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What is HR Data Integration?

Data integration and automation represent the next wave in improving HR efficiency and productivity.

HR data integration defined

Data integration, in the context of HR systems, shares job, candidate, and employee data automatically between HR apps or centralizes data in one database from various sources.

Data integration and automation represent the next wave in improving HR efficiency and productivity. With data integration, HR professionals can focus on strategic issues that grow a company—instead of wasting time on manual double-data entry between HR apps. Here’s what you need to know about how HR data integration can help your business.

Data integration solves the big problem with HR systems

HR professionals love their apps. To manage and grow businesses, HR departments need apps for sourcing candidates, handling recruiting, managing employees, and paying employees. The number of apps magnifies each year as companies replace legacy systems, merge with different entities, and operate in different countries. “On average, large HR departments now have 11 systems of record” writes Josh Bersin for Human Resource Executive.

While HR software improves productivity, the main problem with the SaaS model is that data resides in disconnected silos in the cloud. Siloing means that employee data has to be manually re-entered from program to program every time a new hire is added. That presents a serious drag on efficiency. Further, employee data must be updated in multiple programs when something as simple as a change in home address occurs. Comprehensive reports are also impossible unless an organization can see the entire picture.

“HR data integration solves the data silo problem by automatically sharing data between apps.

Data integration can significantly improve morale in HR departments by streamlining processes and freeing up HR professionals to focus on more strategic initiatives.

By automating data integration tasks, such as eliminating manual double-data entry and syncing data across various HR systems, professionals can save valuable time and effort. This reduction in administrative burdens allows them to dedicate more attention to analyzing the trends and insights derived from the integrated data.”

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Why HR data integration?

Check out Flexspring’s corporate profile, “Why HR Data Integration?” featuring a client data integration case study with Don Oleski, IT Director of MAPEI Americas.

How HR system integration works

With HR data integration, the most common scenarios involve sharing data from one program to another. Any workflow where your team currently passes papers between desks or manually re-enters data from screen to screen in HR apps can be streamlined with automatic data sharing. As soon as employee data is entered or updated in one program, that employee data automatically appears in each connected app, giving you continuity of data throughout your HR workflow.

There are always at least two sides to any data integration. You have to pull data from a source app and push that data to a target app. Sounds easy enough, right?

The challenge is that no two software apps name their database fields the same way, and no two software APIs handle data the same. Source data frequently has to be transformed and mapped to meet the unique data requirements of a target app. For example, when integrating new hires from Greenhouse to ADP for payroll, it’s crucial to know that data in the “jobs.name” field in Greenhouse should map to the “Job Title” field in ADP and that “SSN” maps to “Tax ID.”

Now add the complexity that nearly every HR app—as a feature—has given HR professionals the ability to create custom fields unique to their business and you can understand why nearly every integration requires some degree of customization.

Years ago, data integration required an internal IT team or external team of integration consultants to write custom scripts to pull data out of an app and write custom scripts to push the data into the other app. This was time and resource-intensive. Indeed, data integration used to be a slow, painful process. And when the API is updated or someone changed a custom field in the database, integration scripts would break.

HR system integration as a solution

To make HR data integration easier, the experts at Flexspring added a middleware solution to handle the complex data mapping. Now, prebuilt connectors pull data from the source app and the middleware platform maps and transforms the data using unlimited business rules. Then, a prebuilt connector pushes the data into the target app.

Flexspring iPaaS (integration platform as a service) was designed exclusively to meet the complex requirements of HR software and speed integration. With turnkey and custom connectors running on Flexspring iPaaS, data integrations that used to take six months now routinely complete in two to six weeks.

Flexspring has pioneered a data integration approach that provides both turnkey and custom connectors. Turnkey connectors work right out of the box for a standard set of fields. Custom connectors can be modified to meet a business’ unique needs and incorporate custom fields.

