IHRIM (International Association for Human Resource Information Management) is a networking and education association for HRIS and HR technology professionals. The group, founded in 1980, has about 600 to 700 members. IHRIM grew out of informal networks of people working with HR technology. Before the organization began, payroll systems were often homegrown and HR systems were paper-based.
When information technology began modernizing these functions, the people working on these new systems discovered that they weren't alone. They faced similar problems and so they began to network. The informal professional community resulted in the Human Resources Systems Professional Group. In the early 1990s, it merged with a similar Canadian group of HRIS professionals. The membership organization that emerged was now called IHRIM.
HRIS pros occupy a unique niche
The HRIS professional occupies a unique technological niche. There is no direct career path to an HRIS job. Students don't graduate universities with a career in HR technology in mind. What happens is someone in the IT, HR or finance department is tasked with managing HR systems. It may have started as a part-time role that became a full-time job. Some HRIS professionals may remain in this area for years, while others may shift back to an IT job or some other role.
IHRIM offers certification as a HRIP (Human Resource Information Professional). Candidates take an exam that measures their knowledge on a wide range of HR functions. Key competencies in its candidate qualification description include the ability to evaluate, analyze, design and maintain an HR management system. The certification covers technology implementations, project management and change management, among other issues.
In early 2018, IHRIM launched a relationship with the University of Chicago's Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. It will include ongoing webinars and discounts on online and onsite courses. The association also conducts a series of annual conferences and other events on HRIS-focused topics.