There’s the hope and anticipation about what the software might be able to achieve, the pressures it could alleviate and problems it can solve. But there’s also the research phase – getting up to speed on all the options, features and terminology, auditing current processes, consulting stakeholders, and meeting with potential vendors. All of which represent significant time and financial costs to your business.
Every software selection process needs a plan, and today we’re talking about five of the lesser-known things to consider when making your plan, to ensure you not only get the best HR software for your current needs, but one that will support you into the future. You can download the checklist FREE below to save it for later.
1. Who’s using it?
This might seem pretty obvious, but it’s worthwhile taking the time to really map who will/could be using the HR software. Is it just your HR team, or do you want managers to use it too? What things do you want them to do? For example, to:
- Onboard new team members.
- Roll out and manage training and development.
- Conduct performance reviews.
- Keep diary notes.
- Use analytics to understand and drive performance and happiness.
What about your staff? What are the basics that you need them to be able to do on the system? What would you like them to be able to do? Self-service systems like intelliHR allow employees to perform a variety of actions like:
- Updating personal details.
- Adding and renewing licenses, certificates and vaccinations.
- Providing feedback or requesting assistance when it’s needed.
- Reviewing and signing off on policies.
By putting the power in each employee’s hands, this ultimately takes the burden off HR. Be sure to test-out what the user experience is like for employees (e.g. Is it easy to use, navigate, and complete tasks? Is it self-explanatory or will they need training?). If it’s not a good user experience, your staff won’t want to use it, and your system will be at risk of low adoption.
2. What’s your future state?
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with HR software is choosing a system that only solves their current problems (i.e. separate systems, outdated interfaces, or clunky reporting), forgetting to anticipate future ones.
Rather than focusing on yesterday’s problems, think about your future state and priorities:
- Where do you want to be in 1, 2 and 5 years?
- What else can the tech do and will it keep up with your growth?
- If you eliminate all of the busy work, what strategic tasks do you want to focus on?
This is also important to be aware of when you consider costs. If you’re paying for a system that charges $15 per user and you’re planning to double your headcount over the next 2 years, then that will be double the cost.
3. Best-of-breed vs all-in-one?
With HR expert Josh Bersin recently saying that best-of-breed systems win out over all-in-one (because you rarely use all the features anyway), this is a key consideration to make.
By doing fewer things, but doing them really well (rather than trying to do it all), a best-of-breed platform provides more depth and a better user experience compared to all-in-one. You get the flexibility to keep the tools you already love (this might be your payroll and ATS) because you can connect them to your best-of-breed HR system, which is built to talk to other platforms. And because your eggs aren’t all in the one basket, if a tool isn’t working, you can simply switch it out rather than having to uproot all of your tech.
4. Does it play well with your other systems?
Following on from the last point, if you choose a best-of-breed platform, or even all-in-one, be sure to investigate how well it integrates with or talks to your existing tools, for example with your ATS, payroll or learning management system. This might be through a direct integration if one has been built between the products, API or a third-party connector tool like Zapier.
It’s also worth confirming what support you will receive from each of the vendors with regards to the integration, and if their customer support teams will help you set it up.
5. What are their customers saying?
Don’t just take the sales person’s word for it.
The best place to go to see how customers really feel about a software system is review sites. Go hunting for reviews on sites like Capterra, G2, Software Advice, and Trust Radius. These will give you a more well-rounded and accurate picture of what the strengths and pitfalls of the product are, what the customer service is like, and if the platform is keeping up with the needs of their customers.
It’s also worth asking for a referral to talk to an existing customer. Although your rep is likely to give you the cream of the crop, having a one-to-one conversation allows you to get detailed answers to questions that are unique to your organization, and a real idea of how the system works.
Want to keep this checklist for later? Download it FREE below