7 HR Data Integration benefits

HR system integration offers numerous benefits for organizations, empowering them to optimize their human resources management. By harnessing the power of HR data integration, organizations can unlock these benefits, optimizing their HR operations, and driving overall business success. Here is an overview of seven key advantages:

  1. Eliminates time-wasting, manual double-data entry between HR systems

  2. Increases productivity and efficiency

  3. Reduces manual errors

  4. Improves morale

  5. Increases security

  6. Improves business continuity

  7. Makes comprehensive reporting possible

1. Eliminates time-wasting, manual double-data entry between HR systems

Any workflow where your team currently passes papers between desks or manually re-enters data from screen to screen in HR apps can be streamlined with automatic data sharing.

“As a business expands in size and complexity, I see manual data entry as an increasingly wasteful and difficult procedure. It is not scalable since manual efforts cannot keep up with the growing volume of HR data. Instead of being saddled with monotonous data entry activities, HR professionals should focus on strategic objectives.

Data integration automatically shares data from a source app with a target app. For example, as soon as a hiring manager presses the hire button in your ATS, all employee data needed to process payroll can be sent to your payroll app. Onboarding new employees can become instant instead of requiring hours of manual double-data entry.

Depending on the amount of candidate data and employee records your company handles, data integrations can save several days of work per month or even several full-time employees worth of effort.

“Data integration can drastically improve morale in HR departments by freeing up resources and allowing HR professionals to focus their energy on strategic tasks.

For example, integrating data from job boards into a system like HRMS (Human Resource Management System) gives instant access to candidate records, which decreases the time spent curating them. This not only allows recruiters and hiring managers to focus on more meaningful activities such as setting up interviews or providing consulting services that promote organizational growth, but also eliminates errors caused by manual double-data entry.

Data integration ultimately saves time, increases the accuracy of operations, and allows for swift decision-making, thus resulting in improved employee morale.”

2. Increases productivity and efficiency

Data integration frees HR professionals to concentrate on strategic work that grows your business. Real-time data integration also creates data continuity throughout your organization. Your HR team no longer has to wait for records to be entered, or check with others to see if they can run reports on updated data sets.

With HR data integration, your HR team can stay focused on the tasks that matter most.

"The Greenhouse to Predictive Index integration from Flexspring is a game-changer for us. It’s taken what was previously a 10-20 minute process and reduced it to one minute. With this integration, we’re easily saving 10 hours a week on candidate review.

Now, we can collect more information, broaden our pool of candidates, and increase the amount of positions we can focus on filling each week. Already, we’re seeing our time to fill a position decrease.

Simply, if you’re sending more than 10 candidates a week to Predictive Index, you’ll notice it. If you’re sending more than 20 PI’s a week, you’ll be annoyed if you don’t have this integration."

3. Reduces manual errors

Tediously re-entering dozens of data fields from one app to another generally leads to typos and manual data-entry errors. Data integration greatly reduces manual errors.

And in cases where an error has occurred, making a change in one system can cascade the updated correction to other HR apps, so there’s no longer a need to hunt through all your systems to check for errors.

One challenge HR professionals face when manually re-entering data across multiple HR apps, including payroll apps, is data inconsistency. Manual entry increases the risk of errors and discrepancies, leading to inconsistent employee information across systems. These inconsistencies impact payroll calculations, benefits administration, and reporting accuracy.

“HR professionals must dedicate additional time and effort to verify and correct data inconsistencies, introducing potential human errors. To address this challenge, streamlined data management solutions, and integrated HR systems are crucial for minimizing issues and ensuring the integrity of the data.”

4. Improves morale

HR people would rather work on strategic things that grow a company than manual data entry. Everyone is happy to give up the drudge work. Young workers, in particular, are quickest to ask, “Can’t the computer do this for us?”

With data integration, they’re right.

“Flexspring's Taleo Enterprise to Oracle HCM Integration is saving us 20-40 hours per week—essentially a full-time employee. We're getting great and very positive feedback from recruiters and from operations. They don't have to touch the records anymore or juggle paper forms for manual re-entry. Folks are happy to give up the drudge work. There's a feeling that this integration really makes a difference here.”

