Paul Rose, Knowledge Manager, Employee Central

“An HRIS system provides reusability, accessibility and security to HR processes” Lyana Ayob

A core HR system is akin to the structures of a house…once the core design is firmly in place, the niceties can follow. I am primarily speaking in the context of the innovative, flexible cloud HCM solutions that are dominating the current HR application market. These scalable systems offer core HRIS and talent modules such as performance, learning and compensation within a single application.

I am a firm believer that in order to truly maximise your talent infrastructure, organizations need to focus firstly on the core HRIS configuration. If we use another analogy, HRIS is the back office to the talent modules that will “add true value” to your business.

Here are six critical reasons why employee core data is essential to the overall HCM strategy of any organization.
Position Structures

A well-defined position catalogue will allow your Learning Management System (LMS) administrator to assign particular training courses to particular positions within your workforce and these can be automated upon the recruitment of a new employee. From a recruitment perspective, the various competencies if defined at the job or position level can be merged into a requisition. These back end structures will be solidified in the first instance in a core HRIS. Effective succession planning relies on an exceptional position hierarchy to truly manage the succession process.

Job Structures

This critical information is characteristically stored in a core HRIS. An all-encompassing job structure with attributes assigned such as job level, job function, employee class is crucial in terms of ensuring data consistency across the system suite. This consolidation will enable your business to fully leverage the job description and competency-based talent functionality that is available with the best in class HCM solutions.

Pay Structures

The compensation cycle is often an intricate, time consuming process for businesses. With components like pay ranges and pay grades well established across a global HRIS template, organizations can maximise the seamless flow of information into the annual compensation cycle functionality.

Organisation Structures

A core HRIS defines where an employee’s business unit, division, department and cost centre are held. Without this level of detail, reporting across performance, learning and compensation metrics can still be applied but without the appropriate context at an organisational level. These reports will need to be split into each of the above elements to quantify success or failure throughout the business.

Role Based Permissions

The permissions assigned to particular users in the system is ideally based on an employee’s core HR data. A manager will assume access to certain employee data if HR have assigned him/her as a person with direct reports. Once hired, an employee will assume employee self-service capabilities and the HR function will have designated permissions based on particular job relationships defined in the core HRIS.

Data Accuracy

An organization’s core HRIS must become the master employee data source from which payroll, time and attendance as well as benefits applications extract and utilise data. The advanced capabilities of the newer cloud solutions can ensure that business rules are enforced to prevent data mismanagement or data inconsistency for a wide variety of core HRIS elements like job, positions and locations.


Organizations who are focused on adopting a viable and competent HCM strategy have a responsibility to ensure the core HR data is reliable, consistent and maintainable. A well designed core HRIS will be the fundamental to this approach.