1. Remove the blinkers
The purpose of technology is to bring change for the better, not change for the sake of it. Avoid choosing a product that is more complicated than necessary, by making sure all those involved in the decision-making process look at software in the wider context.
Many HR departments are still heavily reliant on manual systems. By automating tasks, you can reduce admin and free up your team to do more value-added and strategic work. Cost-savings come not just from streamlined processes but from using the software to address specific business issues.
2. Bring the team together
Make a robust business case for the software, by showing how it can positively impact the bottom line. Gather feedback from all necessary parties during implementation, and ensure software requirements are tightly based on this business case.
3. Future-proof the project
Ensure that the software is flexible and configurable enough to grow with the business’ needs. Quiz vendors on product roadmaps and find out how many upgrades can be expected within a specific timeframe. Also ask about strategies for adapting software for regulatory and legislative changes.
4. Consider integration
Next, decide whether the HR software will be a standalone system or integrated with others such as payroll, time and attendance or recruitment programmes. By running such systems from a single database you can save time, eliminate the duplication of data entry and reduce the margin for error.
5. Head for the clouds
Take a hosted or Cloud-based approach. This can make upgrading software and switching on future modules far easier and cheaper than the traditional client-server implementation.
6. Check track records
Ask to visit client reference sites of your shortlist of vendors. Prepare a thorough list of questions and don’t be too shocked if there have been problems – the nature of software implementation means there will inevitably be challenges, and it is more important to learn how the vendor overcame them.
Next, work with your chosen supplier to put together an implementation plan and build a team. Ask the questions: Is it necessary to pilot the system first or run the new system in parallel with the old one? What extra workload will be involved for those operating it and how much time do you need to build in for system training?
HR software – when chosen and installed correctly – has the power to transform and elevate the HR function and help it align its activity more closely to the wider aims of the business. It can only be achieved though if the right criteria are used to select it initially and informed business decisions are made.