Do All HRIS Systems Include Payroll?

When you’re looking to implement an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) for your company, you’ll see that there are many options with a wide range of features. One of the most commonly asked about features is payroll: Do all HRIS systems include payroll?

While we can’t say that every single HRIS system has a payroll module, it’s safe to say that almost all HRIS systems include payroll. This is because managing payroll is far more complex than most people realize, and it’s one of the best tasks for automation.

Why payroll is a good fit for an HRIS

To understand why almost all HRIS systems include payroll, it helps to look at the requirements of payroll. There’s a substantial amount of information that needs to be considered, even before the first payment is processed. Whatever system you use needs to know how to manage the following for each team member:

  • Current name & contact Information
  • Tax filing status (taxes must be collected for federal, state, and local governments)
  • Additional tax withholding requests
  • Pay frequency
  • Salary vs hourly
  • Exempt vs non-exempt
  • Paid time off (PTO) management
  • Additional time off management including family medical leave act (FMLA allowances), maternity/paternity leave, bereavement leave, and unpaid time off
  • Bonus structure including separate taxation
  • Health insurance deductions
  • Potential wage garnishments

This is a substantial amount of information to manage even once, but when you consider that tax rates and policies change, employees move or change their filing status, workers at different locations add layers, remote work adds potential confusion, different team members have different amounts of PTO, the complexities become exponentially greater.

Making mistakes in payroll is a major problem. It is one of the quickest ways to cause dips in employee morale, resentment towards management, and turnover. There are also substantial legal ramifications for making certain payroll mistakes, including being in trouble with the IRS or state governments. You can get sued by team members who were not paid appropriately, or not given the benefits required by law.

These considerations explain why almost all HRIS systems include payroll management. Many businesses will say there is no single task that is better suited to automation than payroll. HRIS systems that include payroll generally give employees a way to track their time, management a way to approve employee timekeeping when needed, automatic overtime calculations, automated tracking of time off, and seamless tax withholding. Generally, these systems let you pay team members with a few clicks, potentially saving weeks of your time each year.

To learn more about choosing the right HRIS, including payroll, contact Benefit Leader.



Who Uses HRIS?

Who uses HRIS? Maybe a lot more people than you think. It’s easy to think of HRIS, or Human Resource Information Systems, as tools that are for enterprise companies. Many times though, the opposite is true as well. Looking at who uses HRIS, you’ll see how much variety there really is.

Small Business Owners

Sometimes small business owners feel that they should be able to manage human resources themselves, without the support of tools. Unfortunately, these business owners often find themselves overwhelmed by employee and contractor laws, proper hiring processes, payroll, and benefits management. Small business owners who find the right HRIS can find themselves with more available time to do the work they truly need to be doing for the success of the company.

Companies that Expect to Grow

If a company knows it’s looking to expand the team, the leadership may choose to turn to an HRIS. Hiring the right people is a substantial amount of work, and the human resources aspects can be daunting. A good HRIS will ensure these companies are ready to grow with software to manage recruiting, onboard new team members, manage paid time off, and administrate benefits. Those who use HRIS’s also find they make it easier to keep up with rules that may be different as the company grows.

Even if you don’t expect your company size to grow, turnover is frequent in most industries. Terminating employees correctly and bringing on replacements can be made substantially easier with an HRIS in place.

Techies AND the “Less” Technical

When you picture who uses HRIS, it’s easy to understand how technically-oriented people will gravitate towards them. But you may be surprised how many people sincerely value their HRIS, even when they consider themselves less technical. Just because HRIS’s are software-based, does not mean the person using them has to be a software expert. When you’re looking for an HRIS, evaluate those that fall into the technical level that you and your team are comfortable with.

Companies at All Levels of Profitability

HRIS’s are not just for companies that are highly profitable. Many smaller, or lower revenue companies use them specifically because they save time and money. Payroll and benefits mistakes can be costly as well as time-consuming. It’s also expensive to replace employees, and many companies appreciate that their HRIS allows them to keep employees happier with transparency into processes, applicable laws, and their benefits.

Who Uses HRIS Within an Organization?

Before you implement – or even choose – an HRIS, it’s important to decide who will be using it. In some companies, this is split between those who will manage the initial setup, and those who will use it on a regular basis. In addition to deciding who will manage the HRIS (generally a mid to high-level HR member), think about who will access the system. Will managers want to log in and run reports? Will individual employees log in to manage their schedules, request time off, or submit payroll changes? There is no right or wrong answer outside what works best for your company.

