I recently attended the Society for Human Resource Management 2014 Conference in June of this year and one of the great takeaways for me as an HR and tech advocate was Mr. Joe Rotella‘s insights on the the six steps for finding the right HR solution. While I can’t possibly fill my article with the same verve and panache that Mr. Rotella brings to the stage, I can certainly enthusiastically reiterate his more salient points. Here goes:
- Complete a Self-assessment and Internal Needs Analysis – Always the starting point for any major project, determining your needs is key. While you do want to efficiently transfer as many processes as possible ( and leave no important one behind) there is no need to go overboard either. To paraphrase Joe, functionality, versatility and customization are key.
- Rank Requirements Based on Organizational Impact – This is where the “rubber meets the road” if you do not have an unlimited budget. The key point is that you must prioritize the components that will have the most immediate and dramatic results – read that as the bottom line – within your projected budget. If there is some room left afterwards, then you can add a few bells and whistles.
- Identify Potential Solutions—Narrow the Field – In addition to attending trade shows like SHRM2014, there is plenty of information on the Internet as well as an extensive dealer network for the more popular solutions. Joe’s point (I think) is that there are a plethora of software vendors out there who will promise you the world but it is up to you to discriminate between the wheat and the chaff.
- “Get Real” with Providers – Once you have identified a half dozen vendors that seem to suit your needs, it is time to ask the “tough” questions that will narrow them down to the top two contenders. As Joe points out, this is not the time to hide any of your needs and hope to fit them in later. Complete transparency with the vendor about your needs is the only way to go.
- View Demos From Promising Providers – Now that you have two or three vendors who are firing on all cylinders when it comes to understanding your HCM technology needs, it is time to get serious and invite the two most promising to give a live demo. This process is far more effective than reading written proposals and should definitely include some of the people who will actually be using the software and not just the “decision makers.”
- Score Solutions Based on Requirements – While almost everyone will be excited about their particular favorite HCM software and its advantages, it is imperative for everyone involved to take a second, more objective look. This process is most effectively accomplished by using a score-based system. Each person on the committee – as well as those who field-tested the software – should be allowed to grade the software. Then when the results are in, an informed decision can be made.
- Request a Written Proposal – Finally, you’re almost home. Now it’s a matter of asking for a written proposal that memorializes all of the agreed upon details. This process will avoid any misunderstandings in the future once the contract is accepted and smooth the implementation of your HCM software package.
Of course, this is just a cursory look at what Mr. Rotella had to say and doesn’t even touch on the concrete questions that he offered for anyone already involved in the task. For more information on this topic, please visit the SHRM.org site or contact us at CompareHRIS.com.