The 10 most common HRMS modules & features


“HRMS” can be a slippery term. Some vendors use it to describe a basic employee database with limited functionality, onto which can be bolted a number of compatible modules, each providing software support for one of the different HR functions listed below. Others use it as a blanket label for a broader system that actually includes most if not all of the following modules in a single streamlined package.

HRMS module 1: Recruitment

A recruitment module should handle all your internal form-filling and authorization processes; allow managers +/or HR to post advertisements and supporting documentation online, offer applicant tracking and even initial sifting. There may also be functionality to build talent pools which can then be ‘trawled’ for suitable candidates when a vacancy becomes available. Emerging capabilities are beginning to embrace social media.


Covering the key issues faced by businesses selecting and implementing HRMS.


HRMS module 2: Onboarding

Managers and HR staff are guided through your organization’s onboarding and induction procedures; new recruits are ‘introduced’ to the necessary people and to the organization itself; there may be automatic notifications to relevant departments for issues such as building access, user accounts, security passes, etc. Some onboarding modules connect to performance and talent management.

HRMS module 3: Performance management

Automating the appraisal process, recording and tracking objectives and targets, this module should incorporate your competence framework, job standards and/or other relevant systems.

HRMS module 4: Benefits administration

This module should manage and monitor employee benefits, healthcare and pension/welfare packages, tracking enrolment options and any financial implications.

HRMS module 5: Workforce management

Primarily a scheduling function, this module should link closely to (and is often combined with) time and attendance and leave management. Similarly, real-time functionality may involve linkages to other business intelligence systems such as ERP and CRM to match workforce deployment to shifting needs.

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HRMS module 6: Time and attendance

Employment attendance tracking, time clock management, biometric systems are all common features of a time and attendance module. The resulting data is often shared with payroll and accounting software.

HRMS module 7: Absence and leave management

An automated way to allocate, book, approve, track and monitor any absence from the workplace, whether for holidays/vacations, compassionate reasons, illness, parental leave, even jury duty. Request and approval processes streamlined and the outcomes incorporated into team calendars where appropriate.

HRMS Module 8: Learning and development

Often using the outcomes of the performance management process as a starting point, this module may produce individual training plans for staff, deal with bookings (for training courses or other learning options), and manage the follow-on evaluation and feedback process, while tracking training expenditure against budget allocations.

HRMS module 9: Talent management

Focusing on identifying individuals with potential, this module should assist with setting up talent pipelines with specific roles and succession planning in mind. Links to recruitment, learning and development and performance management should be seamless.

HRMS module 10: HR analytics

Often incorporated as functions within other modules, HR analytics provide reporting capabilities (frequently in the form of libraries of HR metrics and benchmarks) assessing and analysing the data gathered and stored with the HRMS (and other business systems) to provide strategic and predictive insights that can be used to guide the business strategy of the organization.

It is important to note that some of these modules might overlap, for example, benefits management might fall under the payroll banner; and indeed payroll itself (and/or compensation management, taking in the wider reward and recognition packages) is often viewed as an HRMS module as well as a stand-alone function or application.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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