Understanding the Difference: HCM vs. HRIS vs. HRMS
September 3, 2021

As a human resources professional, there are many challenges you expect to encounter. Technology, however, is not typically on the list of problems. There are several different types of human resources software programs used throughout a variety of industries. Some of the most common types of technologies are human capital management (HCM), human resource information systems (HRIS), and human resource management systems (HRMS).

While the functions may be different, each of these technologies is meant to help you efficiently manage your workforce. If you are beginning your human resources career or perhaps have worked for smaller companies, you may not have had the opportunity to use these software programs. As companies grow, it can become more difficult to manage your day-to-day operations without using these technologies. To help you start to explore what’s available, we’ve created a quick guide.

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Human capital management (HCM) is defined by ADP as “the process of hiring the right people, managing workforces effectively, and optimizing productivity.” Essentially, HCM can be viewed as the core of human resources. HCM technologies are meant to increase the productivity of your team and the overall effectiveness of your workforce.


  • Able to track employee performance and productivity
  • Streamline the employee onboarding process
  • Ensure each employee is given the most appropriate responsibilities

Each of these benefits comes from HCM’s ability to track data and provide an in-depth view of the analytics while storing and distributing key information to employees.

Top technologies:

For more options, check out this article on HCM software from People Managing People.


The core function of human resources information systems (HRISs) is to make it easier to manage people, processes, and procedures. Its function is simple and straightforward but nonetheless important.

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ADP described HRIS as the following: “HRIS helps businesses use technology to enhance their people processes and make both HR and their organization as a whole more efficient. As a result, they may be better able to keep pace with evolving workplace trends.”


  • Increase effectiveness of recruiting efforts
  • Accommodate for unforeseen employee absences
  • Handle employee compensation operations
  • Streamline employee training and onboarding
  • Provide employee personal tracking and information hub

While the concept behind HRIS is simple, the benefits are wide-reaching.

Top technologies:

For more options, check out this article on HRIS software from PeopleGoal.


Last but not least, we have the human resources management system (HRMS). These systems are the ultimate human resources tool as most options do encompass all of the capabilities and benefits that come from HCM and HRIS technologies.

Additional benefits:

  • Payroll processing made easy
  • Time and Labor Management (TLM) capabilities

Any standard HRMS should have all of the following in addition to the benefits already mentioned for HCM and HRIS systems.

Top technologies:

For more options, check out this article on HRMS software from People Managing People.

Regardless of the option you choose, these various technologies can help your team increase productivity and efficiency across the board. To learn more about these technologies, check out this article from SelectHub and continue to check in with BrandResumes’ HR Corner.


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By Emily Provost

Emily is BrandResumes' Content Specialist and is an Associate Resume Writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Publishing Studies with double minors in Marketing and Journalism from Hofstra University. She has had editorial experience working as an editor for various publications from Hofstra and worked as a writing tutor for undergraduate students.

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