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HRIS Administrator Duties and Responsibilities

Specific day-to-day job duties for HRIS administrators vary based on their employer. However, the core duties for HRIS administrators are the same across all companies:

Maintain the HRIS It’s the job of HRIS administrators to keep the HRIS database up to date with changes in employee information or organization rules. This involves creating accounts for new hires and modifying data during common situations such as employee promotions or terminations, salary changes, and new tax rates.

Verify Data Integrity HRIS administrators regularly conduct system audits to guarantee data integrity. They often reach out to department units or individuals to confirm employee information and check company policies. Auditing is especially crucial before generating payroll, since errors in data can have a huge impact and will be difficult to correct afterwards.

Provide Technical Support Since HRIS administrators know the system well, they perform various technical tasks depending on the needs of company employees. The most basic are assigning user security and permission settings and helping resolve software issues. Those with extensive coding skills may also work with the development team to create new functionalities for the system.

Generate Reports Given their unparalleled access to company and employee data, HRIS administrators are in charge of generating reports on key metrics such as demographics and turnover rate. Additionally, most systems are equipped with analytics, and HRIS administrators can take advantage by studying more complex trends such as highs in organizational performance.

Share Expertise HRIS administrators have the unique position of being comfortable with both HR and IT concerns. They act as a bridge between these two departments, addressing inquiries from HR staff and communicating user needs to the product team. On a wider scale, they also offer continuous HRIS training to the entire company.


HRIS Administrator Skills and Qualifications

HRIS administrators are continuous learners who are interested in both tinkering with software and navigating the complexities of HR. Patient and attentive, they have a sharp eye for handling data and can explain technical concepts in easy-to-understand language. Employers look for HRIS administrators with a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline and the following skills:

  • Data entry – the effectiveness of an HRIS depends on its data. Maintaining data is thus the most important and time-consuming task of HRIS administrators, who must input large volumes of it quickly and accurately
  • Proficiency with HR – HRIS administrators must be well-versed with HR principles and practices, including payroll laws and employee benefits, in order to understand all of the functions of the HRIS
  • HRIS expertise – at minimum, HRIS administrators have thorough knowledge of the specific system that they work with. Those in more senior roles must be experienced with manipulating databases and writing code
  • Confidentiality – because handling sensitive data is a key part of the job, HRIS administrators should be trustworthy and professional, maintaining confidentiality in all situations
  • Customer service – an HRIS administrator is the go-to person when employees encounter bugs or have inquiries about the system, so customer service skills, such as problem-solving and clear communication, are vital

HRIS Administrator Education and Training

Most employers looking for HRIS administrators prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in human resources, information systems, or a related discipline. Alternatively, those with at least one year of experience in HR may be considered, especially if they’ve worked with HRIS tools and databases before. It’s also possible to pursue certification, but since the field is still emerging, certifications are rare and prone to changing standards. Successful candidates can look forward to on-the-job training, as this role requires well-rounded skills and a deep familiarity with the employer’s specific HRIS.


HRIS Administrator Salary and Outlook

According to PayScale, the annual median salary for HRIS administrators is $57,000 per year. Those in the bottom 10 percent earn less than $41,000, and those in the top 10 percent make above $81,000. The job outlook for this position is optimistic, as companies will increasingly rely on software to automate technical HR functions such as timekeeping and payroll. With HRIS analytics growing more sophisticated, HRIS administrators may also expect to take on more data analysis tasks. Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth rate of 11 percent for database administrators, including HRIS administrators.


Helpful Resources

We’ve put together the following resources to help you advance in a career as an HRIS administrator:

HR Payroll Systems – this website is primarily for helping people select HRIS and payroll vendors, but it also excels in its thorough collection of HRIS articles covering evaluation, implementation, and general concepts

Human Resource Information Systems: Basics, Applications, and Future Directions – edited by Michael Kanavagh, who’s been working with HRIS since its early stages in 1982, this book provides an easy-to-understand overview of the field, with an updated chapter on social media

HRIS and Payroll Professional Network – for those keen on discussions and peer networking, this LinkedIn community with more than 50,000 members is a good choice, as it focuses on payroll software and HRIS

Power of People: Learn How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics to Improve Business Performance – big data and analytics are touted as company game-changers, but sometimes it’s not clear how to apply these in HR. This interesting read uses case studies to reveal detailed frameworks that HRIS administrators can leverage

International Association for Human Resource Information Management – IHRIM is the most prominent global association for HRIS professionals. Aside from courses, webinars, and its own LinkedIn group, it offers a Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) certification that can help HRIS administrators deepen their expertise