HRMS vs. HRIS: Key Differences Every Organization Needs to Know
Human Resource

HRMS vs. HRIS: Key Differences Every Organization Needs to Know

8 mins read

by Zuri Baker

Updated On Jul 28, 2023

Table of Content

Welcome to our latest blog post: "HRIS vs HRMS: 10 Key Differences You Should Know in 2024." With technological advancements and the evolving business operations landscape, Human Resources has expanded far beyond traditional personnel management. As organizations strive to adapt and thrive, selecting the most suitable software solution for managing human resources has become crucial.

This post is tailored specifically for organizations considering an upgrade or change in their HR system or those simply keen to stay updated on the latest in HR technology. We will be delving deep into two key types of HR systems – Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and Human Resource Management System (HRMS) – often used interchangeably but offering distinct functionalities.

We understand that with the profusion of jargon in this field, making the right choice can be confusing. So, we've broken down the key differences into 10 simple points to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your organizational needs. Whether you're in the decision-making phase or just want to understand the intricacies of these systems better, this blog is for you. So, let's demystify the world of HR technology together!

Definition by Renowned Leaders on HRIS and HRMS

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) are commonly used in HR tech. While they might appear interchangeable, renowned leaders in the field offer distinct definitions that highlight the core differences between these two systems.

HRIS Definition by Dr. Dave Ulrich

HRIS Definition by Dr. Dave Ulrich

According to Dr. Dave Ulrich, often regarded as the father of modern HR and a Professor at the University of Michigan.

“An HRIS is a software or online solution for the data entry, tracking, and data information needs of a business's Human Resources, payroll, management, and accounting functions. It provides a means of acquiring, storing, analyzing, and distributing information to various stakeholders.”

HRMS Definition by Josh Bersin

HRMS Definition by Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin, a globally recognized industry analyst and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, defines HRMS as 

“A more evolved HRIS which includes all the features of HRIS but provides a robust suite of HR management functionalities, including talent acquisition, learning management, performance management, and more. It represents a more holistic approach to managing all aspects of an employee's life cycle within an organization.”

In summary, HRIS and HRMS offer valuable tools for managing employee information. However, while HRIS primarily handles administrative tasks, an HRMS is a comprehensive system that spans the entire employee life cycle, from hire to retirement. Please stay tuned as we delve deeper into the specifics of these differences in the coming sections.

12 HRIS vs HRMS: General Differences

As we've now established, HRIS and HRMS, though commonly interchanged, represent two different levels of HR technology. As organizations grow and evolve, understanding these differences is crucial to selecting a system that can cater to the various aspects of managing human resources effectively.

12 HRIS vs HRMS: General Differences
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We have compiled a comparison table to help you differentiate and understand how each system could serve your organizational needs.

We've based our comparison on 12 aspects of HR management:

Aspect HRIS (Human Resource Information System) HRMS (Human Resource Management System)
Core Functionality

Primarily handles administrative tasks related to HR, payroll, and basic employee management.

Incorporates all HRIS functions and adds advanced HR management features.

Employee Lifecycle Management

Focuses on administrative aspects like hiring, onboarding, payroll, and basic benefits administration.

Providing a comprehensive View of the employee life cycle, including performance, learning, and development management.

Talent Acquisition

Typically does not have built-in recruitment or applicant tracking features.

Often includes robust recruitment features, including applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Training & Development

Limited or no tools for managing employee training, learning, and development.

Includes learning management system (LMS) capabilities for training, learning, and development.

Performance Management

Basic functionalities include tracking performance appraisals.

Comprehensive performance management features include goal setting, performance tracking, feedback, and succession planning.

Data Analytics

Offers basic reporting and analytics capabilities.

Offers advanced analytics, predictive analytics, and customizable reporting features.

User Experience

Generally simple, focused on administrative tasks.

Tends to be more comprehensive and complex due to the wider range of functions.

Integration Capabilities

May integrate with other systems, but Capabilities are typically limited.

Often built with high integration capabilities to work seamlessly with other software (ERP, CRM, etc.).


Generally more affordable as it offers fewer functionalities.

Typically more expensive due to a wider range of features and capabilities.

Ideal For

Small to medium-sized businesses that need to streamline basic HR administrative tasks.

The main job roles suitable for HRIS

  • HR Professionals
  • Employees

Medium to large organizations require a more holistic approach to HR management.

The main job roles suitable for HRMS:

  • HR Professionals
  • Employees
  • HR Managers
Job Roles Functions
  • Employee Data
  • Payroll
  • Benefits Administration
  • Time and Attendance Tracking
  • Document Management
  • Reporting
  • Employee Data
  • Payroll
  • Benefits Administration
  • Time and Attendance Tracking
  • Basic and Advanced Onboarding
  • Document Management
  • Recruiting
  • Applicant Tracking
  • Performance Management
  • Employee Engagement
  • Reporting
  • Analytics
Relevant Platforms
  • ADP Run
  • Gusto Simple
  • BambooHR
  • Rippling Unity
  • ADP Workforce Now
  • Zoho People
  • Gusto Plus and Premium
  • Bambo HR
  • Rippling HR Cloud
  • Zenefits
Core Features
  • Recruiting
  • Absence Management
  • Workflows
  • Training and Development
  • Benefits Administration
  • Self-service Portal
  • Compensation Management
  • Personnel Tracking
  • Time and Labour Management
  • Payroll Processing

10 Key Statistical Differences Between HRIS and HRMS

Having discussed the qualitative differences between HRIS and HRMS, let's dive into the data. It's important to consider statistical evidence to understand how these systems perform in real-world scenarios. By assessing their impacts on efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction, we can further differentiate between HRIS vs HRMS.

