3 Top HRMS Requirements Gathering Strategies

Let’s be honest, a new HRMS is rarely the first funding priority businesses want to tackle. In fact, Financials, CRM, and even broad-scale ERP projects will likely be started long before an HRMS is even considered. Even so, it’s hard to argue with the fact that few pieces of enterprise software can positively affect as many employees as an organization’s HR application. After all, aside from the immediate benefits of improved organization and automation, features such as effective performance, learning, and benefits management are playing an ever-increasing role in employee attraction, engagement, and retention.

Recommended reading: 52-step HRMS software selection checklist

So how can today’s HR leaders reconcile this disparity? Well first off, making the argument for HR technology spending means building a business case that speaks in terms (and metrics) company executives understand; such as TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment). Essentially, your organization’s leaders want to know how a new HRMS is going to affect the bottom line. And in order to achieve that, one of the most crucial elements to address is determining what exactly the new HR system must accomplish—a step often referred to as a “needs analysis”, “elicitation”, or more appropriately “HRMS requirements gathering”. The three strategies listed below will help get you there.

1. Look at What You Have

Before gauging what your new application requires it’s critical to baseline your current processes. This will provide a thorough understanding of how the current HR system is being used, what the shortcomings are, and provide an objective benchmark for what additional capabilities are needed.

2. Gather Input about What You Want

The HR department cannot and should not try to go it alone when compiling the HRMS requirements list. After all, system reports might be needed by executives, self-service capabilities could be a necessity for employees, and payroll integration could be a must-have for the business’s accounting professionals. As such, it’s imperative that focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one interviews (for system “super-users”) be completed to ensure all opinions are heard. The best advice is to start by involving a broad cross-section of roles in order to account for the myriad issues and concerns at play.

3. Be Specific about What You Need

Specificity is the bread of life when it comes to HRMS requirements gathering, and entails digging deep into the details of what the HR application needs to accomplish. For instance, don’t settle for merely indicating that Benefits Administration capabilities are needed if more specifically the elements of investments, employee self-service, event management, and compliance are required. Of course, once these details have been identified, you’ll be faced with a requirements list that includes hundreds if not thousands of specifications. But ultimately that’s a good thing; not only will you know exactly what you need, but you’ll also be able to get to a vendor shortlist much faster.

author image
Micah Fairchild

About the author…

Micah Fairchild is a writer and editorial specialist, former Associate HR Director, and most recently Editor-in-Chief.

author image
Micah Fairchild