Choosing an HRMS Consultant
HRMS implementation alone is perfectly possible; handling the technical installation, data migration, integration with other systems alongside the user engagement and training can be done entirely in-house by the purchasing organization. However, many owners of a shiny new HRMS do choose to buy in some external niche expertise to help the process go as smoothly as possible (in fact, many bring in outside help for the selection process too). Indeed, despite the daunting hourly or daily rate, an HRMS consultant can prove to be good value for money when they keep your HRMS implementation on track and deliver on your agreed go-live date. So, the key issue is picking the right one….
When hiring expert help, you need to be reassured that your HRMS consultant is truly an expert. What is their experience in implementing HRMS? Is that their specialism or do they spend a lot of their professional time in other areas? In essence, do they have the knowledge that you as the client lack. After all, it is unlikely that your organization has installed many HRMS systems and even if you can recall the last installation, the internal people involved may well have moved on, taking their experience and knowledge with them. Ideally, you’re looking for an HRMS consultant who has handled dozens of HRMS implementations and understands the capabilities of such systems inside and out.
Cost, the Bottom Line
Price should not be a sole decision factor, however, of all the people involved in your HRMS project, the chances are your HRMS consultant has the highest hourly or daily rate pro rata and if project delays set in you will quickly see your budget leave your forecasts behind. Some up front planning can help here: agreeing the scope of each project element with the consultant, and also negotiating either a fixed project price or a capped daily fee can help keep a lid on cost when the unexpected happens.
You wouldn’t employ someone in your office without checking their references, why treat the recruitment of a consultant any differently? Given the pivotal role an HRMS consultant can play (and should play) you need to have an in-depth conversation with the past clients offering references. The key issues to explore are: scope of the project, budget performance, was the go-live deadline met, ROI performance, any post-implementation issues, and generally what problems arose and how did the consultant tackle them. All the time, you’re looking for high performance in an environment similar to your own.
Ultimately, whether to bring in an HRMS consultant may simply depend on the scale of your project and your business. If your new HRMS is a glorified database tracking 50 sets of employee details then clearly a consultant would be an expensive conceit. However, hundreds of employees across multiple sites in multiple roles, and a system that is expected to talk to ERP, CRM and payroll software may indicate you need all the expert help you can get. In which case, choose wisely.
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