A template for your HRMS demo

The one trait common to all HRMS selection projects should be rigor. This is especially important at the demo stage where you are getting up close and personal with the proposed system; a system that your organization may have to live with for some years.

Recommended reading: make the best HRMS selection decision possible using our five-step guide to mastering HRMS demos

The HRMS demo is your chance for a comparison between the detailed needs you have painstakingly drawn up as part of the initial business case for the system and refined through stakeholder engagement. The following is a broad, step by step HRMS demo template into which you can drop your requirements in order to help you with product comparisons. Your final demo may look a little different and that’s okay, it should reflect your specific circumstances; but using this template as a starting point will ensure the essentials are covered.

System specification

1. System overview – log in, menus, switching between processes and modules.

2. User experience – interface, screen, field and process customization, search facilities.

3. HR functions – employee records management, recruitment, onboarding, benefits administration, payroll, performance management, learning and development, talent management & succession planning, etc. (Not all of these may apply, or you may have extras).

4. Document storage – capture/input/scanning/retrieval.

5. Mobile functionality – including device management and any BYOD implications.

6. Self-service functionality – employees/all users, managers, C-suite.

7. HR analytics – be clear on what reports and metrics you must have, would like to have, and then ask what else it can do.

8. Integration – what other HR or business intelligence software does it need to ‘talk to’ and how will the vendor guarantee that happens smoothly?


Covering the key issues faced by businesses selecting and implementing HRMS.


Broader issues

9. Data security – protection from both external and internal threats; disaster recover; if it’s a cloud system, where is the data stored?

10. Compliance - Do they have SSAE 16 audit certification relating to their internal systems and controls?

11. Implementation timescales – realistically when can it be up and running (expect a cloud systems to be faster).

12. Pricing model – is the system licensed or on a subscription basis? Are maintenance and update/upgrade/support costs included? How does the vendor’s price compare to the total cost of ownership (TCO) including the following, often hidden, costs:

  • System installation
  • System upgrades
  • System maintenance costs - IT costs specifically related to maintaining the system
  • Direct labor costs - staff necessary to support the system
  • Direct non-labor costs – consultants, vendor fees and facilities, and any related overheads
  • Indirect labor costs - labor costs for employees involved in ‘HR activity’ (e.g., collection of staff data, timesheet approvals, answering staff questions, etc.)

13. Vendor stability – check the vendor’s viability as a long-term supplier/service provider: How long have they been in business? How many clients do they have? Are they HR(MS) specialists? What references or testimonials can be provided?

Follow this HRMS demo template and you will have a clear and consistent set of criteria on which you can compare and judge prospective HRMS solutions.

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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

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