How to whittle down your HRMS vendor shortlist

Are you preparing to choose a new HRMS? There are many products on the market so it can be difficult to narrow down your selection. What criteria or tests can you use to reduce the size of your HRMS vendor shortlist so that you are positioned to choose the best system to meet your requirements?

1) Consider your intended vendors from a perspective inside and outside of HR

There are niche HRMS products on the market that specialize in specific functions such as talent management or compensation and provide deep insight into these areas. Alternatively your company could go with a general HRMS that covers the entire employee lifecycle to have everything in one product.

HR colleagues may focus on the HRMS features that make their job easier, but sometimes that user friendly functionality can impact the bottom line. Consider non-HR opinions such as the long-term costs attributed to technology and your organization’s strategic direction for software ownership to help decide which products should make it to the next round.

2) Quantify your requirements

In HR, we are more likely to manage on ‘people’ aspects such as personal relationships and gut feelings than other functions. However, beginning with documented requirements and then going through the exercise of assigning priorities and weighting to them will help you to focus your HRMS vendor shortlist and applications that can deliver.

Various stakeholders will have different opinions on needed functionality, but your company must come to an overall consensus on each requirement, rating it on a scale such as ‘nice to have’ through to ‘critical’ and giving each item a corresponding numerical value, using a scale of one through five. Once you have completed your internal discussions on this topic, you’ll have a master list that can be used to rate each vendor on every line item, from ‘5=exceeds requirement’ down to ‘1=cannot meet requirement.’ Then, it is only a matter of calculating the scores.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Begin your HRMS vendor shortlist here

Often we see during this exercise that a vendor who has a strong sales team or a past relationship with someone on your selection team will not make the short list due to this objective way of looking at the software fit.

3) Bring in HRMS consultants for expert advice

In personal life, when you’re investing thousands of dollars into a property, an outsider’s unbiased and informed opinion is considered essential. A new HRMS is a similar investment of time and money, so it should be given the same attention. An HRMS consultant can help you to see past the sales pitch and internal politics to provide crucial, targeted insight. A seasoned insider will provide expertise on vendors and will help you to move towards your final short list by identifying make or break situations where vendors should be removed from your consideration. I’ve seen situations where a company has an almost complete fit for an HRMS but with a critical gap, such as the lack of position management. A gap on an essential item should remove a prospective vendor from your HRMS vendor shortlist.

author image
Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

author image
Heather Batyski