7 key considerations when buying an on-line HR system

Anybody who is tasked with reviewing the HR software market faces a daunting task.  A quick search of the internet will result in a myriad of options. However, whether replacing an existing system, or introducing a system for the first time, the key challenges are the same.

We’ve identified 7 key considerations

1. Make sure the software is properly mobile-enabled. (Anything else is old-hat!) 

If the website is not fully-responsive, the user experience for your employees, when using tablets or mobile phones, will be compromised.  Ask the provider to demonstrate this to you.

2. Choose a system that covers the basics well 

Whizz bang features are great, but it will be the database management and the associated reporting that will be most frequently used.  Make sure that it is simple and quick to upload and edit data.  Quick queries and user-defined reports should be easy to create.

3. Future-proof - Choose a system that covers all your needs and grows with you

Avoid the need to buy further systems for other HR functions, such as personal development or recruitment.  The best systems can offer all the functionality you’ll need, and it will be fully-integrated.

4. Total Reward Statements & Flexible Benefits

Some systems can be upgraded to include total reward statements and even provide full employee benefits management.  Compared to the traditional approach (typically a separate HR and flexible benefits system), huge efficiencies are gained by using the same integrated data, and employees benefit from having a one-stop shop with only one login to remember.

5. Get help with Configuration and Data Upload

It is possible to buy HR software off-the-shelf, at a relatively low cost. Attractive as this may seem, there is a danger that you are left with a product that you have to figure out yourself, with limited support and guidance.  Configuring an HR system at the outset can be quite a daunting task.  If your time is precious or you are not particularly IT-savvy, then choose a provider who will set the system up for you, design your initial reports and upload and validate all your initial data.

6. Make sure you will be properly supported

Make sure that the provider has support functions in in place to answer your ongoing questions and provide training.  Seminars and online tutorials are useful, but you will inevitably have questions that are specific to your organisation’s needs.  Ideally, you will want to speak to somebody on the telephone without having to join a queuing system!

 7. And don’t sign your life away…….

Confident software suppliers will only expect a year’s commitment at a time, in the knowledge that if their product is good enough, you won’t want to change.  Avoid 3 or 5 year contracts which you can’t get out of!

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