Your Guide to Software Selection

Help! I Need HR Software and I Have No Idea Where to Start

Your company has grown over the past few years, and the spreadsheets you’re currently using to track employee information, payroll, benefits and everything in between just aren’t cutting it anymore. If you see one more pivot table, you may scream.

Before you continue down the path of Excel purgatory, it may be time to invest some time, effort and money into a comprehensive HR software platform. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:

1. Figure out your timeline, budget and project team

The HR team may be leading the charge, but it’s likely that you will have some other stakeholders involved in the process. You may want to include someone from finance and IT, for starters.

In developing the timeline, allow enough time to adequately evaluate your requirements and how those software tools address those requirements. This won’t be an overnight project, so don’t rush it. Many organizations spend several months selecting their HR software.

As with any project, cost is a consideration. Some HR software is priced per employee or per user, so you’ll need to compare vendor costs to determine which provider gives you the best value for your money. Some products may be out of reach because they are cost prohibitive.

2. Conduct a needs assessment

First, you need to determine what you’re hoping to achieve with HR software. What are the must-haves, nice-to-haves and features that will take your spreadsheets and transform them into a single, comprehensive solution? You’ll want to think about the entire employee lifecycle and consider system functionality for talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, learning and development, benefits, payroll and termination. It’s possible that you may not need a software product to assist you in every area, but it’s helpful to think through where the software could assist you in each of your HR processes.

You should also think about scalability. As your organization grows, what additional HR software needs will you have? If you’re not sure, this may be a good question to ask your HR colleagues who work for larger companies.

3. Start a competitive bid process

Once you have your requirements in place, it’s time to start a competitive bid process. Initially, you should conduct some basic research on software products that are currently available in the HR space. You can ask other HR pros what they like and don’t like about their current systems. Take this information into consideration and compare it against your requirements.

Once you have a short list of vendors, reach out to your top three or four. Most vendors are more than willing to set up product demos and walk you through the ins and outs of their software. You may want to conduct a formal request for proposal (RFP) process, where you ask vendors to answer specific questions about what they provide. At a minimum, you’ll want to ask about data conversion. How are you going to convert your spreadsheets, and who will be responsible for importing data into the new system?

4. Check on data integrity

Much like many technology platforms, you need to ensure that you have good data to go into a new HR system. If your spreadsheets are out of date or missing critical information, now is the time to clean up those data sets so you can start with good information in the new system.

5. Develop an implementation schedule

You will need to include data conversion, user training and a rollout schedule for users. In some cases, it makes sense to start with a pilot group that will be the power users of the system. Once they are up and running, you can roll out the system to a wider employee population.

If you take the time to work through these steps, your HR software should make your life a lot easier. Good luck!

Amanda HaddawayHelp! I Need HR Software and I Have No Idea Where to Start

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