What to look for in a standout HRMS RFP response

Okay, your HRMS RFP (Request for Proposal) is done. With great clarity, it lays out exactly what you’re looking for from your next system. It invites vendors to submit their pitch or proposal as to just why they are exactly what you need to take your HR technology to the next level. But what constitutes a good response? How do you recognize a truly standout vendor when you see it?

They understand your requirements

The first (and basic) indicator is that they understand what you’re asking for. If one of your priorities is to address problems with payroll processing, a standout response not only details the vendor’s cutting edge payroll module but also outlines the specific business benefits that the module will bring to your organization. In other words, they not only understand what you’re asking for, they also understand why you need it.

They provide all the essential supporting information

Aside from your technical and functional needs, there are a number of other factors which will determine the success or failure of your HRMS project.

How clear is the vendor on timescales? You have a go-live date in mind and included it in your HRMS RFP. Naturally, every response will say that deadline can be met. But a standout response will go into detail about how it will be met, providing details of resources, scheduling and contingency plans so that you are convinced that the vendor has thought through your requirements.

Our step-by-step guide to creating the perfect HRMS RFP helps you create an RFP that gets the best responses possible from vendors

Who is going to be delivering your HRMS? A standout response will be open about the vendor’s key personnel, their qualifications, their background and experience, their skills, and – importantly – how many HRMS implementations have these people done before?

Cost can be another point that distinguishes between a regular and a standout response to you RFP. What you’re looking for is detail. Whether it’s a license or a subscription package, what’s the pricing structure? What factors may increase the overall price – user numbers, customization, additional post-implementation support? However, low the stated cost, if it’s low on detail too then you should be wary.

They’re open about themselves

However slick and shiny the actual product, you need to know that the vendor organization is sufficiently stable to support in the long-term (or at least for as long as you intend to use the system). What’s their track record? What references and testimonials can they provide (from clients with similar requirements to you)? How financially stable are they?

Finally, with all your requirements met, look for the added value. What does the vendor’s response offer that you might need in the future. Social collaboration tools? Predictive analytics? Gamified onboarding? You should definitely not be distracted by these additional features but as long as the vendor is fully meeting your stated requirements then you can give ‘extra points’ when they more than meet your needs.

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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