How to factor HRMS user requirements into selection

Knowing what you want before you begin to search for it is the key to a successful HRMS selection (well, the first key, that is). When drawing up your wish list, there are three main sets of requirements: business, user, and technical. Arguably, getting the user requirements right and then meeting them is the most critical of the three. After all, the business needs are relatively easy (read your strategic business plan!) and any technical shortfalls will be fixed largely behind the scenes. If, however, you fail your users they may not give you or the HRMS a second chance.

Importance of factoring in end-users into selection

Of all your stakeholder groups for an HRMS project, employee users are the largest. They’re also perhaps the most important. Yes, the C-suite or the HR Director may have more influence but at the end of the day, the test of your new system is whether people use it. And your biggest user group can make the difference between project success and failure in the sense that user adoption is critical – it doesn’t matter how great the software is if half of your workforce actively avoids using it. Key tactics for driving up user adoption include excellent user training in the new system, moving away from the ‘old’ ways of accessing HR services, easy-to-use interfaces, and genuinely useful self-service features.

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There’s also the money argument. Ultimately you want your new HRMS to give you the best possible return on investment and for every worker not using the new system, your ROI falls.

Functionalities important to end-users

What do users want from an HRMS?

  • Ease of use – an engaging and straightforward user experience is important. Software with a familiar appearance is reassuring and invites more use. The UX should offer standard or obvious icons and buttons, operate in a way that users are comfortable with, and offer in-process help options. Ideally, someone should be able to figure it out without external instructions (though user training is important, of course – best not leave things to chance, eh?).
  • Configurable – people like to customize their workspace and their virtual, on-screen ‘office’ is no different. You may have non-negotiable corporate branding but allowing people to change the layout of their home screen or dashboard is definitely engaging.
  • Single sign-on – people want to use the various HRMS services and those in your other business systems without having to repeatedly type in a username and password throughout the day.
  • Accessibility – mobile functionality is important these days. Working hours (and locations) are increasingly flexible and people want to be able to tap into HR when it suits them which means offering access anytime, anywhere.
  • Self-service – to build on the above point, self-service HRMS functions give employees both actual and perceived control over their basic HR services. Features such as online payslips, access to tax reports and other deduction statements, updating personal details and payment methods, paid time off requests, and online benefits enrolment are both common and popular.

Are employee user requirements more important than those of, say, the C-suite? No, of course not. But whereas a CEO or HR Director might have a direct influence on the project (do this, don’t do that, etc.), your users can have just as fundamental effect on project success but do so more indirectly, which means you can’t tell what to do, you have to influence them into embracing your new HRMS.

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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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