What Is an HR Database?

by Revelio LabsJanuary 18, 2022

Businesses recognize the resourcefulness of workforce intelligence and analytics drawn from employee records. Nearly all companies have an internal HR database, the lifeblood of the department. Human resource databases store employee personal, financial, and performance information. They also hold recruitment data and various other critical records.

HR Databases Are the Source of Workforce Intelligence

Human resource databases are the lifeline of workforce intelligence. They hold data relating to all activities carried out by the HR department. A typical record may store employee and manager data, rotas, working hours, holidays, absenteeism, timesheets, expenses, clocking-on/off-times, and more. Here are three questions to help you understand HR databases:

1. What Are HR Databases Used For?

HR databases are primarily for storing employee personal information and other business-critical records. The database can hold recruitment, performance, training, and benefits records. A separate section will also hold information about clients/customers. HR can then use the data to generate different reports using analytical software and other means.

2. How Important Are HR Databases?

HR databases provide massive workforce data and records the department can use to make current and future decisions. New businesses can leverage existing databases to make conclusions based on real-life data. The human resource team can also leverage HR software to manage the database and reporting functionalities. Here’s why HR databases are essential:

• Performance Evaluation – HR can run reports on the database to track absenteeism, performance, grievances, and disciplinary cases. There are many HR software applications capable of providing highly-informative reports. HR can monitor the performance of an employee, supervisor, manager, groups, teams, and processes.

• Hiring Decisions – The hiring team can leverage HR databases for predictive analytics and evidence-based recruitment. Databases offer a resource for assessing past processes and using records to inform decisions. HR can learn from past mistakes, eliminate employees if necessary, and make evidence-based decisions to acquire the right talents. 

• Proactive Strategies – HR database reports and analytics can provide actionable indicators. The HR department will gain mission-critical insights to help them develop proactive measures. Analytics allow for talent forecast as well as assessment of promotions, workplace adjustments, and future business needs to make proactive decisions.

• Informing Growth – The human resource department has many goals, including streamlining the hiring process and securing business continuity. HR also seeks to create a fair payments and benefits system by rewarding hardworking employees. Records provide metrics and analytics the HR can use to achieve such objectives. 

HR databases offer incredible workforce intelligence for growth, forecast, diversification, remuneration, and more. Businesses must identify what data they want to record and how they'll use it. Databases are helpful if the department can use them to achieve its goals or fulfill daily objectives. Without analytics, HR databases are merely fragmented pieces of information.

3. How Do You Maximize An HR Database?

Collecting and analyzing data has never been easier. Modern businesses can access various HR software and tools. These applications can gather, record, assimilate, standardize, and report employee data. Here are five tips for successfully leveraging HR databases:

• Implement effective internal HR database

• Monitor data collection and reporting

• Use reputable HR software to analyze data

• Customize reports to provide actionable insights

• Use universal human resource databases and labs

Maximizing the insights/benefits of internal HR databases requires efficient records management. HR must set measures to streamline data collection, evaluation, reporting, and protection. Handling employee data comes with the added burden of backups if critical information is lost. Human resource teams also have rules to abide by when managing data.

The HR team must keep databases safe from existing risks, including cyber security threats and internal breaches. Effective database management also entails storing data ethically and fulfilling legal obligations. Covering these areas will make it easier for the HR team to collect the correct data, use practical analytics tools, and make evidence-based decisions.

Types of Human Resource Databases

HR databases can fall into various categories, including internal/universal and employee/client records. Internal databases are specific to your organization and employees. Universal databases feature millions of standardized employment records, statistics, and trends. Human resource departments should use both internal and universal databases.

Employee databases hold records about all business employees. It may feature personal information, such as name, date of birth, job title, salary, and length of service. Other employee records include qualifications, recruitment process, timesheets, rotas, completed courses/training, and more. HR systems may allow employees to log in data into the database.

Client databases are critical HR records about clients, customers, and other companies/partners. Popular client records include company name, address, products or services bought/sold, transaction date and data, sale/purchase value, and previous activities. These fields aren't in personnel/employee databases but are critical to business missions.

Using Universal Human Resource Databases

Internal HR databases offer vital information but are never sufficient when making specific mission-critical decisions. Human resource departments can leverage universal databases providing massive employment records.

At the Revelio Labs, we absorb and standardize hundreds of millions of public employment records. Our universal HR database allows investors, corporate strategists, and human resource teams to review any company's current workforce compositions and trends.