HRMS selection advice I wish I heard before my first project
Selecting an HRMS is a major decision regardless of your company or expectations. How can you be sure that you are making the best choice? Here is some HRMS selection advice from those who have been there before, to help ensure that you are selecting the best HRMS possible.
1. Ask about future vendor plans
The vendor’s sales team can often paint a rosy picture. However, I’ve seen contracts signed and the next day a takeover by another provider is announced. I recommend you ask questions of the vendor about their future roadmap and product expectations. If a vendor does not have identified development or enhancements in the pipeline that can be a telling sign. It’s also worth asking how many improvements were delivered in the most recent release, as this can be an indicator of development funding. In addition, it can be helpful to ask about future acquisition activity. While many operate under a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ stance, some may be quite candid on future opportunities when directly approached on the topic.
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2. Be prepared to change course
Often there is an expectation of which vendor will be chosen based on current state, management influence or general expectations. It can come as a shock then when another vendor is a better match for requirements or when management changes the overall direction. A key piece of advice would be ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over,’ to quote Yogi Berra. Approach the selection process with an open mind and the potential that anything can change at any moment, as often it does.
3. Create openness and awareness inside and outside of HR regarding selection options
In earlier years, your HRMS was mainly a back office tool for HR, a simple database of employee data. The current generation of HR software systems are so much more than that, providing predictive analytics, social functionality and mobile options. Selecting an HRMS can no longer be an HR only decision. Input is needed across your organization in choosing the best software to meet your needs.
As you are going through the process, my HRMS selection advice is to document why other products are not a suitable fit, especially for ‘make it or break it’ items. I’ve seen cases where there is an acquisition or a high-level management change and a previously declined product is back up for review. Sometimes the previous showstoppers no longer apply, so it’s helpful to be able to review past decisions and roadblocks instead of starting again from scratch.
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