The Full Guide to HRIS Analyst: Skills, Job Scope and Career Path

There are countless disciplines within the practice of Human Resources. Recruitment, Benefits Specialists, HRBP’s, and HRIS Analysts are just a few of the areas of expertise. Whether you’re looking to specialize within your current HR career or determining a direction to embark before entering the workforce, understanding the various options available can help decipher what area best aligns with your interests and strengths.

An HRIS analyst oversees an organization’s HRIS software and uses IT skills to analyze and manage employee data, ensuring accuracy. As one of the most common HR solutions, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) help companies automate manual processes and streamline workflows, and the role of HRIS Analyst is one that is regularly in demand.

So what exactly does an HRIS Analyst do, and what does a career path look like? Let’s take a closer look at the full scope of an HRIS Analyst to help you determine if this role is right for you.

What Does an HRIS Analyst Do?

An HRIS analyst’s role involves collecting, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting the data in a company’s HRIS database. These experts also routinely manage and update the system and review the collected data to create reports highlighting important trends or findings that drive business decisions.

HRIS analysts collaborate with vital stakeholders to determine what data points they should track and analyze. They also handle software upgrades and installations to automate HR practices.

A typical work day for an HRIS analyst may involve:

  • Performing data audits to ensure the HRIS is performing optimally
  • Resolving any system issues
  • Consulting with the HR team to identify needs and compile reports
  • Ensure employee workflows are operating as expected

An HRIS analyst ensures the HRIS consistently provides a seamless and effective workflow for HR processes. This way, HR managers can meet critical needs, save time, and ensure overall productivity between managers and employees.

Job Overview

An HRIS analyst’s job description may vary by company. This means the job overview of an HRIS analyst is tailored to meet the company’s specific needs.

Here is a typical job overview of an HRIS analyst:

  • Continuously evaluate existing HRIS to spot areas for improvement
  • Understand company objectives and user needs and translate them into technical needs
  • Provide training and technical support to HR managers and the entire team
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to upgrade tech solutions to improve and automate HR processes
  • Stay updated on changes within the HR system used in the company
  • Improve processes and policies to boost the efficiency and user experience of the system
  • Collaborate with finance and IT departments to ensure data security and integrity across the system
  • Perform audits and diagnostic tests on the system
  • Gather feedback and assess the needs of the end-users

The required qualifications for HRIS Analyst include:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer sciences, IT, or other related fields
  • Solid work experience with whatever HRIS the company uses (Oracle, Workday, SAP)
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, mainly Excel
  • Several years of HR support experience, including experience with all levels of onboarding (this may vary depending on the company)
  • Working knowledge of state and federal employment laws
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, and ability to be a part of a team
  • Solid understanding of system development life cycle processes

Very few job descriptions for this role include reporting and analytics. This is because these functionalities are built-in HRIS features and are usually automated. The major role of the HRIS analyst is system administration to maintain high levels of data security, integrity, and access.

What Role Does an HRIS Analyst Play in a Business?

An HRIS analyst ensures HR managers and employees have the latest and most efficient IT solutions and tools to improve workflow. An HRIS analyst could wear different hats depending on what the company needs. This professional will likely work with Human Resources, IT, finance, and customer service, to develop strategies to tackle personnel workflow issues and implement solutions.

The HRIS analyst is usually the first point of contact for the HR managers and any other employee having issues with HR documentation. This means you must ensure data consistency and security of employee information and be able to provide technical support when needed. You must also have strong analytical skills to analyze data and report important business trends.

An HRIS analyst is vital to the growth and success of any business. You can easily spot discrepancies and workflow issues by tracking and analyzing detailed employee data and implementing helpful solutions.

Essential Skills for HRIS Analysts

HRIS analyst

While skills may vary depending on the specific hiring company’s needs, there are several core skills an HRIS Analyst may need to successfully perform their role.

