Six Non-Negotiables to Consider Before You Buy HCM Software

Things to Consider Before You Buy HCM SoftwareHow do you know when it’s time to buy HCM software? Answer: When the inefficiencies and redundancies start costing you money, resources, and morale.

As your business grows and changes, old processes can’t keep pace with the new requirements of your workforce—and that means lost productivity and frustrated employees. Often, the solution is better software, but the sheer number of options on the market quickly gets overwhelming.

To help sort through the available features and functions, we sat down with representatives from ECI, a SaaS cloud-based human capital management solution designed to automate critical workflows and keep your HR department on track.

How to Choose the Right HCM

Like most software solutions, HR platforms comes with a wide range of options. Here are six of the most important features you should consider before you buy HCM software.


Almost all of today’s HCM solutions operate in the cloud in some capacity. But not all cloud solutions are created equal. There are different hosting options on the market, from managed private cloud solutions to software-as-a-service (SaaS). Saas solutions offer deep capability to companies at an affordable price, which makes them very attractive. You avoid heavy infrastructure costs and you benefit from the security and scalability of a robust solution designed for multiple business models. Other hosting and cloud solutions come with their own set of benefits, so take the time to evaluate your organization’s needs and requirements as you consider your options.

Data Storage

ECI’s solution uses a single system of record to store and access data, meaning that modules can share data with one another, and changes made in one module will automatically update in other modules. All employees can access the data they need from a single point, and you can manage access capabilities based on an employee’s security clearance.

Single Source Vs. Best of Breed

Demand for better integration across modules has prompted many HCM providers to create single source solutions rather than best-of-breed solutions. The difficulties associated with integrating multiple modules from different vendors can be overcome, but single source solutions offer broad functionality while keeping costs low. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, so make your decision based on the functionalities you need and your budget considerations.

System Capabilities

We won’t go in-depth into the many system capabilities on the market, but the bottom line is that you should dig deep into the processes of your organization to understand your requirements before you buy HCM software. Different solutions bring different strengths to the table, and you’ll want to match those to your specific needs.

For example, ECI has a robust payroll functionality that allows you to perform essential actions like:

  • Calculate gross pay based on net amounts
  • File local and federal taxes
  • Track and report wage garnishments and remittance
  • Calculate percentage raises for union workers
  • Import files
  • Utilize effective dating

ECI’s strengths also include their analytics tools and dashboards, self-service tools, and reporting configurability.


Reporting is the backbone of HR. You need a strong analytics tool with deep reporting capabilities in order to make the important decisions that keep your workforce functioning every day.

ECI’s analytics tool, for example, gives you the ability to drill down deep into your data, viewing information in different configurations.  You can break down the data by various demographics, such as gender, work state, and ethnicity. In this example, the chart on the left shows the termination breakdown by code across the entire workforce, while the chart on the right shows the code distribution of female workers only.

ECI Analytics Chart

ECI’s tool gives you the freedom to view data in any number of configurations based on your reporting needs—and it’s all with the click of a button.


While look and feel might seem like a less important factor, the truth is that the usability of the software can significantly impact employee productivity. The look and feel of your software can also make a difference in recruiting and onboarding, where user experience communicates the culture of your company to candidates and new employees.

Supporting Business Growth With HCM Software

HR is directly tied to the growth and morale of your workforce—and therefore, of your company. By giving your HR staff the right tools to do their jobs efficiently, you contribute to a more engaged, satisfied workforce across the enterprise. And that’s a direct contributor to productivity and business profit.

Ready to take your research deeper? Take our comprehensive survey to find out which HR software provider meets your unique business specifications


Published by Susan McClure

Susan McClure is our resident content editor at She writes about the search, selection, and implementation of HR technology. When she isn’t writing, you might find her researching trends in social media and online marketing, browsing shelves at the library, or digging in the garden with her family and fur kids.

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