5 Simple Ways to Choose the Right HRIS Provider

By Tracy Null, Vice President Business Development

If you’re in the market for a new HRIS provider, the only thing more terrifying than your current situation (usually it’s too many systems or manual processes) is spending hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars only to choose the wrong partner.

I typically see this concern manifest itself in 75 page RFPs or six-month-long search cycles. And for many companies, that’s a necessary process to build consensus and ensure everyone’s needs are met. But I often see companies go through that process because it feels like the right thing to do, or maybe they found a template RFP online that seemed to cover off all the potential challenges that could arise in the future. However, those companies often find their way into my pipeline after six months with what they thought was the right HRIS provider.

At the risk of creating fewer of those leads for myself, I recently asked some of my best prepared prospects – most of who are now clients – about their behind the scenes efforts to find the right partner. I merged that with what I have experienced as a sales rep and came up with a remarkably short list.

Here are five things I see smart clients doing to find the right HRIS provider

1) CONVERSATION: If a relationship is started with an attitude of openness and partnership, that’s always the best way. That’s a tone that we always try to influence, but honestly, it is usually controlled by the client. We can only affect what we know about, and a team’s willingness to share and disclose their challenges can make a big difference.

2) TEAM ENGAGEMENT: The due diligence and committees formed by successful clients always have the right people – i.e. those who would use and manage the product – included, regardless of seniority. All stakeholders seem to understand exactly what they need to perform their duties and from the very beginning, take ownership over the decision – factors which can greatly influence product adoption later one.

3) LEADERSHIP INVOLVEMENT: The flipside of having too many people at the table is making sure someone is driving this train. Executive involvement can help keep conversations rooted in “reality.” And the best leaders can strike a strong balance reality and with giving the rest of the team ownership and a voice.

4) A POINT GUARD: Moving from one stage to next is more seamless when one person on each end acts as a driver. Our reps always play that role, but are comfortable bring more experts (like developers, implementations or service) to the table as needed. That role often varies on the client end, but as long as it exists, we generally see more clarity in communications, next steps and negotiations. When that point guard model continues after the sale with a dedicated implementation rep and then a dedicated service rep, we see even greater accountability and satisfaction.

5) HAVING A VISION FOR THE SOLUTION: Most of these clients don’t send us a lengthy request for proposal. That’s not a knock on RFPs, but they all ask the same questions and I’ve seen many that require a lot of information without ever getting to the heart of what a company really needs. Our happiest clients often take the approach of a long, but very real checklists that are specific to their challenges and priorities. It makes it much easier to be effective and focused and make sure we’re the right HRIS provider for their needs.


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