makes global growth quick, easy, and inexpensive. It’s the ideal HRIS solution for a startup or small to medium-sized business that might not be willing to commit to a full-service HRIS, but which still requires a global HR solution.
You can learn more about choosing the right HRIS for your business in our detailed guide.
An effective HRIS can unlock efficiency, productivity, and growth in your organization. And it can help your employees thrive and fulfill their true potential — no matter where they’re located.
"The HRIS platform is easy to use and everything is there right in front of us. Everything comes together and we’re not having to update different sources, which helps us be more efficient. That’s so important in a scale-up."
Bas Moeyaert, Manager of People and Culture at Loop Earplugs
If your startup or small business is looking to go global, but you don’t want the hassle — or cost — of implementing a full-scale HRIS, then Remote’s 100% free HRIS could be the right solution.
Subscribe to receive the latest
Remote blog posts and updates in your inbox.
Customer Stories — 8 min
Visas and Work Permits — 5 min
Visas and Work Permits — 8 min
Employer of Record & PEO — 8 min