One of the hallmarks of today’s software solutions — whether you’re shopping for ERP or HR software or something else — is automation. Processes that used to be manual and labor intensive are now handled by the software instantly and automatically. Today’s HR software solutions go way beyond the ordinary payroll handling and offer a variety of workforce management functionality, including employee skills development, social media features, and mobile capabilities. In the market for a new HR software solution? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s your step-by-step guide to choosing the right software for your company.
Research Your Options & Determine What Features You Need
There are three basic types of HR software solutions the enterprise has to choose from:
• HRIS (Human Resource Information System) — Extremely similar to HRMS, HIRS is a system that conglomerates the functionality of HR and IT. It empowers electronic handling of all HR activities.
• HRMS (Human Resource Management System) — This HR software solution consolidates most usual HR functions, including the administration of benefits packages, payroll administration, the processes of recruiting and training, performance reviews, etc., all into a single, comprehensive package.
• HCM (Human Capital Management) — These systems are beginning to edge out the traditional HRMS and HIRS systems. It is an umbrella term for software that integrates employee records with modern talent management activities.
As you can see, the lines separating these systems are quite blurred. That’s why it’s best to conduct a feature-by-feature analysis of any software you’re considering. Many times, when features seem extraordinarily similar, the vendor is what sets the systems apart. Always go with the vendor with the highest customer satisfaction and customer service ratings.
Set Your Budget
Are you surprised that this isn’t the first step? Well, you won’t really be able to accurately establish your budget until you’ve done your due diligence in researching what you need. The market for HR software solutions is crowded; solutions range from freeware to high-end enterprise-class software packages, along with everything in between. First, find out what’s out there. Then set a budget according to the features and functionality you actually need.
While you’re considering what you need and how much to spend, it’s a good idea to assess your need for data analytics capabilities. Many of the HR software solutions on the market today are able to analyze your data to optimize your HR practices. For example, some HR software can assess your current staff and glean information about your best hires that can be used to hire more stellar performers. Data analytics can also help you optimize the size of your staff and your work scheduling using your historical and current HR data.
Also, evaluate the pricing models among the various options on the market. For example, if you’re considering a cloud-based (SaaS) solution instead of on-premises software, your costs are likely to be based on the number of employees you have. On-premises solutions usually involve a large payment up front, while cloud services are generally a much lower payment that recurs monthly.
Issue a Request for Proposals
Now you’ve built your vehicle for getting to your ideal HR software solution, and it’s time to climb into the driver’s seat and let it take you there. You do this by establishing a Request for Proposal (RFP) that you send to all of the HR software vendors you’re interested in evaluating. Use the RFP to convey exactly what information you need to see in the proposal. Here are some potential requests to include:
• An overview of their company and how to differentiate their products from the competition
• What size businesses the software was developed for (a system that perfectly fits the SMB market is likely to be wholly inadequate for a global enterprise)
• A comprehensive list of their product’s features and selling points
• How much training and support is needed, how much training and support is provided with the base cost, and what additional training and support are available for an additional fee
• The technical specifications of the product (Does it fit in your existing IT infrastructure?)
• Total cost of ownership (Do your own math; don’t take vendors’ words as gospel truth.)
• A request for a product demonstration or trial period for testing
The market for HR software solutions is wide and deep, and often confusing. It can be incredibly helpful to have a tool for helping you make apples-to-apples HR software comparisons. Get an HR software pricing comparison now.