HRMS Consultants - What Are They For?

Unlike a bidet (whose purpose, let’s be honest, no-one is entirely sure of) an HRMS consultant can offer a number of beneficial functions to support your HRMS acquisition project – some related to the stage of the project and others concerning the role they can play. This gives you a number of options in terms of how you deploy their services; the flip side of which is, you need to decide exactly what you need an HRMS consultant for…

First of all, consider which ‘technical’ skill set you need the HRMS consultant to bring. The selection and implementation stages of the project can be broken down into a series of key stages and tasks, any one of which may need to be supplemented with external expertise.

Requirements Definition – Do you know what you need your new HRMS to do? How aware are you of what functionality is possible?

Vendor Vetting – Approaching the vast HRMS vendor landscape and whittling it down to a targeted shortlist of providers, any of which may prove to be a good fit, is an art in itself.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Navigate the HRMS Vendor Landscape

Demos and Decision-Making – Understanding what to ask, how to interpret what you see, not being sidetracked by sales pitches, and then weighting all the criteria appropriately to lead to a reasoned and sustainable decision is a process that can benefit from experience.

Contract Negotiation – Even when you have the right system, do you have the right deal? Having somebody on the team who is familiar with the various hidden extras can put you in a better position long-term.

Process Optimization and Design – A new HRMS is an opportunity to review (and likely re-design) some or all of your HR procedures; creating IT-friendly processes that take into account user self-service, mobile access, and so can be a mammoth project in its own right.

Data Conversion – These days, the chances are that you are switching from one HRMS to another. In which case, rigorous and effective data cleansing and migration is a fundamental success factor.

System Testing – Likewise, managing the process of testing, parallel running, dummy processes, etc. can be time-consuming.

Customizations and Adaptations – Customisability is a key feature that many organisations look for when selecting an HRMS; however, being able to fully leverage that feature can be another question entirely.

Finally, aside from all the focused and specific technical expertise that you might take advantage of, it’s worth considering the broader roles that an HRMS consultant might fill, such as the broader change management process. You might be fine on the technical stuff but want an objective external manager to steer the project. And let’s face it, having a one-step-removed expert to deliver some of those tough change messages sounds attractive, doesn’t it?

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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