Five benefits of choosing best-of-breed HRMS

When it comes to deciding your HR technology buying strategy, a key question is, should you go for a number best-of-breed options (e.g. the best time & attendance platform, the best payroll app, the best HR records software, etc.) or an integrated all-in-one solution?

On the surface, the best-of-breed approach has some significant drawbacks – not least the hurdle of getting different apps from different vendors to communicate with each other smoothly. Certainly, the all-in-one approach sidesteps this problem (or should!).

However, there is a lot to be said for making the extra effort involved in best-of-breed…

1. You’re only fixing the problems you have

If reason for buying is, say, the need for better applicant tracking software (ATS) to support your recruitment campaigns, then you can either buy the best ATS for your needs, or buy an ATS that is part of a larger system and comes with lots of features that you don’t really need or want; functions that you’re paying for. The best-of-breed option solves your problem. To get full value for money from the integrated option, you have to adopt various functions and processes that you didn’t require in the first place.

2. Faster implementation

It stands to reason that it’s quicker and easier to get a simpler system up and running. A one-function best-of-breed option requires less planning, less technical word, less user training, less stakeholder engagement… you get the point. Whereas a do-everything HRMS platform is a project that needs significantly greater time and resources to carry through.

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3. More up-to-date

Arguably, given its more limited functionality, a best-of-breed HRMS is easier for the vendor to keep up to date. For example, if a new law changes your mandatory benefits management recordkeeping responsibilities, both best-of-breed and integrated system vendors may respond quickly, developing a patch or update. However, with an integrated system, that patch will likely released as part of a wider update program, alongside fixes to other system functions. The best-of-breed vendor develops the patch, releases it, job done.

4. Better performance

A standalone software solution has one driver: to be the best at what it’s designed to do. However, an all-in-one HRMS is trying to cover so many bases, it can end up being jack of all trades, master of none. If your business needs a ‘jack-level’ system then no problem. But if you need the absolute best in one particular HR arena, then best-of-breed is more likely to hit the mark for you.

5. More customizable

If you have specific or unique requirements (whether in terms of process or even just corporate branding) then customizing best-of-breed HRMS tends to be easier and cheaper. All-in-one integrated solutions are more likely to experience a kind of ‘domino effect’ where adjusting one feature then impacts on other, connected features which then require their own adjustments, which in turn may impact on other… and so on.

Of course, this is not to say best-of-breed HRMS  is always the best option. Everything depends on your own particular needs and requirements. However, despite the easy attraction of the various integrated HRMS options on the market, sometimes it’s worth going for a more focused solution.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall