Global workforce realignment, large scale outsourcing, virtual workforce, mergers &acquisitions are some of the ongoing challenges for HR community. There can be more challenges during post recession era. HR office is becoming more and more strategic but at the same time, increased chances are there for HR folks to become scapegoats for mistakes committed by other stakeholders.
Right kind of information for analysis and decision making, standard processes and transparency in operations are critical for effective functioning of any HR Office and this made HR Software/ HRMS/HRIS
an indispensable tool for HR professionals.
Normally organizations automate Employee Information Management, Employee Leave Approval Process, Payroll Process, Resignation & Exit Clearance, Official Travel Approvals, Time & Attendance, Performance Appraisal and Training Administration and launch an integrated system, company wide through LAN/WAN.
Finding the right kind of HR Software for an organization is a very difficult task and even a small mistake in vendor selection can spoil HR/CEO's happiness. Let's check the important factors to be considered to select the best fit HR Software
1. Size matters
Manpower size in your organization is very critical. For a 50 people company, it is advisable to go for a SaaS HR & Payroll
product. CEO of your small business would be happy if you get the HR systems, fast with in a week's time with zero investment in IT infrastructure with an affordable subscription charge. At the same time, if you are managing Human Resources in a 5000 people company, Enterprise HR Software
to be installed in your premise would be the best choice.
2. Study about vendor, check their background
You can see 100s of software vendors in market with excellent write ups on product features but you need to conduct a thorough enquiry in terms of their experience, clientele, testimonials etc. You can request the vendor to accompany your team to visit some of the existing customers and this will create an opportunity to interact with users and to gather real time feedback from them.
3. Spend quality time on product demo and evaluation
It is advisable not to become an impulsive buyer. Try to evaluate the software, interface, features and workflows with utmost care. Request the vendor to give full product demo and not go for demo in bits and piece. Involve entire stakeholders and collect and analyze their feedback
4. Time is money
This is applicable to customer as well as vendor. Once you have decided to buy the software, finalise time required for installation, training and go live and 100%stick to the set time lines. There can be internal power politics which may create hurdles in achieving many of the set tasks. So while identifying project team members, care should be given to select the members
5. ROI, Value additions
Ask the vendor to list out the value additions to your organization by implementing their HR Software. Most of the vendors would be providing ROI particulars, case studies,Cost – Benefit Comparison Charts etc. You can request them to explain and convince the same. End of the day, you need to convince your CEO, right?
6. Maturity, Stability and Security
Evaluate the product maturity in terms of process. Particular HR Software might be enriched with excellent GUI but if they are poor in local HR compliance, the tool is not of much use. You should check how long the vendor is in business,whether the application is stable, whether you can add 20000 users (or will it crash if employee count exceeds100), how fast it is (Eg: - whether payroll for 5000 people can be processed in 5 minutes), security aspects of the application etc. There are software products which will take days to process payroll!
7. Government or Statutory Process Compliance
HR Office would be accountable for various statutory aspects like PF, ESI, Income Tax etc. Based on nature of business, there can be more statutory obligations. HR Office would be spending so much time to prepare reports and returns. Request the vendor to show how these aspects can be managed, if you buy their software.
8. Intelligent workflows, Employee Self Service (ESS) and HR Portal
Today we are in an era of collaboration. We know, today, HR road shows are happening online and HR portals became the avenue for announcements, policies, surveys,polls etc and all these replaced traditional notice boards. Many firms are already achieved ‘Green HR Office’ by reducing the use of paper and by encouraging workflow based leave requests, travel requests, stationary requests, loan requests etc. Even resignation and dues clearance on account of employee exit is happening, online. So when you select HR Software
, make sure that HR Portal, ESS and intelligent workflows are part of that.
9. License, Training & Support
You need to check software license particulars. There are some companies, who offer software, cheap or free but charge too much for support. This can be a pitfall and hence it is advisable to get feedback from customers those who are using the application at least for the last 2 years. Request your vendor to provide online help desk facility if they don't have it. Also verify their customer support service level agreements (SLA)
10. Technology, Upgrades, Integration Compatibility
Check whether your vendor is trying to sell something which is obsolete, piece of code which is not tested properly, a version, which can't be upgraded, an application,which can't be integrated with internal sub-systems or global systems. Ideally, select a HR Management System, built on a solid and intelligent architecture using known technology, which can be integrated with sub-systems, custom modules (future), mail applications, Global ERP systems etc. Also you need to evaluate database compatibilities (better not to opt for an application which will work only with a particular database)
11. Data entry, Updates and Maintenance
Evaluate the screens and data capturing fields and check whether it is simple or difficult to enter/modify data. Request the vendor to show how ‘mass data update’ at one shot can be achieved. It is advisable not to go for an HRMS which has no spreadsheet import feature.
12. Reports & HR Analysis
Another critical qualification of HR Software is its reporting capabilities. Usually the vendor will provide certain standard reports and they may agree to do some specific reports to meet your specific needs. That is fine but what about dynamic report requirements? (Eg: - CEO may ask you to find all employees with M Tech from IIT, deployed in Plant II, with 4+ years experience, with French Language competency,with A+ rating for the last appraisal). Request the vendor to provide an Instant report creator, other wise again you may need to spend hours on manual reports. Check whether reports can be extracted to spreadsheets. If it is possible you can perform HR Analysis with ease.
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