5 Keys to Choosing the Right HRIS Implementation Partner

HRIS Implementation Team

Today’s businesses are under pressure to evolve like never before. Economic conditions created or affected by COVID-19, the transition to remote work, global supply chain disruptions, worker shortages – all of these have brought urgent new challenges as well as new opportunities.

Keeping pace with the ever-accelerating speed of business takes good business judgment, strategic vision, and a healthy dose of technological aptitude.

In the midst of all that pressure, you might be asking: when is the right time to upgrade my HRIS platform?

The short answer is: now. If you are still operating an on-premise system, let this be the sign you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to upgrade. Even companies in industries that have been slow to move to the cloud for security reasons (like healthcare and finance) should take a long, hard look at their technology strategy.

Cloud solutions have come a long way since they were first introduced. They can often keep your data more secure in their multi-factor security servers than you can in your back office.

With all that said, though, you may still have a few questions:

  • How do I find the right HR tech vendor?
  • How do I know who will best meet my business needs and requirements?
  • What about the implementation? How do I make sure it is a success?

To answer those first two questions, check out our best tips for choosing an HR tech vendor and nailing down your requirements.

In this post, let’s zero in on that last question. How do you set yourself up for success with an HRIS implementation? It starts with choosing the right partner.

How to Choose the Right HRIS Implementation Partner

If already feel confident about the HR tech vendor you’re considering (still have questions? Check out our free Buyer’s Guide!), then hopefully you already feel good about the customer service and support available to you through that company.

However, your due diligence isn’t complete until you have nailed down the details of the implementation. After this process, you should feel completely confident that your vendor can ensure a successful implementation.

This evaluation is crucial because the vendor’s implementation approach will affect your business outcomes well into the future.

Here are five keys to choosing a vendor you can trust:

  1. The implementation project manager has extensive experience.
    Ask the vendor who will be in charge of your implementation. Make sure this person has a history of successful implementations on this system under his or her belt. A project management certification isn’t enough to ensure success. You want to know that the person handling your HRIS implementation has the know-how to deal with any complications, unusual circumstances, and pitfalls that may come up.

    It’s also a good idea to check with references who have worked with your implementation partner before. Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
    • Was the implementation completed on time and within budget?
    • Would you use this vendor again?
    • How well did the project manager explain technical issues?
    • How effective was the training provided?
  2. The vendor takes a partnership approach.
    No two implementations are the same. That means you need to work with someone who will take time to understand the unique aspects of your business, talk through your business goals, and work collaboratively with you. Look for someone who will come alongside your team as a partner rather than just swooping in without listening to you.

    Collaborative project managers prioritize communication, feedback, and user experiences. They will spend a lot of time talking through the implementation with you ahead of time to be sure they have a full understanding of your needs and your business. Pay attention to how the implementation team lead interacts with you before you make your decision and ask questions like these:
    • Do they spend time listening before jumping in with an answer
    • Are they prompt with communication?
    • Do they give you ample opportunity to ask questions?
    • Do you feel pressured to make a decision before you feel ready?
    • Do they make it easy to schedule a phone call or meeting?
  3. The project team looks at the implementation from a holistic business perspective.
    An experienced implementation lead will consider how the new software can integrate with and improve processes across your whole organization, not just in the HR department. This is a value-add approach that helps you make the most of your investment.

    On the other hand, some vendors view HRIS implementations as an IT project only. Once all the parts and pieces are connected and the bugs are squashed, they consider the project done. And while it’s true that the software may function well and you may even be really happy with it for a while, this approach doesn’t help you make the most of your investment.

    By viewing the implementation as a cross-organizational endeavor, you can find ways to make your employees’ jobs easier, create better employee experiences, and draw more value out of the software itself.

  4. The vendor provides a clearly defined project scope and budget in writing.
    Don’t make any assumptions about what will or won’t be included in the implementation. Be sure to get everything in writing. If it’s not included in the written scope, don’t expect it to be covered in the implementation. For example, some vendors may provide limited training as part of the project scope and charge extra for additional users or more hours.

    You’ll also want to check for any extra fees or costs associated with the implementation. Take time to read the fine print of the contract, since every vendor will structure the costs differently.

  5. The implementation team consists of people you can picture yourself working with.
    The human factor plays a huge role in the success of any project, especially one as complicated as an HRIS implementation. It’s nearly impossible to navigate such a project without mutual respect. If you don’t see eye to eye with your vendor or they don’t take the time to understand your concerns and perspectives, that’s not someone you should work with.

    You also want someone who “gets” your company culture and can help you align your software to support that culture.

Technology + People = Success

You can have the best technology in the world, but it won’t serve you well if your implementation team doesn’t do a great job. As you select your vendor, remember that the sales team won’t be the ones implementing the software. A great sales team doesn’t necessarily equal a successful implementation.

That’s why it’s critical to ask the right questions about your HRIS implementation before you seal the deal. Take time to learn about the people you’ll be working with. Make sure you feel confident in their ability , and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success.

Need help finding the right vendor? Our HRIS Comparison Tool helps you nail down your requirements and create your vendor short list in twenty minutes or less!

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