Your top five priorities for selecting an HRMS

The biggest mistake people make when selecting a new HRMS is to think they’re shopping for software alone. They create a list of all the features they want, reach out to a bunch of vendors, see which one offers all or most of the features on the list, factor in budget, and then make a purchase.

The trouble with that process, though, is that you’ll find yourself back at square one in a few years. If you select software that addresses only your most immediate needs at the time of purchase, you won’t be able to adapt to the challenges of tomorrow and the company’s future goals and objectives.

So how do you choose an HRMS that’s a complete solution and not just a software? As you shop around, keep these five priorities in mind.

1. Select an HRMS that covers your foundational transactions

At its core, the right HRMS must be able to handle your most common, foundational activities. Take some time to list your top ten workflows, whether that’s compiling reports or approving time-off requests. Then, when you view a live demo or take a test run of each potential system, measure how long it takes to get through those exact workflows. Count how many clicks or steps there are for each process so you can determine if that software will truly streamline your day-to-day tasks.

And remember to focus on usability rather than powerful features. Are you going to be able to easily adopt the system? Is your entire organization going to be able to adopt this system?

2. Select an HRMS with features your employees will actually use

As you consider the adoptability of the software for your organization, think about the features that your employees and managers will actually use. To figure this out, make a list of how employees and managers interact with your HR department at present. Do employees ask a lot of questions about benefits? Are managers backlogged with approval forms?

Manage the HRMS selection process effectively with this step-by-step HRMS selection checklist

When you understand the needs of your organization’s people, you can select an HRMS that addresses those problems. Not only will a system like that ease the burden of HR, but it will also win the buy-in of everyone involved.

3. Select an HRMS that automates your communications

Out of all the features HRMS could offer, make sure the one you choose helps HR automate their most common communications. Your HR department has a time-intensive role in distributing information and managing approval for foundational concerns. With no help or automation, answering questions and sending out info can completely fill HR’s schedule.

Instead, offload the burden of communication onto an HRMS. An effective HRMS will facilitate an employee’s self-service requests in real time and in a way that’s easy to understand. Many systems may also provide mobile access, empowering employees to interact with your organization whenever they’re ready to learn and respond.

And when HR doesn’t have to manage the constant stream of employee requests, they can focus on more strategic, meaningful efforts to grow and improve the organization.

4. Select an HRMS with easy and accessible data storage

Your decisions are only as good as your data. But your data is only useful if you can access it and use it to form conclusions. Find an HRMS that not only helps you collect important data, but also allows you to access and use it whenever you need.

Which brings us to our final priority...

5. Choose an HRMS with robust analytical and reporting tools

Analyzing and making connections is the human side of human resources, a part that no technology will ever replace. But an effective HRMS will empower HR to draw these conclusions faster and more confidently. Look for a system that provides you with a robust spread of template reports as well as the ability to display and cross-reference metrics for your own custom reports.

Powerful reporting tools will allow an HRMS to adapt to your organization’s needs as they develop and change. You might focus only on basic reports now, but perhaps down the road you will need to move deeper. A good HRMS helps you do that.


Keep these five criteria top-of-mind as you research your HRMS options. If you consider your needs today as well as the challenges you may face in the future, you’ll avoid settling for a flimsy, temporary fix. Instead, you’ll be able to choose a solution that will grow and adapt alongside your organization for years to come.

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Tori Fica

About the author…

Tori Fica is an HR Copywriter for BambooHR, an HR software solution for small and medium businesses. Through research, analysis, and writing, she creates content to help HR professionals think and plan more strategically. Her focus is providing actionable ideas based on the latest trends in HR.

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Tori Fica

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