HR software has come a long way over the last 15 years. Since the first web accessible solutions appeared in the late 90’s, HR technology has advanced to utilise cloud computing to cater for things like bespoke workflow, process automation, mail merge, document version control, and different leave rules, languages and currencies to cater for several global locations within a single system. With an ever increasing number of vendors entering the market, HR, IT & Finance departments are now faced with a number of key decisions when determining which HR Software will best suit their organisation.
There’s no question that by implementing the right HR software you can reap huge rewards by saving time, effort and money, eradicating data duplication which causes errors, and improving transparency for key stakeholders. However, the key word here is ‘right’, because selecting the wrong HR software could have negative effects on your business operations, and hinder you reaching your strategic goals.
So, where should you start when there are so many different HR software solutions available to you? Below are some criteria to consider when making your selection. The process from vendor review though to system roll-out takes time and careful thought. To go through this process only to find you have selected the wrong HR software solution could be a costly mistake…
What are your needs?
This may sound obvious, but how have you reached the decision that you need new HR software? Going back to the last blog we wrote on ‘evidence based HR’, (click here to view) what rationale do you have that the need is there to implement a new solution? Perhaps your business uses existing HR software which is not user-friendly, is cumbersome, or that cannot scale in line with your company’s growth and expansion. Perhaps that system offers only limited functionality and you now have requirements for additional modules. Perhaps you operate a number of separate systems for different HR functions and are frustrated that they cannot talk to one another, and that there is lot of duplicate data that can cause errors.
You may still be using outmoded paper-based files and spreadsheets to record HR data, The administration of this could be costing you precious time or exacerbate the margin for error when it comes to administration, reporting and communication between HR and other areas of the business.
Choosing the ‘right’ HR software
With all the aforementioned, it’s important to get clear on the real problem (or problems) before beginning your vendor review. What are your key pain-points, i.e. what is that you really, really need from your HR software solution which will make your life easier and help your company to reach its strategic goals? What key functionality do you require? There may be one key item or 10, but clearly understanding these requirement is a must. Systems integration is also something to think about – do you already use a common platform in other areas of the business (i.e. as a CRM) which would help drive user adoption, leverage your in-house expertise and integrate seamlessly for easy user access? This is a key consideration for both HR, IT and Finance.
Don’t forget support…
Understanding the level of support a vendor will provide, and that you will need, is a key part of the selection process. Do your research properly and ensure that you ask all relevant questions when it comes to the ins and outs of what is available. What would an implementation look like? Are there different options? Where would your data be hosted? Is it secure? Can the solution be configured, or will it only ever work a certain way? Does the vendor offer training? What are their SLAs? Are you able to try before you buy?
With a little thought and preparation, you can make it much easier to navigate the marketplace and ensure you have the ‘right’ information to select the ‘right’ HR software which works for you.