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Global HRIS systems: A complete guide

June 19, 2024

As organizations grow, human resource teams will reach a point where they need to pivot away from traditional HR processes and consider more versatile systems to keep pace with their company’s evolving HR needs. Implementing Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) can help businesses manage growth and become more strategic, data-driven, and streamlined.

In this article, we’ll explain what an HRIS is, how it supports companies in managing their workforce, examine some top global HRIS platforms, and the key differences between an HRIS, PEO, and EOR.

What is an HRIS?

An HRIS is an umbrella term for a software platform that helps HR teams better manage workflows, employee data, and people processes. It can handle the basics, such as talent acquisition, onboarding, payroll processing, employee benefits administration, time off requests, and reporting. However, an HRIS usually also provides enhanced integrated data and analytic capabilities to help HR management identify future business needs and make better-informed decisions for hiring and business management.

Additional HRIS features, such as automations and artificial intelligence (AI), significantly reduce manual administrative tasks related to processing payroll, time, and attendance — saving time and reducing labor. Many HRIS systems also offer employee self-service features, which can boost engagement and retention.

What’s the Difference Between an HRIS, EOR, and PEO?

HRIS

As we already covered, an HRIS is an HR software service provider that helps companies streamline day-to-day HR operations with a variety of HR solutions, including enhanced employee management, onboarding and offboarding, data analytics, and payroll capabilities. While HRIS systems can simplify most HR tasks, some possible downsides include a potential steep learning curve for administrators, and the pricing for certain softwares could be prohibitively costly for smaller companies.

EOR

An Employer of Record (EOR) enables employers to employ talent in multiple countries without establishing a local entity in each country they employ in. While an HRIS is usually a standalone tech platform that enables self-management of HR tasks, the EOR functions as a service provider as well by acting as the legal employer of international employees and managing tasks such as tax compliance, global payroll processing, benefits administration, local labor law compliance, and more.

Companies that partner with an EOR may not need to purchase another HRIS system since EOR services include creating employment contracts, general HR administration, payroll processing, benefits, and more. Most EORs also include an HRIS as part of their offering.

EORs make it easy to expand into new markets and hire top talent, no matter where they might be based. When you partner with an EOR, you can rest assured that your company will be in full legal compliance with local employment laws, including any related data privacy and protection regulations in every country you hire in. EORs also play a pivotal role in managing payroll across multiple countries and tax laws, while ensuring that companies pay their employees accurately, on time, and in their preferred currency.

An EOR also offers the ability to manage global benefits by designing localized compensation and benefits packages, including health insurance, based on what each employee would need in their home country.

PEO

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) offers HR services for business owners who want to save time or resources to manage their own HR functions effectively. While an HRIS provides a technological platform for self-managing HR tasks, a PEO acts as a comprehensive outsourcing partner handling administrative and complex HR tasks (such as payroll and benefits) using included tools like an HRIS to help focus on business growth.

Companies enter a co-employment relationship agreement with the PEO provider with clearly defined responsibilities on each side. Essentially, the PEO takes on all HR responsibilities, such as payroll and benefits, while the company handles the day-to-day management of employees.

One downside of PEO services is that they aren’t always the right fit for remote teams, especially those with international employees. The scale of HR processes becomes more complex when employing staff in multiple countries, and PEOs require business registration or establishing a legal entity in every country where a company hires, which is not feasible for many small businesses. A PEO also does not take on legal responsibilities or risk management.

Top Five HRIS Systems

There are multiple HRIS systems on the market. While they all perform needed HR functions, many focus on a particular niche as their differentiator. For example, one HRIS might focus on employee engagement tools while another provides enhanced compliance functionality.

Here’s a look at some of the top global HRIS platforms currently on the market.

BambooHR

A good choice for small and medium-sized businesses, BambooHR automates operational tasks and frees HR’s time for big-picture projects. It has a user-friendly interface that allows organizations to migrate data from their existing system to a more robust option with enhanced capabilities, including:

  • Applicant tracking system
  • Employee onboarding
  • Centralized employee database
  • Performance management
  • Report generation
  • SMART reminders

HiBob

HiBob is a customizable platform offering a variety of features and integrations (such as Slack) to enhance HR processes efficiency, it includes solutions for:

  • Onboarding
  • Employee engagement
  • Performance management
  • HR analytics
  • Compensation management
  • Employee self-service

Namely

Focusing on compliance management, Namely simplifies basic HR tasks, such as payroll and benefits administration. Some essential functions include:

  • Employee onboarding
  • Benefits management & administration
  • Payroll reporting
  • Goal setting & tracking
  • Custom report generation
  • Employee feedback surveys

Workday

The Workday platform organizes user and administrative tools needed to manage HR, planning, talent, financials, payroll, and analytics into one comprehensive system. This includes:

  • Recruitment
  • Talent management
  • Compensation & benefits
  • Time, attendance, & expenses
  • Accounting & financial planning
  • Reporting & analytics

Remofirst

Ideal for businesses of all sizes, Remofirst is an all-in-one platform to employ remote talent from anywhere in the world with one click. Starting at $199/month, you can grow your team in 180+ countries without needing to establish local entities in each location. As an Employer of Record (EOR), Remofirst has its own HRIS platform for managing your global team’s HR and payroll functions. Remofirst’s solution includes:

  • Legal employment of international talent (without local entities)
  • Onboarding international talent in accordance with local laws
  • Global talent management
  • International benefits administration
  • International contractor payments in local currencies
  • Reporting & analytics

Summary

Not sure which option is right for your business? Outsail can help. The HRIS industry’s first and only broker of HR software, Outsail helps companies evaluate different HRIS systems to determine which is best suited for their needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Remofirst can help you employ talent in 180+ countries, book a demo.