Technical Skills

The HRIS analyst must have complete knowledge of the software used by the company and be able to offer timely solutions to technical issues faced by the team. You must have solid statistical analysis skills and be able to use the different associated tools, like Excel, to create visualizations of important data. You must also be able to carry out software upgrades and train staff to use it.

HR Knowledge

As an HRIS analyst, you must have solid HR knowledge. This role usually involves performing audits of several HR processes like payroll, hiring, documentation, termination, etc., and offering solutions that boost efficiency. Good HR knowledge will help you develop new solutions that automate and streamline HR processes. It will also keep you abreast of any technological advancements in the industry so you can propose upgrades when necessary. For the most part, HR Analysts start off as HR Generalists, with at least 2 years of HR experience before entering an Analyst role.

Communication & Collaborations Skills

This role usually interlocks Human Resources and IT. As an HRIS Analyst, you will collaborate with these departments often to propose upgrades and offer training for operational efficiency. Having good communication skills will help you navigate these conversations, and the ability to collaborate will strengthen the understanding of how to best support your organization.

Job Scope of an HRIS Analyst

The job scope of an HRIS analyst involves maintaining the system and ensuring data access, security, and integrity while proposing process improvements. This expert is the point of contact for any staff needing clarity regarding HR documentation or processes. You are responsible for managing and upgrading the HRIS as needed. You will also be responsible for implementing business requirements, and user needs into the existing HRIS and proposing new solutions to tackle user issues. This can also include being the main point of contact between your HRIS and your organization, working with their customer service team to get the most out of your HRIS to support your organizational needs.

Advancement Opportunities for HRIS Analysts

As an HRIS Analyst, you have various career advancement opportunities. As more companies switch to digital Human Resources solutions, the demand for HRIS analysts to learn and manage these systems will increase. You can go from being an HRIS Analyst to an HRIS Manager who oversees the entire HRIS system and manages other HRIS Analysts.

With more experience, you could become a Chief HRIS Officer, leading the company’s HRIS system and ensuring its functionality. You could also become the company’s advisor, offering actionable insights on how to use the HRIS for great results.

4 Tips to Become a Successful HRIS Analyst

HRIS analyst

Ready to start your career as an HRIS analyst? Here are some actionable tips to become a successful HRIS analyst.

1. Stay Up-to-Date on HR Technology

The role of an HR Analyst role is dynamic. With new technologies and advancements in AI tools for HR emerging daily, you must stay ahead of the curve by remaining knowledgeable of these changes. When you are up to date on the latest industry trends and tools, you remain competitive and adaptable in the job market.

2. Invest in Professional Development Courses

The HRIS Analyst landscape is a competitive one. Invest in helpful, professional courses and workshops to learn more skills that improve your knowledge. For example, data analysis, team building, communication, and project management workshops will help keep your skills sharp and prepare you for the role.

3. Leverage Your Network

HR is a very collaborative space, and like any career, tapping into your network can help you get where you’d like to be. By tapping into HR communities, joining conversations within the industry, and networking, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the role and industry, and can learn of job and career development opportunities that can help you evolve along your journey.

4. Develop On-The-Job Skills

There are few better ways to increase your knowledge than through doing. If you’re currently working and looking for an opportunity to segue into the HRIS Analyst space, talk to your manager about setting professional goals to help you gain some on-the-job experience. This can be in the form of taking on some tasks pertaining to your HRIS, or pitching HR software to leadership if your organization does not currently have one and offering to lead the management.

The role of an HRIS Analyst is integral to the seamless functioning of modern organizations, bridging the gap between technology and Human Resources. Now that you’re equipped with the information of the multifaceted responsibilities of an HRIS Analyst, from data analysis and system management to collaboration and problem-solving, you’re one step closer to pursuing the path of HRIS Analyst! By embracing continuous learning and adapting to the evolving landscape of HR technology, aspiring HRIS Analysts can position themselves as indispensable assets in their organizations. With the potential for remarkable career growth and the ability to drive positive change, the path of an HRIS Analyst offers not only a fulfilling journey but also a lasting impact on the way businesses manage and optimize their Human Resources.

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