HRMS Selection: Final Decision, First Roll of the Dice

The shortlisting process is over, the contenders have demonstrated their products to your HRMS selection team and after rigorous assessment and discussion, you think you have a ‘winner’. It’s time to make the final decision and there are just one or two final checks.


First of all, it is best not to obsess about the price tag for HRMS. Of course, price is important and can be a significant influence on ‘time to value’ but all too often it becomes the final deciding criterion. Yes, budgets are finite but of equal or greater importance is the system’s fitness for purpose.

Stakeholder Engagement

Hopefully, the process of HRMS requirements gathering and the fielding of a diverse and representative HRMS selection team will have helped you engage with key stakeholders at every level of the business. However, before you take the plunge and start drawing up contracts, it may be worth testing the stakeholder water with your HRMS choice. After all, these are the people who have to live with and, if necessary, work around your decision and therefore their support is important.

Look to senior level influencers for ‘political’ and hierarchical backing and system users for more ‘grassroots’ endorsement. Talking to the C-suite or equivalent will create top level support for the system as it is implemented and teething troubles are addressed. Likewise, system users are an essential source of feedback in the early days of system use, helping you to iron out inevitable wrinkles quickly and efficiently.

Follow Up References

All HRMS vendors under consideration will have provided references; reputedly satisfied and delighted clients and customers who will be only too happy to extol their system’s virtues. Although it is a less ‘exciting’ task then sitting in on the software demos, it is critical that you follow up on the vendor company’s references.

Check out whether the referees are in the same line of business as you. Ask them about the purchase and HRMS implementation process; how smooth was it; how did the vendor (or their agents) respond when problems arose; what compromises, if any, were made. How did they measure the return on their investment and did they get that return?

Just do it!

Finally, all the data is in, there is no one else you can ask or consult: if you are the final decision-maker then it’s time to decide! (Or at the very least, make your recommendation to the board.)

Be as sure as you can be, make a decision and then don’t waste too much time looking backwards. After all, as American psychotherapist and author Sheldon Kopp once said;

“Every decision is made on the basis of insufficient information.”

So, once you’ve made your decision, look forward to the next stage of your HRMS transformation. After HRMS selection comes, implementation, training and more staff engagement, early evaluation of ROI indicators, longer term optimization and evaluation, and ongoing enhancements to keep pace with changes in business practice, market, legislation, etc. HRMS is not so much a purchase as a process.

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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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