Tips on Selecting Human Resource Applications

Use to Determine Your Needs and View Free Demonstrations of Top Products

Most HRIS industry articles are going to tell you that the first step in selecting hr software is to determine your needs, which is often easier said than done. Until you have an understanding of what the various products are capable of, it can be difficult to know exactly what you require. Even if you do, your needs are probably going to change as you see “nice haves” in the products you review. All of this is why we created, a user-friendly selection tool and database detailing the features and options of industry-leading hrm software products. When you take our survey, you will determine which features and options you absolutely require or which might be of interest, and you will weigh the importance of each. Upon completion of the survey, you will be presented with a list of the software products that best meet your particular needs. From there, you may select to receive a free demonstration of any or all of them.

Tips for Comparing Apples to Apples

Now it’s time to schedule the free demonstration and take the next step in your HRIS selection process. No two demos are going to be the same, so it’s often difficult to compare the various systems. This is where I suggest taking charge of the demo presentation; if you want to compare apples to apples, you need to make sure you see the apples do the same thing (I call this “standardizing” the demo). Ask the presenter to run you through a few standard processes during each. For example, a walk-through of the steps to hiring a new employee, to terminating an employee, to running a turnover report, or to setting up a medical benefit plan. Grade each product on how well or how poorly they handle each of these functions. If there are specific reports you must have, make sure to request a demonstration of how those reports are created.

Human Resources Software Support

Just as you standardized the sales demonstrations, you should also standardize how you view the support for each company. Ask about hours, response times, costs, product improvement updates, and government compliance updates. Are all updates included with the annual support? I would also ask what happens if you uncover an actual bug in the system. What are the steps to resolving such a software problem? The salesperson may tell you the system is bug-free, but don’t believe it; make sure they have a process through which you can report problems.

Making Sure the Person Responsible for Your Implementation is Qualified

In our archive, you will find an article called “Who Will Perform Your HRIS Implementation is as important as the Software You Select”. It’s full of tips on selecting the best team to implement your hr solutions. In brief, ensure the person who will be performing your implementation has the experience needed to complete a clean install. Being certified is not the same thing as being experienced; I would make sure they have had at least 10 implementations under their belt of the same system you are purchasing and with companies which are similar in size to your own.

Why Number of Installs and Size of the Software Company are Important

We included the number of installs of our participating Human Resources software vendors for a reason: It’s important. As I said before, no software application is going to be 100% free of bugs. But the more installs they have and the longer they have been in business provides a greater opportunity to correct as many issues as possible. And the size of an hr software company can offer helpful insight as to the stability of the company. Generally speaking, the more employees a company has and the longer they’ve had their products on the market, the cleaner their applications will be.

About the Author

Clay Scroggin worked in the Human Resource and Payroll Software Industry for more than fifteen years. During that time, Clay and those who worked with him, assisted hundreds of HR professionals with their software needs. In 2007, Clay began working on, a site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR systems. The site contains several tools to assist professionals with their HR software research including a HRIS Selection Tool.

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 Don't forget to download our Free HRIS Buyers Guide. This guide provides a detailed ten step process for selecting human resources software.