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HR software, or a human resource management system (HRMS) is software that assists the human resources department of a company by integrating many aspects of HR databases into a centralized location for more efficient handling. The functions combined by this type of software include payroll, benefits administration, recruiting and training, and performance analysis. Another term for this type of HR software is "human resource information system" (HRIS). The development of HRMS began in earnest with mainframe computers before there was much personal computing. In the 1980s, the client-server system was established and made the automation process more available to smaller companies.
With the advent of the age of information and the wide spread of personal computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) and other similar ventures have made HRMS systems mainstream and easier to implement. Because human resource departments have responsibilities that are fairly standardized and similar in businesses across most sectors, HRMS software is also standardized to a great extent. Customization is available for modules in the software, particularly payroll, recruitment and selection, and evaluation modules, which may vary from business to business.
The HR data that is traditionally tracked and gathered consists of the employees' personal history, their skills and capabilities, their accomplishments, and their pay history. By automating this information through an HRMS, HR departments can see a snapshot of an employee much quicker and evaluate their performance in a more efficient way. Furthermore, the learning management system, or LMS, that is built in to many of these software packages allows for continual training for the employees, and will let the HR department know in real time when modules have been completed and the effectiveness of the learning through test scores.