Finding the right human resource information system (HRIS) for your company can be a long and difficult search. Every organization has different needs and requirements for its HRIS. Before taking the first step, businesses should consider a few key elements when looking for the right HRIS system.
It is important to recognize what your company is seeking to accomplish. For many, the need is to consolidate multiple HR functions and systems into one comprehensive HRIS system with the goal of efficiency. When it comes to HRIS transitions, one of the most difficult changeovers is from manual processes to an automated system. Companies that have always used manual processes may struggle to make the change. However, when the switch is made to a seamless, automated system, it is rare they will ever go back.
What Is the Best System for Your Company?
Your company has made the decision to seek out a new HRIS system—but where to begin? The first step is exploring the various system vendors. This may seem overwhelming at first, but there are many ways to narrow down your options.
First, make sure the vendor is stable and has the resources to provide the type of service you expect. To do so, inquire which other companies who use the vendor. Then, research how long the company has been in existence, and seek references. It is possible that small, new vendors may not be strong enough to weather unexpected changes. If your company invests valuable information into the system and it abruptly goes down, you could lose expensive and irreplaceable information.
Once you have determined the HRIS vendor is stable and reliable, consider what types of services it provides. A fully integrated, single database solution is the latest and greatest when it comes to HIRS systems. A single database solution will work for most companies. During the discovery process, think about exactly what features you need and what problems you are trying to solve. This may require you to involve others within your company to decide what their needs are as well. A full HRIS system today crosses several departments, including finance and operations. Identify who the stakeholders in your company are and seek their buy-in on the new system and its capabilities.
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Training is another feature you should inquire about up front. Does the vendor provide training as part of the implementation process? If it has a training series that includes in-person training, videos, webinars, and other resources, it can help ensure that your company will be able to fully utilize the system. Being able to understand all the features of your HRIS of choice is essential to getting the most out of your system.
How Does Full System Implementation Work?
As we all know, time is money. When it comes to implementing a new system, before making an investment, a company needs to know how much time the process will require. Most systems take a minimum of 90 days to 6 months to fully implement. Rushing the implementation process can lead to significant problems. Look for an HRIS partner that is more concerned with accuracy and testing than one that is rushing to meet a sales quota.
The system you choose should prioritize time and payroll. Employees need to be paid to work, so quick implementation of payroll needs to be almost immediate and highly efficient. Before selecting a vendor and signing the dotted line, make sure you know who your contact will be during implementation and that you are comfortable and trusting of the person who will be driving the process.
Even if you feel fully confident in your decision, your company should still make sure you are protected if your HRIS partner ends up not being the right fit. This means ensuring that there is no opt-out fee or a long-term agreement that does not contemplate a performance standard. If you end up being unhappy with your choice, there should be no strict penalties nor withholding of your data.
Many clients do not even think about getting their data back until it is too late. Ensuring you can retrieve data in a usable format will make the separation from a provider as seamless as possible. While some vendors only allow you to download information in a PDF format, this can cause your company time and money in the process to convert data to a usable format. To avoid any mishaps, make sure you always maintain ownership of your data and have an exit plan in place. If you select a smaller, more regional vendor, there is always a chance that it could sell its business at some point to a larger vendor. In some cases, this could be the vendor you have previously left because of a bad experience.
When making the important decision about what HRIS system is best for your company, it is vital to have trusted advisors alongside you every step of the way. While there are hundreds of vendors to choose from, having a plan in place will help you narrow the field and identify the HRIS that’s right for you.
Roger is a Principal with Rehmann Consulting and leads the HR Outsourcing department. In this role, Roger determines client employee administration needs and delivers technology-based solutions, ranging from full HRIS solutions to unbundled systems. This includes assisting clients throughout the entire employment process, including pre-employment, active employment and post-employment phases.