Your journey starts here! You’ve decided it’s time to invest in an HR system – either as a replacement of your existing software or as the first venture into moving away from spreadsheets and manual input.
There are countless solutions available, so it’s crucial that you make the right choice that fits your organisation. Regardless of where you’re starting, this is your opportunity to take some strategic steps to ensure that you are off on the right footing and have prepared yourself and your team for success.
Define your selection criteria
The first logical stage is to define the selection criteria for your new HR system. There may be an internal conversation beforehand regarding cost. Depending on how your business allocates budget, you may already know how this could impact your approach. However, there’s always room to discuss this later – wait till we get to business cases in our next blog article!
Defining selection criteria doesn’t have to be a one-person job. It’s an excellent opportunity for a team exercise. Set up a team of relevant members who have a stake in a new system. Evaluate your current business operations and how software can fit into them. Organise activities to define their existing processes and jobs and where the new system could help. You can then define these functions as ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ and use that as the foundation of your system criteria.
It is important also to consider involving individuals from other departments for their input and opinions. For example, if you’re using a self-service portal, do you need to bring someone in from marketing or internal communications? Do you need to include IT to discuss single sign on and security needs?
Research system availability
Another great way to get insight into what you need your system to do is to undertake market research on the available HR systems. Aside from online, software expositions are an excellent place for this (such as at the recent CIPD Festival of Work). You can also contact vendors and seek informed opinions from colleagues who use software systems. Finally, consider consultants as potential resources to find the right fit for your business. Once you’ve seen what’s on offer, you can ‘cherry-pick’ the functionality you like and think will address your organisation’s needs.
Create a selection criteria checklist
Once you’ve gathered the information on all the functionality you’re looking for, create a selection criteria checklist and use this to assess which systems are most compatible when you go out to market. These criteria will help you decide whether a system is the right fit for your business. Additionally, you can invite potential HR software vendors to demonstrate their products and make notes against your criteria in this document.
Create an evaluation document
Once you have vetted potential vendors, create an ‘evaluation document’ Use this to assess shortlisted vendors against each other. It provides transparency for your system selection as you take it to the next stage of procurement. It is important to ensure that the potential vendor’s product works with your existing systems. Additionally, check whether the vendor has experience in your industry—this can increase the likelihood of a successful implementation.
Vendor and partner considerations
It’s not just the system functionality that you need to select criteria for. In addition, there are other important considerations when choosing a vendor or partner that you want to work with. Considerations such as the financial security of the implementers, scalability of the product, support model upon go live, implementation methodology, and more can all play a significant part in differentiating the right product for your business. Implementation is vital to getting your new system up and running. Therefore, it is good to ascertain how the vendor will ensure a successful implementation.
This step will be especially important if you anticipate an involved implementation. Working with a vendor that understands how your business works provides a distinct advantage and allows for things such as industry best practices to be built into the system. Additionally, it is essential to consider the type of support and training a vendor can provide. Ongoing post-implementation support ensures you get the most out of your system and see ROI.
This post was written by Tugela People. They are an exhibitor on the Consulting & Advisory Partner floor of the HRTech247 Partners Hall here.