Choosing HR Software: 4 Questions You Should Ask

Maybe you’ve already partnered with an HR software vendor and your contract is up so you’re starting to think about other options, or perhaps you’ve never used HR software before and you’re just starting your search.

In either instance, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the options when choosing HR software—all of which seem to promise an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution. Here are some questions you should ask to help you narrow your search:

1. What will you use the HR software to accomplish?

Talk with the stakeholders in your organization to understand what the expectations are for your new HR software solution. Are you looking for software to centralize all your important documents, processes, and employee information? Are you hoping that time and attendance will be integrated into the system? Do you need features that will help you manage recruiting, onboarding, termination, and retirement? Is there an expectation that your new software will manage benefits and open enrollment for your organization? What about payroll – should your new solution handle this as well?

There might even be features you didn’t even think about that could really help your team—such as talent management—maybe you’re eventually looking to help employees track their career goals, or you want to give them meaningful feedback on their performance and make sure they have the tools to succeed with training?

Once you have a list of everything your organization will need in an HR software vendor, it will be much easier to understand if a particular vendor is the right one for your company.

2. Who could use the HR software in your organization?

Will it be only your HR team accessing the software, or do you wish to give some access to your employees? An employee self-service option (ESS) is a great feature if you want to allow your employees the ability to update certain personal information about themselves, request time off, enroll in employee benefits, and more.

3. How easy is the HR software to use?

Your HR software is really only a worthwhile investment if your HR team and employees will use it. And they’ll only use it if they can figure out how it works. Does the vendor have documentation and user guides available?

Do current customers have positive things to say about using the software? If so, maybe you can ask the vendor if they have any customer contacts who are willing to be references that you can get in touch with.

When it comes to the software’s implementation process—ask the vendor if they have a plan and timeline for getting your key resources trained.

4. What kind of support do you expect?

Inquire about the support policy for the software. Is there a small, dedicated team to answer support or technical questions, or do you get the feeling you might be sent on a “wild goose chase” to have your questions answered? Do you expect immediate answers? Is the software’s support free or is it fee-based?

Look around the online user and customer forums to see what people say about the customer service they’ve received both during implementation and after go-live for the HR software vendors you are vetting.

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