Choosing HR software is challenging. There’s a minefield of options out there and it’s difficult to know where to start! In her latest blog, Laura shares her top 10 things to think about.
By Laura Hayden
Here’s my list of key considerations to help you understand where on earth to start when choosing HR software.
What business needs are trying to be met? What problems do you want the system to solve? What’s an essential of the system versus something that would be nice to have? What does the system need to have or do to ensure it’s suitable for both now and the future?
Why not make it a collaborative exercise and gain input from managers and employees to explore these questions. As a leader in an organisation you might have an idea of what you’re looking for, but you won’t know without asking, what functionality everyone else needs the system to have. Consider focus groups or setting up a project team to be responsible for identifying needs/purpose and carrying out research to generate a shortlist for deliberation.
How much is available to spend on an HR system? Have this in mind before considering the level of functionality as it’s so hard not to get drawn into the ‘nice to have’s’ and convince yourself that there’s a business need for the system to be able to do these things. Bear in mind that there might be hidden costs too so factor a little extra in for this.
The following list of questions should help you establish this but remember ‘nice to have’ versus absolute need!
In establishing functionality, there may be some aspects that are non-negotiable in order to meet the need and reason for requiring HR Software. It might be that you’ll end up paying less for the software to meet all requirements than you will to keep paying for the problem you needed the system to solve.
Find out the how’s, what’s, where’s and who’s to system security, GDPR compliance and back up.
Read the reviews to understand how previous and current customers have found the system. If possible, have a free trial of the system to see how user-friendly it is. Do you know any other company using the system – if so, speak to them and see how they’ve found the system and the customer service.
It’s important that the customer support is helpful and renowned for getting any problems fixed quickly and with minimum fuss. Some systems offer support as a hidden extra – in my opinion this should not be an extra-billable item and should come included in the package.
It’s also worthwhile establishing if the system provides a dedicated account manager – someone you can rely on to help you set the system up and build on it as the business grows/changes.
Look into the implementation process (including set up and launch). Make sure it’s easy and that you know who’s responsible for it. Setting up a system can seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Check to see if you can create employee records by uploading a simple spreadsheet onto the system of all key details, such as name, address, start date, salary, line manager etc etc.
If you’ve decided to build bespoke workflows into the system, understand who will be responsible for this. This is often a complex process, better served either by someone who works for the system provider or by being trained how to do it. This might be built into the cost or be an extra charge but either way, is worth considering to make sure you’re efficient with time and cost.
Is the provider open to suggestions and flexible in their approach? If they’re offering a one-size fits all solution, the likelihood of them adapting/developing the system based on your experiences is slim. However, ask the question because it’s really helpful and reassuring to know that the development team will take suggestions on board and look to make improvements to the system on the basis of feedback received.
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