Four types of HRMS consultant and what they can do for you

Once you’ve made a decision to engage a consultant there are still choices to be made. Should you select an HRMS generalist to cover all of your consulting needs? Would a vendor’s own consultant be best? Should you try for technology neutral consultants on your HRMS selection and then transition to implementation experts? There are so many options to consider, here are key highlights of each role.

1. HRMS generalist consultant

A generalist is a ‘jack of all trades’ who has years of experience and has seen and done it all. Some companies regularly engage the same generalist as projects are approved in the HR systems area. A generalist might not know the intricate details of an application or all of the business requirements but their strength is in the big picture. A generalist sees the whole HR technology landscape and how employees, managers and HR will use the HRMS. Your generalist should also be an expert in your corporate culture so they can effectively measure the change management impacts of any software decisions.

Guide: working with HRMS consultants - five steps to success

2. HRMS selection consultant

A selection consultant is an expert in HR processes and the HRMS on the market. A selection consultant can help you to finalize and prioritize your business requirements. A strong selection consultant will know the details of many HRMS and will help you to winnow down your shortlist. Engage your selection consultant through the software demo phase as they can ask the difficult questions to your prospective vendors. An effective selection consultant will help you to make the best choice of HRMS as the completion step of their engagement.

3. HRMS implementation consultant

An implementation consultant can be brought in after the selection process has completed. Some third party consulting companies specialize in implementation efforts so they’ve streamlined the process of collecting or extracting data and loading it into a new system. Implementation consultants are experts in only a handful of HRMS at most so they are well suited to configure your system.

In some cases you may find consultants who perform dual roles, they focus on selection and implementation. It’s fine to choose a multipurpose resource but be diligent that their recommendation is not weighted toward the software they know based on personal bias.

4. HRMS vendor consultant

There is an option to use the vendor’s own consultants as you implement your HRMS. A vendor’s consultant will be the absolute expert on a vendor’s HRMS. A vendor’s consultant may be the best choice if you plan to use the HRMS extensively and have complex or challenging requirements. Vendor consultants can draw on their experience of how other customers have implemented similar requirements. They can be your inside connection to the vendor’s development team to know what functionality is in the pipeline or to escalate software fixes. If you are implementing a new HRMS and want to quickly become local experts a vendor’s own consultants may be the best option.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski

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