The Key Types of HRIS Systems for Automating Your HR Processes

by Alexandrea Davis on December 16, 2022

Ready to automate cumbersome administrative processes? Learn about the types of HRIS systems available to your public sector organization. 

Article Highlights: 

Your organization is ready to move beyond spreadsheets, emails, and telephone calls to manage internal HR processes. These outdated and cumbersome manual processes waste your time and resources, making it challenging to serve employees and your community. 

An HRIS, or human resources information system, is a critical tool to help you achieve HR workflow automation. Before choosing a software solution, however, you should know that there are several types of HRIS systems, including operational, strategic, and comprehensive systems. Some of these may be a better fit for your agency than others. 

In this article, we’ll dig into the different types of HRIS software so you can determine which is best for your organization. We’ll also highlight the specific problems these automated HR software systems solve, including how they can be used in different industries. 

The Importance of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) 

Human resources information systems (HRIS) are software tools that help organizations manage critical HR information and efficiently complete administrative tasks. Without an HRIS, employees must manually track employee information or consult multiple documents and systems to accomplish these activities. 

In contrast, HRIS systems streamline the entire process. They make it easy for employees to find information and complete administrative, planning, and strategic human capital management tasks in one place. For example, someone in payroll might use an HRIS to review an employee’s hours, process PTO, and administer staff paychecks. An HRIS can also be helpful for position tracking, performance management, recruitment, reporting, and strategic planning.

As employees perform these tasks, human resources information systems benefit organizations by: 

  • Improving efficiency 
  • Reducing errors
  • Organizing critical information
  • Empowering employees 

Below, we discuss these benefits as they pertain to different organization types, from small businesses to large public sector organizations. 

Small businesses

Small businesses often have small profit margins, so the last thing employees should spend time on is cumbersome administrative tasks. An HRIS provides individuals with a way to quickly and easily organize information. As a result of improved productivity and HR workflow automation, employees can efficiently complete HR-related tasks and then move on to the activities that facilitate business growth, like making that next sale.


An HRIS helps corporations manage massive amounts of employee information, ensuring accuracy and consistency across the organization. Human resources information systems enable corporations to study market conditions and analyze workforce data through reporting functionalities. In doing so, corporations can strategize about short- and long-term human capital management needs. Human resources information systems also help organizations maintain compliance with local, state, and federal employment laws. 

Public sector/government agencies

Given the level of oversight involved in government operations, public sector agencies must ensure all human capital information is correct. An HRIS makes this possible by minimizing the need for duplicate data entry across software systems. Additionally, human resources information systems save employees time. Certain features, like employee self-service, can even improve employee satisfaction by making it easy to submit PTO requests or choose employee benefits. 

What Types of HRIS Systems are Available?

Now that you have a better idea of what an HRIS can accomplish, let’s dive deeper into the specific subtypes of human resources information systems. 


An operational HRIS captures and stores basic information about employees, such as an employee’s start date and Social Security number. Some people refer to this as an employee information system. Organizations might use an operational HRIS for position control (tracking which employee is in which position), performance evaluations, and general employee information


Organizations might use strategic human resources information systems if they are trying to grow or expand. For example, a company might use a strategic HRIS for workforce planning, including analyzing the organization’s current vacancies, the budget available to fill positions, and the wages that are competitive in the broader market.


Organizations typically rely on a tactical HRIS to manage their human capital resources, including compensation and benefits administration, recruitment, and professional development, among other tasks. For example, an employee could use a tactical HRIS to identify existing vacancies, required skills, and skill gaps within the organization. The agency could minimize these skill gaps by providing professional development opportunities, like training and classes.


In contrast to the human resources information systems discussed above that offer multiple functionalities, a limited-function HRIS provides one singular use. As a result, limited-function HR information systems are helpful for organizations with simple HR management needs. For example, a small business might use an HRIS purely for position control and nothing further.


A comprehensive HRIS is an all-in-one solution that benefits multiple departments, from HR to finance and payroll. That’s because a comprehensive HRIS has modules that share data, making it easy to ensure everyone in your organization has access to the same information. 

Using one integrated HRIS, as opposed to managing multiple systems, helps your organization ensure data accuracy and reduces the need for repetitive tasks. Automated HR software makes it easy for your organization to keep information up-to-date since changes are automatically integrated across the system

Which HRIS Solution is Best for My Agency?

Now that you know about the different types of HRIS systems and how they support HR workflow automation, you may wonder which is best for your organization. Let’s find out.

Small business

Generally speaking, a limited-function HRIS may suit a small business’s needs, particularly if they’re just starting or have limited HR data to track. Companies turn to these systems because they are often budget-friendly, given their singular use. That said, if you have limited staff or plan on growing soon, consider investing in a comprehensive system. These HRIS products help you make the most out of limited staff resources so employees can focus on more meaningful tasks than data entry. 

A couple software solutions are commonly marketed to smaller businesses, including BambooHR and ADP. BambooHR is a comprehensive HRIS that provides end-to-end human resource management. ADP is known for payroll processing, but small businesses can purchase add-ons, including job posting and background check functionalities.


Corporate institutions will likely benefit from more strategic, tactical, and comprehensive HRIS products. This is particularly true if your business is expanding into a new market (strategic HRIS) or wants to streamline and refine its human capital management processes (tactical). A comprehensive solution provides the best of both worlds since it can streamline HR needs while offering strategic functionalities in a single platform.  

Companies like Workday and Paylocity offer popular corporate human resources information systems. Workday provides various products, including human capital management and financial management software. Likewise, Paylocity offers an enterprise HRIS that makes it easy to onboard employees, administer payroll, and more. 


Government organizations often get the best return on their investment from a comprehensive HRIS. With limited public resources and the need to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, comprehensive government HR systems allow agencies to administer benefits, process payroll, track PTO, conduct performance reviews, analyze recruitment, and more. 

In addition to companies like Tyler Technologies, which provides HR and finance software, NEOGOV offers a comprehensive HRIS product and has over 20 years of experience serving the public sector. NEOGOV’s integrated system enables public sector organizations to connect employee information across departments and functions. In doing so, organizations facilitate process automation for tasks like distributing payroll, managing benefits, and tracking time and attendance.

NEOGOV’s automated workflows improve efficiency and make it easy for departments and employees to collaborate on critical needs, while employee self-service empowers staff to select benefits and submit time-off requests. Because each of these systems are connected, individuals spend less time tracking down information, meaning they can focus their efforts on the most essential part of their job: serving their community.

Final Thoughts

An HRIS is a critical tool that increases efficiency, reduces errors, organizes data, and empowers employees. Learn more about how these types of HRIS systems can save your team valuable time and unnecessary stress.

Alexandrea Davis

Alexandrea Davis is a Content Marketing Specialist at NEOGOV, supporting content strategy and development. With a love for storytelling and commitment to making an impact, she aims to create meaningful content that builds trust and erodes challenges for public service professionals.

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