Benefit Leader can guide you in evaluating HRIS’s and choosing the right one for your company’s needs.

Benefits Resources

What Are Some Online HR Services?

The internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, we sometimes see rampant misinformation and scams. On the other hand, there are extensive resources if we know where to look. Finding the right resources is the first essential step in appreciating what the internet has to offer to human resource professionals. What are some online HR services? We’ll give you some great places to start, and exploring these services can often lead to the discovery of others you can benefit from as well.

Professional Associations & Educational Resources

Are you a member of the Society for Human Resources Management? If so, you have access to substantial online HR services from sample documents to compliance resources. Members can download an employee handbook to customize for their workplaces or can access articles on topics like managing post-pandemic compensation and how to think about pay equity.

If you’re hoping to get access to some online HR services without paying for a SHRM membership, try www.hr.com. This website boasts the ability to access educational tools, collaborate with other HR professionals, and share your own content. Membership is free.

There are also more specialized resources like https://talentculture.com/ which is particularly focused on being an online HR service and resource for fostering a positive work environment and the type of company culture you want.

News Sites

It seems like every day there’s something new in the HR world. From the changing landscape of the workplace due to Covid-19, to new best practices and interpreting complex laws, keeping up with HR industry news can make your life easier. Some online HR services aggregate the most timely and relevant news stories for HR professionals. Try https://www.hrdive.com/ as a good starting point.

Recruiting Tools

Some online HR services include recruiting tools like job boards. You likely have your favorite sites where you can post for technical positions, business positions, or sales professionals. Did you know there are also job sites specific to hiring human resource workers? Sites like https://www.ihirehr.com/ and https://www.hrcrossing.com/ can help you narrow your focus and post in places that HR professionals are most likely to be looking.

Social Media

In addition to traditional websites, consider social media if you’re looking for online HR services. Social media channels, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, have substantial numbers of HR workers who post professional content. You can follow anyone from large HR agencies to individual HR leaders that you find useful. Besides following people or companies, consider looking at trending hashtags. For instance, #employeeengagement or #recruiting may be beneficial when you’re looking for inspiration; or consider #emplaw or #hrblog for some educational posts.

LinkedIn also has groups specific to HR professionals. For example, the group Linked: HR has almost a million members. You can also try Whole-Hearted Leadership or Human Resources (HR) and Talent Management Executives.

Don’t think of the internet as the opposite of the “human touch” that HR professionals are so good at. Instead, think of the internet as the potential for a world of resources you can access quickly and efficiently. Some online HR services can save you hours of work, whether you’re using a sample document as a starting point, picking a new benefits management company, posting a job, or networking with other HR professionals. Additionally, if you’re looking for an online resource to manage your benefits, contact Benefit Leader for more information.


How Do I Choose the Right HRIS system?

Deciding on, and implementing, a human resource information system (HRIS) is a significant project. Once you realise that you’d like one of these systems for your company, your first question is probably how do i choose the right HRIS system? Choosing the right HRIS system is a complex process that involves comparing costs, features, benefits, implementation, risks, and time. If there were a single, perfect HRIS then we’d be recommending it to everyone. However, the reality is that choosing the right HRIS system is not black and white. Here are the questions we recommend you answer when you want to choose the right HRIS system:

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The ‘who’ part of choosing the right HRIS system encompasses several categories. First, you’ll want to figure out who should be choosing an HRIS. Is there someone internally who has the bandwidth to research, analyze, and make this decision, or do you want to outsource the majority of the work? Additionally, who will implement the system, and who will manage it on an ongoing basis? Again, some companies choose to keep this internal, and others find it more cost effective and efficient to outsource.


An important part of choosing the right HRIS system is finding a system that does what you need. HRIS systems can perform a wide range of tasks including:

  • Benefits management
  • Schedule management
  • Time-keeping
  • Employee training
  • Job applicant tracking
  • Employee and contractor onboarding
  • Standard and custom reporting
  • Integration with payroll

Given the confidential nature of the information stored in your HRIS, you’ll also want to make sure you’re choosing a system that fits the privacy and security standards you follow.


For some companies, finding and implementing the right HRIS is an immediate need. They are losing time or money by the day because of inefficiencies, disorganization, or a substantial amount of manual work. For others, they have some time to find the right HRIS, with a goal of implementing it in 6 or 8 months. Your expected timeline will help inform your decisions when choosing the right HRIS.


