6 Steps to Finding the Right HRMS Consultant

It’s the eternal question whether you’re painting the bathroom or buying a new HRMS, DIY or get an expert in? Leaving aside the bathroom, if you’ve decided you could use some help with your HR technology, then it helps to have a clear idea of how to go about choosing the right person (after all, just because they own their own paint brush and ladders, they’re not necessarily the painter for you).

In a sense, the process is similar to recruiting any new member of staff, it’s just that in this case, they’re being asked to fill a very specialised and temporary need. The following step-by-step process can be used as a template approach:

Step 1: Look at the various stages of the project: requirements definition, vendor shortlisting, system selection, process review and optimisation, installation (on-site or cloud), data migration, user testing, user training, go-live, post-implementation evaluation, and so on.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Selection Survival Guide - Your Guide to Requirements Gathering, ROI and More

Step 2: Consider your internal resources – people, skills, knowledge, experience, availability – and decide which you need help with. Also consider that you might want an expert involved or on-hand throughout the whole process, taking a more umbrella role such as change or project management.

Step 3: Draw up a role specification that lays out the functions, responsibilities, skills, experience, etc. that clearly states in a nutshell what kind of HRMS consultant you’re looking for.

Step 4: Invite proposals based on the specification. Don’t be shy about asking for details of proposed services and deliverables, costs (including any hidden elements) and a project timeline. What’s more, check into the structure and financial state of the consultancy business itself – you don’t want them folding part-way through. Finally, check references from satisfied clients.

Step 5: When you get to the stage of meeting face-to-face with your potential HRMS consultant, remember that as well as looking for someone who ‘ticks all the boxes’ on the specification, you also need a consultant who will be a good fit with the culture of your organisation.

Step 6: Weigh up the options, make a decision, communicate it, and start planning the onboarding process that will enable them to hit the ground running (as the cliché goes).

To help you with the decision process, there are two additional factors to take into account. First of all, there is the cost. Consultants of any type are rarely cheap labour (hence the rigorous selection process) and you need to carry out some kind of cost-benefit analysis to be sure that consultancy costs will be offset by the savings inherent in a smoother-running HRMS project. Secondly, bear in mind who they will be dealing with. High level project and change management means probably board level. User engagement and training involves ‘frontline’ contact. Whoever you choose must be credible to their audience.

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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