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HRIS Training, Whatís the Best Type?

What type of HRIS training works best?†As you start talking to HRIS or HRMS software vendors, you will likely be presented with a variety of options for getting you and your staff trained on the new system. The four typical methods of HRIS application training are self training, online classes, classroom training, and onsite training but which is the best?

Teach yourself how to use your HRIS software

Most, if not all, HRIS application†vendors or HRMS application vendors donít offer detailed enough documentation to make this option completely possible. Manuals are usually, at best, a starters guide as opposed to an in depth manual covering all the capabilities of the HRIS application system you will be using. If the company you are working with offers detailed manuals or offers a training guide and you have worked with other HRIS application software or HRMS software applications, I would think there is†any reason you canít self train. You might, in this case, only need training on specific more difficult tasks such as report writing or benefit setup. Itís a good idea to try this approach first because, before trying one of the other training options that might be available, at least you will have a basic knowledge before doing so.

Online HRIS Training

Many HRIS application software companies now offer online training, as well. I found online training in my own business to be extremely effective. It works best in shorter time frame classes, with training someone on specific capability, and when the application used for the class allows the end user to have keyboard and mouse control during the training. I donít think this form of class works well for someone who has little or no experience with HRIS software applications. It is simply too difficult to concentrate for long periods of time glaring at a computer screenís glare. If you want, however, to be trained on specific HRIS system features, I think this option is extremely effective. Itís also, other than self training, the most cost effective of the three options.

Attend a class to learn your HRIS or HRMS system

Most HRIS or HRMS vendors offer some type of class room training. They may offer this at only their corporate location, at regional training centers, or if you have a large number of employees who will be accessing the system, on-site classroom training. When performing classroom HRIS system training, as a trainer I found the biggest challenge is to keep the class in depth enough for the advanced users but basic enough for the beginners to grasp the concepts. I spoke with an older brother who used to teach high school math about this challenge and he suggested training to the middle. It works but the class goes at a slower pace than the advanced users would like and many of the beginners may not grasp the concepts. This is why it is extremely important for you to review the system as much as possible before attending one of these classes. If you are an advanced user, you might want to try one of the other training options instead. The largest disadvantage of this training method is that you wonít be training on your data.

Onsite HRIS†Application or HRMS†Application training

This is likely going to be the most expensive option since you will have to pay the trainerís travel cost and their daily consulting expense but I also feel this is the best training offered. You train on your data and usually in small groups or one to one. If you trained yourself on the application, as I just referred to in the first paragraph, you will be able to focus the training on only those areas where you need additional training. The important thing with this type of training is to limit the interruptions. I sat in more than one extremely busy HR department where every fifteen minutes the people I was training had to leave the room, pick up a call, or respond to an email. Check into referring your duties to someone else during the training, shutting down the department to employees for the day or doing the training on the weekend.

I hope you found this article helpful. Regardless which training option you go withFeature Articles, the more you attempt to self train on the HRIS application before starting a class the more informed you will be. Rarely does one type of training work best. You may find that a combination of the four works the best overall.

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Clay C. Scroggin has over fifteen years of experience in the human resource software industry. Clay is currently the President and owner of, a web site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR software. offers an extremely comprehensive HRIS selection tool to assist you with your HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process. Make sure to download CompareHRIS.comís free HR and Payroll Software Buyerís Guide.

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