Choosing the right HR software for your organization can be a draining process. With so many vendors filling up the marketplace, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the options available and settle for the big and established corporate players in the game. However, failing to do extensive research during the search stage of the vendor selection process could lead to your organization to miss out on a software solution that better meets your organization’s unique needs.
There are plenty of small features and benefits that differentiate one vendor’s solution from the next. With that said, it’s crucial to focus on what’s really important when investing in HR software. Outlined below are four major software characteristics to take into consideration when evaluating software vendors.
The ultimate success of HR software depends on successful implementations. HR software implementations take a great amount of care and attention to detail from the vendor. Unfortunately, many of the larger vendors elect to complete the implementation process remotely, through web conferences and distant phone calls. True implementation success is found through in-person, on-site consultation.
Having certified project managers in your office to facilitate the software implementation and answer your questions is the secret to seeing a much faster time-to-value. During phone calls and software demonstrations with possible software vendors, be sure to inquire about their implementation process. How will it be conducted? How long will it take? Will consultation and best-practice guidance be provided? Will the implementation team know about your industry and unique specifications? A comprehensive implementation of HR software should take anywhere from 8-16 weeks. If you’re told anything shorter, it might be cause for concern.
When investing in HR software, it’s important to keep in mind that the software will be implemented throughout your entire organization and used daily. The decision you make will impact everyone at your organization. Having a software solution that’s aesthetically pleasing for the end-user is useless if the software is hard to navigate and impossible to use effectively.
When sitting through demos, make sure that you’re paying very close attention to the software’s functionality. How easy is it for employees to clock-in and clock-out? How long does it take for managers to view the reports they need to make strategic business decisions? How effectively can executives assess the productivity of their employees? Questions like these will help you determine how user friendly the software is.
Once you’ve selected your vendor and successfully implemented the software throughout all departments of your organization, the vendor’s customer support team will be your lifeline to handle all of your questions, concerns, or issues moving forward. With that said, you’re going to want to make sure that the customer support team is familiar with your implementation, easy to reach and, well, real.
These days, many of the larger software vendors rely on automated customer support systems to handle the hundreds of simultaneous incoming calls coming their way at any given time. Since most HR issues are time sensitive, they require immediate attention from an individual that can act right then and there. When evaluating vendors, make sure that they have a real-life, dedicated team of specialists that have the knowledge and ability to resolve your issues, not just log a ticket for you.
When evaluating different software vendors, ask yourself, “How much do they really know about my industry?” The biggest names in the HR software industry often spread themselves a mile wide and an inch thick, serving hundreds of industries without any real industry expertise. When problems arise that are specific to your organization, are they going to know what to do? Probably not, at least not immediately.
It’s smart to find vendors that focus on, and have had experience in, your specific industry. Such vendors can help you navigate your industry’s evolving landscape and tackle challenges as they arise. Partnering with vendors with in-depth industry expertise is how strong, long-lasting relationships are formed. Software vendors with little to no industry expertise will only be able to take you so far for so long.
There are many additional characteristics of HR software to consider when choosing your vendor. With that said, the implementation process, the user friendliness of the software, the customer support team, and the level of industry expertise are four crucial elements that should be reviewed in great detail. An investment of this caliber this will affect all of your employees and will likely be a cornerstone of your organization for years to come. With that said, you must be sure that the vendor you choose is as invested in making your organization successful as you are.