New HR Application Software, # of Vendors You Should Review?

Reviewing too few systems is actually one of the most common mistakes I have seen HR professionals make when researching HR applications. There are a large number of HR systems on the market today. We have more than 10 of the leading HR application providers currently listed on  The large number of strong vendors makes it that much more likely that you will be able to find a system matching your specific needs and budget. Unfortunately, the large number of strong vendors also seems to complicate the entire process. 

I recommend starting your search with six to nine vendors. From these, you will want to eliminate as many as half before starting the demo process. You should be able to eliminate half the vendors based on a few high level needs, which might include a specific budget range, a desired platform, a specific system you will need to interface with or specific capabilities. Save yourself and the vendor time by pre-qualifying the vendors you will invite in for a demo. On the first call, let them know your budget range and high level needs.  If they can’t match these high level needs, there is no reason to go forward with a demo. This process should cut the number of systems you will review down to a manageable three to six.

Upon completing the evaluations, it’s likely that your list of prospective vendors will drop to between two and three vendors. From here, you will review proposals, check references and determine which offered the greatest combination of features and ease of use to meet your company’s individual needs and budget.

As a general rule, I believe that the higher number of systems you evaluate, the more likely you are to find a system matching your company’s specific needs, requirements and budget.