Understanding WHY you’re trying to choose the right HRIS system is a key question to answer. Until you’re able to clearly articulate why you believe an HRIS will benefit your company, and what you hope to get from it, the task may seem overwhelming. Answering the ‘why’ question for yourself will guide the analysis and decision-making process. If you believe an HRIS will save you a significant amount of time (and it will if you choose the right one), then you also want to think about who will be managing the HRIS. Is it someone or a group that is very tech-savvy? Will they be able to handle most of the setup themselves? Or will you be training people who are not particularly comfortable with new software, making simplicity a prime consideration? Answering the questions of who, what, when, and why will give you a substantial start on choosing the right HRIS system. However, the choices can still be daunting and you may want to speak to a professional who can help you analyze your company’s goals, and walk you through some of the most important features and benefits of HRIS systems that may be a good fit. If you have questions about benefits administration, you can always reach out to us here


How Complicated Is It To Switch a Company’s Insurance Agencies?

Are you thinking about switching your company’s insurance agencies? If so, you’re likely wondering if the burden of making a change will be worth the benefits. First, you’ll need to decide if a change is truly worthwhile, and then you’ll want to evaluate how complicated it is to switch a company’s insurance agencies.

In terms of analyzing whether it’s time to switch your company’s insurance agencies, here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:

  • Do I trust the insurance agency I’m with now? If you cannot trust a company, that’s a significant sign it’s time to move on.
  • Am I getting timely responses when I have questions? Excellent account support, which starts with consistent, on-time responses to inquiries, is a must-have. If you are not getting good service now, you should not expect that will improve in the future.
  • Are my prices fair? If you feel as though you’re paying too much, especially for insurance or service that’s subpar, it’s smart to consider switching your company’s insurance agencies. Often times companies choose the status quo because they think a change is too complex to manage, but those companies may be missing out on notable savings and benefits.
  • Have I had any unfair rejection of claims? If you find that you or your team have had a claim rejected, and you do not think the reasoning is fair, consider this a warning of similar issues to come. When you and your insurance agency are not seeing eye-to-eye, it’s common for this to be an ongoing problem and not a one time issue.

If the answers to these questions, or your own business instincts, indicate that a change may be in order, the next question for many is: How complicated is it to switch a company’s insurance agencies?

On one hand, you may think it will be fairly easy to switch insurance agencies because the new agency will be happy to have your business, and should help as much as possible with the onboarding process. On the other hand, there are potential pitfalls of switching your company’s insurance agencies that can make a positive change into a significant burden.

Here are some complications to look out for when you switch your company’s insurance agencies:

  1. Lapsed coverage is a major risk. While it may sound relatively easy to drop one agency and start with another, if you don’t manage the timelines precisely, you risk a lapse in coverage. This mistake can range from annoying to catastrophic, depending on what happens during that lapse.
  2. A mis-handled change can cost you money. Whether it’s a case of paying too much at the end of your contract, or being told that by your past agency that you owe additional fees, many business leaders find that one concern of switching a company’s insurance agencies is the question of ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, and ‘how much’ in terms of cost.  
  3. Confusion and change in terms are possible. When you switch your company’s insurance agencies, you may run into problems where you’re not comparing apples to apples. Unless you’re well-versed in insurance terminology, policies, and contracts, you may end up with different coverage than you wanted or needed. 

To mitigate the potential confusion and pitfalls of switching your company’s insurance agencies, you can choose to work with a partner who can ensure your interests are prioritized.

The partner will help you answer the most important questions to simplify the process of switching your company’s insurance agencies. They’ll work with you to understand your current coverage and think about what changes may be smart. The right expert can also listen to your frustrations about your current insurance agency, and can work out ways to ensure those same problems don’t arise after a switch. Having an expert in your corner allows you to have a ‘voice of reason’ to discuss concerns and goals with, knowing you’re getting sound advice instead of a sales pitch.

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Benefit Leader is known for their ability to advocate for each company they work with and find those companies the best solutions in a wide range of areas. In addition to being experts, they will work with you to ensure every member of your team is educated about changes and improvements that are made.


The Ultimate Guide for Human Resources

Almost all employees have dealt with someone who works in human resources, but a lot of them do not actually know exactly what a human resources department does. If you work in human resources, some of these questions from friends or family members may sound familiar: Does that mean you hire people? Does it mean you help with benefits? Does it mean you deal with new employees? Does it mean you know employment law? Do you ever have to handle someone who’s angry? Of course the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and a lot more! In our ultimate guide for human resources, we want to answer the question of what it means to work in human resources.

