Features your employees want included in your HRMS RFP

Business cases, budgets, senior management expectations, ‘expert’ opinions… it might seem that putting together an RFP for your HRMS purchase can require ninja-level juggling ability. But in among all the other information and input, don’t forget your biggest HRMS stakeholder group: the workforce.

Why are employees’ needs important?

If this question really needs an answer then saying that it’s only fair and just to include all your stakeholders (and not just those controlling the project and/or its budget) probably won’t convince. To stick to more practical and tangible matters, let’s reiterate, employees are your biggest stakeholder group. They may not have a great deal of formal power vested in their roles but power they do have. Let’s face it, if no one uses your HRMS, it’s a failure; an expensive one. To encourage users to use, they need to see a benefit to themselves; hence the importance of finding out what they need and building that information into your HRMS RFP. Put simply, if you want ‘em to use it, give ‘em what they want!

HRMS requirements your employees may have

Employee user requirements may be many and varied, depending on role and responsibilities, but to draw out the across-the-board requirements:

  • Self-service: employees’ daily, routine HR transactions (clocking in, work schedules and rotas, requesting time off, etc.) have the most impact on their view of HR and the HRMS purely because these functions are so routine; people reasonably expect them to work, and work well.
  • Mobile access: not everyone works in an office, and not everyone has 9-5 hours. An HRMS with 24/7 access is more likely to see some user approval – it’s available at their convenience, not the company’s.
  • Personal development: just automating the standard performance appraisal system will likely get a few thumbs up. But building in personal development planning sends a clear message that you are focused on improving staff skills, equipping people for the future.
  • Onboarding: for new hires, those first few days (and the time between the job offer and starting work, for that matter) give a critical first impression of the organization. Automated onboarding can be used for a much more efficient and professional experience for starting staff.
  • Open communication: mainly thanks to social media, a large segment of the workforce is now accustomed to life online, with its user communities, information-sharing, and easy and instant communication. Many HRMS offer similar tools that allow people to interact with colleagues in a way that sidesteps traditional hierarchy.

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that HR automation and technology was originally designed with the delivery of HR services in mind; i.e. making HR more efficient (or if you prefer, making HR’s life easier). However, more and more the design focus is on the user, aiming to offer employees genuinely useful tools (making their lives easier, as well). If the software designers are user-focused, shouldn’t you be?

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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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