Memos covering software and technology.

Integrated vs Unified HRMS

Companies have had to deal with separate systems for talent management, compliance, payroll, and more. HRMS systems have simplified processes and opened access to data.

Integrated vs Unified HRMS
Photo by Amy Hirschi / Unsplash

When it comes to talent management, compliance, payroll, etc., companies in the past have had to deal with separate, disparate systems. Today, the shift towards unified HRMS systems has led to simplified task processes and easier access to data. These two different approaches to human resource management software are causing confusion for businesses looking to adopt a new solution.

Integrated human resource solutions are still the dominant software model in place for HR professionals. However, these integrated solutions were designed for a different era with more relaxed information governance policies. In the past, enterprises engaged in manufacturing and distributing goods and relied on a patchwork of software solutions, or ERPs (enterprise resource planning software), to track all of their business data.

Let’s take a closer look at the Integrated vs Unified HRMS discussion:


The genius behind ERP or integrated solutions was that the individual software solutions could share data and communicate with one another to carry out certain tasks and operate as an integrated whole. In this model, however, financial and inventory data was prioritized over the workforce, leading to HR functions being carried out separately. Employee scheduling software and scheduling teams operated separately from payroll software and payroll teams.

As businesses shift from manufacturing products to offering services, this model no longer works. Businesses are now spending more on their workforce than on inventory moving through a warehouse. While integrated ERP solutions focus on manufactured goods, unified solutions are bringing the focus to the workforce.

While integrated HRMS solutions struggle in modern business, one thing they did well is organize a software solution around the driving concept of a business. In the past, that was manufactured goods. Today, unified HRMS solutions are focusing on the workforce; talent management is replacing inventory management.


The unified approach to human resources eliminates the needs for multiple software solutions to carry out the tasks of one HR professional. Currently, talent management is an integrated platform of products that tackles recruiting, educating, and retaining employees with separate programs. The unified model brings all of these functions under one HRMS.

The new unified approach to HRMS streamlines many HR functions that previously were time consuming and required entering data into multiple databases. Unified HRMS utilizes a single, shared database across all functions. Data that is entered in one module is accessible by others in the same HRMS.

Better access to accurate data allows HR professionals to make better decisions. From recruitment to benefits management and retirement, unified HR solutions draw from a single database, saving time and ensuring better accuracy of data.

After the global recession in 2008, many organizations were forced to resort to layoffs as a means for staying in business. By cutting their workforce, businesses needed to take a better look at their employees to make sure they made the most of what they had left. This focus on human capital is what led to the growth of integrated talent management and HR solutions.

HR data that was previously kept in walled-off silos could now be integrated to form a continuous talent management solution that included the recruiting, deploying, developing, and retaining of employees.

However, while the term “integrated talent management” caught on quickly as businesses shifted their resources and focus, the actual integration process failed. Deployment of these integrated solutions failed to fully integrate all aspects of HR and talent management. Data needed to be entered multiple times, not all modules communicated together correctly, and data were essentially still stored in walled-off silos.

In order to solve the issues of the walled-off silo, unified HRMS solutions have changed the way talent management software accesses and shares data. By relying on a central database, HR tasks are handled more effectively and accurately.

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