Lifecycle of Employment: HR at Every Step

From the work that is done before someone is hired, through their entire time at a company, and after they leave – for any reason – the human resources department is involved. While human resources departments fill a wide range of roles at different companies, here are some of the most common responsibilities of a human resources team:

  • Identify roles that need to be filled
  • Onboard new hires
  • Manage compensation
  • Perform necessary administrative work
  • Conduct regular trainings
  • Create and support the company’s culture
  • Empower employees
  • Manage a process for feedback from and/or to managers and peers
  • Promote a healthy and satisfying work environment
  • Oversee employee transitions and terminations

Human Resources: Essential Skills and Why They Matter

When you’re looking to hire a human resources employee, you’ll likely consider the following factors.

  • College degree: Bachelor’s is often required, Master’s is often preferred
  • Field of study: while a degree matters, many companies consider it more important that a candidate’s degree is in Human Resources or Business Administration
  • Experience: relevant work experience can be one of the most important factors in hiring a human resources employee. Many of the necessary skills for these jobs cannot be taught in a traditional classroom, but are truly mastered through years of experience on the job.

Beyond education and work experience, there are some foundational skills that human resources employees will need. Here are what are often considered the most important of those skills:

Communications Skills

Many people will tell you that the most important skill a human resources employee can have is the ability to communicate well. From written communication to giving presentations and managing sensitive conversations, communication skills are at the top of our list in this ultimate guide for human resources. Human resources team members create formal communications materials such as job descriptions, company handbooks, workplace policies, and offer/termination letters. They also need to be able to communicate well on-the-fly by writing challenging emails, arbitrating conflicts, and managing company culture.

Showing Compassion

In addition to communicating well, good human resources employees should be compassionate. It’s important to understand that showing compassion and giving in to demands are very different. In a human resources department, you should be prepared to encounter many different scenarios from people who dislike a coworker, want a raise, have complex ethical concerns, or need advice about managing workplace relationships. You will need to have difficult conversations and defuse situations, at which point the ability to be firm and helpful, while showing compassion, is critical.

Being Organized

Yes, being organized is important in almost any job, but it’s especially important for those in human resources. You’ll be working with many different employees and managers, regulations on a variety of levels that change often, more paperwork than most people ever have to oversee, and what may feel like an endless stream of requests coming across your desk. When the ball is dropped on someone’s benefits, hiring paperwork, yearly review, workplace complaint, or training, that can snowball into significant consequences. Your ability to stay organized online, on paper, and in all communications, is essential.


There may be no greater example than COVID-19 to demonstrate how flexible human resource employees need to be in their work. In a matter of weeks, companies across the world were changing the way they operated. People who were in crowded offices every day were now working remotely; training was needed on security, remote resources, and managing in new ways; the ability to boost employee morale and foster a close company culture changed drastically; workers needed guidance on managing quarantines and home-schooling during their workdays; new and changing rules for office space were published regularly, leaving many asking the HR department what their future office would look like. The pressure of the COVID-19 uncertainty is an example of how changes that affect many people personally and professionally, affect the human resources department on an additional layer because they have so many factors to mitigate.

Popular Jobs in Human Resources

Across industries, and even across companies, you’ll see wide variety in the names of the human resources’ departments’ jobs. Here are some of the HR job titles we tend to see regularly:

VP or Human Resources, Recruiting Manager, or Human Resources Director are often top-level HR positions. People applying for these jobs generally have a Master’s degree, and at least 10 years of experience in human resources. Those in top HR roles generally play a more strategic part than those in mid level roles. They likely oversee a team of other employees and managers, they may advise upper management on creating company culture and workplace policies, and they may handle the most sensitive and confidential of issues.

Mid-level HR jobs often include recruiting managers, human resource managers, and benefits managers. This level of employee may oversee the entry level human resource workers, and usually focus more on tactical management. People in these roles may have at least 5 years of experience working in human resources, and often have a Bachelor’s degree. 

Entry-level human resources jobs include recruiters, generalists, assistants, and interns. Their focus is on the day to day operations of the HR department, and generally not on strategic decision making. These jobs are sought after by those who have recently graduated, or by those who are changing careers.

While human resources is a growing and dynamic field, there are certain aspects that you can rely on to stay consistent: like the importance of outstanding human resources services to the foundation of a company. If you have questions after reading our ultimate guide for human resources, specifically about how to outsource your human resource needs, learn more about what we offer at Benefit Leader.

Our services are completely free to you! 

As a broker, we are paid a fixed commission by the insurance company to manage your benefits. We believe current brokers are getting paid too much for too little work.

We never charge you more than what you are currently paying. This is guaranteed.