Let’s face it. The post-COVID world of work looks vastly different from the landscapes most of us experienced in 2019. COVID-19 smashed into our workplaces like an asteroid, leaving massive changes in its wake. And it wasn’t just the work environment that was affected. The technology we use to get work done has also evolved out of necessity as we accommodated remote work environments, flexible hours for working parents, and other COVID-related craters in our routines.
In light of these changes, many companies have had to adjust workflows and implement new protocols to help their employees remain engaged and productive. One driving factor behind many of those changes is the software we use to get work done.
In the HR department, technology decisions for 2021 need to accommodate remote work, virtual learning and collaboration, remote access to employee information, virtual recruiting, and more. Choosing the wrong software could leave you struggling to make effective workforce decisions, keep everyone connected, and hire the right people. If you are in the software exploration phase, here are five mistakes to avoid as you make your decision:
1. Insufficient Long-Term Strategy Planning
Strategic planning should drive every software decision, including those in your HR department. And for most companies it does. However, strategic pitfalls happen when you limit your tech strategy to today’s needs while neglecting to consider where you want to be five or ten years from now. Planning for the future state of your company ensures that your software can scale with you and accommodate your long-term technology and organizational goals. As you consider HR software, ask questions like these:
- Where do we expect to be in five or ten years?
- What are our workforce goals (hiring, retention, engagement, etc.)?
- How do we want to improve our employee experience (onboarding, collaboration, performance reviews, learning and development, etc.)?
- What HR process gaps do we need to fill?
- Do we anticipate changes in our workforce such as an out-of-state or international expansion?
- How do we plan to integrate remote work with our long-term workforce strategy?
- Will AI, IoT, or increased automation play a role in our HR department now or in the future?
2. Unclear or Generic Requirements
The key to purchasing the right software is putting in your due diligence during the requirements phase. It’s easy to put together a list of functionalities, but choosing a vendor isn’t really about finding the functionalities you need (all reputable vendors will offer the same core functionalities). It’s about finding a vendor that can help you build out your long-term HR technology strategy with opportunities like:
- Customizable processes
- Data capabilities
- Implementation support
- Innovative potential
- Long-term maintenance and support
- Customer service
- Right cultural fit
The right software vendor for your company may not be the one with the most bells and whistles or the most sophisticated functionality. It may be the one with the best support or the one that is a good cultural fit for your company.
As you gather your requirements, be sure to dig deep into the specifics of your processes and organizational structures, talk to all of your stakeholders, and look for pain points that need to be resolved for users. Then, consider how the vendor approaches these issues and ask plenty of probing questions as you work through your options.
3. Limited Vendor Search
If you only look at one or two vendors, you could miss out on some wonderful software options. Keep in mind that while the big-name software vendors may be able to offer flashier capabilities, a smaller vendor may offer more in terms of personalized service, support, or other important factors.
That’s why it pays to start your search with a broad funnel and narrow it down to a customized short list based on your unique requirements and HR goals. The best way to do that is to use a tool like our HR Comparison Survey. It’s a fast, easy way to search a broad range of quality vendors based on your requirements and then get a customized list of the ones that most closely match your needs.
4. Overlooking the Service Piece
Robust software and broad functionality is important, but without strong customer service from the vendor you may be very disappointed in the overall outcome. That’s why it’s critical to consider a vendor’s service and support before you make a final decision. At times, this can be the differentiating factor between two equally attractive software platforms.
In addition to the specific services and support features that are available, consider the interactions you have with the vendor during the discovery phase. Are they readily available to answer questions? How long does it take for them to get back with you? Do they listen to your concerns and provide real answers (not just a sales pitch)? Are they honest? You can expect service to be at its best during the sales process. If you see any red flags then, they will only get worse after you have signed a contract.
5. Incomplete Implementation Planning
The implementation process will make or break your experience with the software. Before you choose a vendor, make sure you know who will do the implementation and whether you feel confident that they can do a good job. Ask questions like:
- How much experience does this person have on this platform?
- How many successful implementations have they handled?
- What is included in the implementation scope? Are there any additional costs?
- How much training is included? Is additional training available for a fee?
- How long will the implementation take?
- What project management process will be used?
As you choose your HR software, you’ll learn more and more about the capabilities that are available in today’s market. Be careful that you don’t succumb to scope creep that could cause you to exceed your budget. Make a plan, stick to it, and find a vendor who can help you achieve your goals.
Ready to create your vendor short list? Our HRIS Comparison Tool helps you narrow down your requirements and matches you with vendors who meet your unique needs!