6 Ways to Build an HRMS Shortlist

You want a new HRMS system. Your business case is made. You have a clear idea of the features and functions you’re looking for, and the business goals they will have to support. Now you need to start finding HRMS vendors and products for your shortlist. So what are your options when it comes to building that list?

HMRS Shortlist Option #1: RFP The classic request for proposal will contain a detailed summary of your HRMS functionality requirements and is sent to vendors and resellers inviting them to pitch their product(s) based on how they meet your needs. In other words, an invitation to pitch for a place on your HRMS shortlist.

HMRS Shortlist Option #2: Recommendations As with any potential purchase, a recommendation for a particular vendor or HRMS system will carry some weight and rather than take a scattergun approach, it can be beneficial to actively seek out endorsements from trusted sources. Possible sources for recommendations are HRMS websites and forums, your own network of business contacts, and even vendor advertising and promotion.

HMRS Shortlist Option #3: Industry Analysts There are a lot of people making a living from their technology expertise and the HRMS field is no exception. HRMS analyst reports, reviews and articles are often freely available on the internet and contain objective advice and comparisons of the latest systems and features which may help you decide on which vendors to invite to pitch. Example reports include: Gartner’s Magic Quadrants, and Forrester's Wave reports.

HMRS Shortlist Option #4: No RFPs As a direct contradiction to Option #1, some pundits and commentators recommend you avoid the RFP route on the grounds that the process can take too long (months even). The alternative is to simply call round various HRMS vendors, outline your baseline HRMS requirements and ask if their system can meet them. This can be a quick way to build an HRMS shortlist and more detailed examination can follow later in the process.

HMRS Shortlist Option #5: An HRMS Consultant When in doubt, outsource. An HRMS consultant can – for a fee – provide market and technology expertise, guide you to the best buying decision and even support you through subsequent project stages. If you are considering engaging a consultant, you’re looking for someone with:

  • Understanding of the market
  • Experience of the buying (and implementation) process
  • Knowledge of available systems
  • A broad skillset (i.e. not just a ‘techie’ but also a project manager, a negotiator, etc.)
  • Objectivity

These five broad strategies should help you build a solid shortlist of potential vendors and/or products for your HRMS purchase – and of course other than numbers #1 and #5, they are not mutually exclusive and can be used in conjunction (#6).

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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