From recruiting new staff to developing people, from monitoring time and attendance to managing performance, HR professionals have a number of complex and important tasks to complete each day. This can be more challenging in larger organizations with a bigger number of staff, or businesses that are growing their workforce quickly.
This is perhaps why one in four (23%) HR professionals said that choosing the right tech was one of the biggest challenges they’re facing right now. With so many different types of HR tools out there, it can be tricky to even know where to begin!
But before you spend your budget on new software, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself to help ensure you make an informed decision. These are outlined in more detail below.
1. What are our greatest frustrations and needs right now?
What are the biggest problems your HR team are experiencing right now? Is it juggling payroll, trying to keep up with changing employment laws, monitoring sick days, or exhausting your recruitment budget in the first few months of the year?
Take some time to evaluate the biggest drains on your time and resources, and you’ll quickly be able to identify the areas you need to address right away.
2. What are our top objectives?
Once you’ve identified the most critical areas of your HR processes, you can map out your top objectives and what you hope to achieve by investing in a new software. Put together a list of your key aims, be it reducing employee departures, finding more cost-effective ways to train staff, or streamlining your operations to better manage sick days and annual leave. This will really set you on the right foot for finding the best software for your needs.
3. When do we want to have a system in place?
Next, think about when you’ll need the new system in place. It’s important to be realistic here as there will undoubtedly be some back and forth between your team and the vendors, to ensure you get the best deal. Also, keep in mind that the vendor will have some impact on this timeline as some software may take longer to implement than others.
4. What’s our budget for purchasing this new software?
Very rarely do we purchase anything without first considering the price, and the same applies here! Have a clear understanding of your budget and how much you're able to spend on this software before you begin your research. This will also help you to haggle on the price when you begin speaking to vendors.
5. How will we measure our return on investment (ROI)?
Consider how you’ll want to measure the ROI of your new technology. After all, you’ll need measurable results to help you decide whether the new software is working out and if it’s worth the money. You also want to be able to prove that it was worth the investment, showing which areas of the businesses have benefited most as a direct result.
When making this sort of investment you need to make sure you're thinking to the future. If you can measure ROI you’ll see whether it’s working or not and you can decide whether to renew, go elsewhere or speak to your provider about better options.
Now it’s time to begin speaking to vendors
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is that you're looking for and you can start doing your research. Begin speaking to vendors to find out about the best deals and tools to help meet your needs.
But before you sign on the dotted line, there are some questions you need to make sure you’re asking the vendors about the product they’re offering:
6. How will your software help us to achieve X,Y and Z?
Perhaps the most important question to ask any vendor is how their software is going to help you achieve your objectives. Outline the current HR issues you’re facing and explain to them what you hope to achieve from investing in new software. They can then explain to you why their product ticks all the right boxes and why it’s better than their competitors.
If they’re unable to explain how they can effectively help with your HR processes, this should ring alarm bells. If you’re going to be setting budget aside for this technology, you want to know that it’s going to make a real difference. You might also want to enquire into any case studies or testimonials they have that prove their software will get the job done!
7. How long does the software take to implement?
You’ll want to know how long it’s going to take for your software to be delivered and implemented. Sometimes vendors promise quicker results than they’re able to provide, so it’s always best to ask this question before you buy. If they’re unable to deliver in time, it might be that you ask for a discount or choose another provider.
8. Is there an additional charges to access training?
Some vendors recognize that clients need to be able to effectively manage their software and train their co-workers, and offer free training on the platform as a result. That said, some charge additional fees for instruction manuals and training portals. So it’s best to ask ahead of time if they offer free training and what it will cost you if they don’t.
9. What are the technical support processes and response times?
Once integrated, this software will become an important part of managing your HR systems. Therefore, you want the safety of knowing that you’ve got technical support when you need it. Ask about any support you’ll receive once the software has been implemented and find out about office hours, and average response times should you encounter any problems.
10. Is the software flexible and scalable?
While it’s vital that your new software has all the necessary features, it’s also important to check whether it’s flexible and scalable. If your business is planning to grow, you need to know that your software is going to be able to handle the additional demand and larger bodies of data. As such, it’s a good idea to find out about storage, cloud functionality and whether there’s flexibility for the system to scale up.
To help you make better informed HR decisions, click here to view more industry trends.