This section presents a statistical theoretical comparison between HRIS and HRMS across ten distinct aspects. The intent is to help you see the quantitative difference these systems can make in your organization. However, it's important to note that the statistics will vary based on the specific software and each organization's unique needs and contexts.

Aspect HRIS (Human Resource Information System) HRMS (Human Resource Management System)
Implementation Time

Generally shorter implementation time due to less complex functionalities.

Longer implementation time due to its complex nature and extensive features.

Efficiency Gains

Provides moderate efficiency gains primarily in administrative tasks.

Significant efficiency gains across all HR functions due to its comprehensive nature.

User Adoption

Higher initial user adoption due to the system's simplicity.

Lower initial user adoption rate due to complexity but tends to improve over time with training.


offers a good return on investment for organizations primarily needing to automate administrative tasks.

Improved productivity across HR functions provides higher ROI in the long term.

Employee Self-service Usage

Lower usage of employee self-service features, typically limited to personal information updates and benefits management.

Higher usage of employee self-service features, including learning and development, performance reviews, etc.

Data-driven Decision-Making

Basic analytics capabilities can limit the scope of data-driven decision-making.

Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities facilitate more comprehensive data-driven decision-making.

Talent Acquisition Efficiency

May have a limited impact on improving talent acquisition efficiency.

Integrated ATS and other recruitment features have a higher impact on talent acquisition efficiency.

Learning & Development

Limited scope for enhancing and development initiatives.

significantly impacting learning and development initiatives due to integrated LMS.

Employee Satisfaction

Generally leads to moderate improvement in employee satisfaction by streamlining administrative tasks.

Significant improvement in employee satisfaction by promoting employee engagement and career development.

Compliance Management

Efficient for managing basic compliance requirements related to payroll and benefits.

Superior capabilities for managing compliance across multiple areas due to its comprehensive nature.

HRMS vs HRIS: Which one is Right for you?

Having explored the qualitative and quantitative differences between HRIS and HRMS, it's time to address the pivotal question: which one should your organization choose? The answer is more complex and depends largely on your organization's unique needs, goals, and circumstances.

HRMS vs HRIS: Which one is Right for you?
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This section guides you through an interactive decision-making process backed by relevant statistics and industry insights. We aim to support you in identifying the most suitable system for your organization.

Step 1: Identify Your Needs

Begin by assessing your organization's current and future HR management needs. Are you looking for a system that streamlines administrative tasks, or do you need a comprehensive solution that covers the entire employee lifecycle? During this evaluation, consider your organization's size, industry, and growth trajectory.

Step 2: Consider Your Budget

HRIS systems tend to be more affordable, making them a popular choice for smaller organizations or those with budget constraints. On the other hand, while an HRMS might have a higher upfront cost, it could provide a greater ROI in the long run by improving efficiency across a wider range of HR functions.

Step 3: Assess Current Systems

Evaluate the efficiency of your current systems and the scope for their integration with the new system. An HRMS usually offers higher integration capabilities, allowing it to work seamlessly with your existing software.

Step 4: Evaluate User Experience

While an HRIS is typically simpler and easier to adopt, an HRMS, although initially complex, can provide a more holistic user experience once employees are accustomed to it.

Step 5: Consult Your HR and IT Teams

Your HR and IT teams will play a crucial role in implementing and maintaining the chosen system. Their insights could be valuable in making an informed decision.

Step 6: Look at Industry Trends

According to a report by Market Research Future (MRFR), the Human Resources Management Software (HRMS) market is estimated to reach USD 33.57 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2%, which most of the medium to large organization prefer HRMS over HRIS. However, smaller organizations (less than 200 employees) still largely favored HRIS for its simplicity and lower costs. Consider these trends in the context of your organization.

Step 7: Engage Vendors

Engage with various vendors, request demos, and discuss how their systems could cater to your needs. Compare their offerings in light of your requirements and budget.

Read More: 20 Must-have Skills for HR Managers in 2024


In conclusion, the decision between HRIS and HRMS isn't solely about pinpointing the superior system but rather identifying the one that aligns optimally with your organization's unique needs, budget, and growth strategy. Both these platforms demand a thorough understanding to choose and operate effectively. 

In this context, platforms like Edstellar are crucial, providing comprehensive, instructor-led training programs tailored for HR Managers, executives, and employees. These programs cover both practical and theoretical aspects of workforce management. Therefore, it's strongly recommended for your team to participate in these group training sessions. 

Trainings Small Intro
HR Analytics & Reporting Training

Empowers HR practitioners with the necessary skills and methodologies to effectively interpret HR data and generate insightful reports for the organization.

Peoplesoft HRMS Training

Upskills employees to Impart crucial abilities to optimize efficiency, simplify HR and financial workflows, and improve data management practices.

Recruitment & Sourcing Training

Equips HR practitioners with the expertise and strategies to attract and onboard new talent effectively.

Such targeted education facilitates a better understanding of these vital HR management tools. It enhances your organization's HR strategy and workforce lifecycle management, no matter which system you implement.

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