“In my opinion, data integration enables human resources professionals to make full use of employee data to enhance and tailor the employee experience. HR departments can acquire holistic insights into employee needs, preferences, and career development opportunities by integrating HR technologies such as performance management, learning management, and employee feedback platforms.

This integrated approach enables HR professionals to create customized initiatives, training programs, and recognition strategies that enhance employee belonging and happiness. Morale and motivation naturally rise as HR professionals see the positive impact of their efforts on employee engagement and retention.”

5. Increases security

Data integration reduces the creation of unnecessary user accounts, duplicate employee profiles, and people involved with manual data entry.

With data integration, fewer people need to touch employee records and fewer people are exposed to confidential employee data, thus increasing security.

Further data integrations from Flexspring do not store employee data. They simply pass the packets of information along secure connections. In fact, Flexspring is certified as SOC 2 compliant by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) for securely handling data.

6. Improves business continuity

Data integrations never take a vacation or need a sick day. Once enabled, data integrations and automations work around the clock.

With so many people working remotely from home, data integration ensures that workers always have access to the most recent data and don’t have to second guess reports, the status of a candidate, or a job posting.

“We've seen a ton of benefit automating data integration between our HR processes and the accounting team. The accounting team requests the exact same data every month in order to prepare the financial statements. In an earlier phase, the reports required a lot of manual tuning to get them into the right state for the accounting team.

Now, reports are exported or fed directly into the accounting system, as they are. This saves countless hours, particularly at the start of the month.”

7. Makes comprehensive reporting possible

Due to acquisitions, different locations, and legacy systems, many organizations rely on multiple HR apps to do similar jobs. It can be impossible for leaders to see the whole picture of their organization without comprehensive reporting from a unified data set.

Data integration allows multiple apps to contribute to a unified data warehouse within a company, so that comprehensive reporting tools can provide live, accurate reports.

“I believe there is often a lack of real-time data synchronization between different HR systems when HR professionals manually re-enter data. This means that updates or modifications made in one system may not be instantly mirrored in others. Working without data integration can lead to errors and discrepancies, generating confusion and inefficiencies in HR processes.”

How HR systems connect

HR systems connect through various methods to enable seamless data integration. The most common approach is API-to-API integration via the cloud, ensuring near real-time data sharing. APIs serve as communication bridges between HR applications, facilitating quick and reliable data exchange.

However, not all HR apps have comprehensive APIs. In such cases, scheduled file transfers are used, where data is exported and imported at predefined intervals. While API integration is fast and reliable, scheduled file transfers offer a workaround for limited APIs or non-real-time requirements. Organizations should evaluate their HR systems to determine the best integration method. The goal is to establish a connected HR ecosystem where information flows smoothly, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in HR processes.

HR data integration focuses on use cases

Because HR apps are so complex and often use multiple APIs to pull various data sets, modern data integration focuses on use cases. For example, bringing Payroll Data from ADP to NetSuite General Ledger involves very different data than Employee Updates from ADP to NetSuite that might include changes of address.

Some data integrations may involve as little as 14 fields. Others, 192 fields. In each case, data mapping and automatic data sharing save HR professionals the time and worry of manually re-typing data in another app.

Flexspring has created a white paper of the 52 Most Popular Use Cases for Data Integration that HR departments use to streamline HR processes. This white paper also delineates the most popular use cases by software apps. You can see actual use cases of how different companies use data integration to increase productivity and efficiency.


In conclusion, HR data integration offers numerous benefits that empower organizations to optimize their human resources management. By harnessing the power of HR data integration, businesses can enhance productivity, eliminate manual errors, improve data security, and enable comprehensive reporting. Integrating HR systems eliminates time-consuming manual double-data entry, allowing HR professionals to focus on strategic tasks that drive business growth.

With seamless data integration, HR teams can streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and ensure data continuity throughout the organization. By evaluating their HR systems and adopting the appropriate integration methods, organizations can unlock the advantages of HR system integration and pave the way for improved HR operations and overall business success.

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