Five elements to choose your next HR Information System

CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: An HR Information Software (HRIS) is a solution designed to manage, store, analyse, and track all employee-related data.

It’s a natural evolution from paper-based systems, and most organisations will use some form of an HRIS today. An HRIS is one of the key ways a company can rise up to current industry demands and survive the coming years of massive transformation expected.

However, it is important for a company to take its time selecting an information system that’s right for them — or risk expensive fees for a product that takes up more time and resources than it saves. Here are five factors to consider when selecting a HRIS that’s right for your organisation and HR team.

  1. Features

HRIS solutions come with a wide variety of price points and functionality levels. Maximum cost efficiency can be achieved by firstly doing a deep dive on the current organisation and its requirements. Make sure to factor in the company’s strategic vision, as forgetting to do so can cause migration headaches later.

The deep dive should uncover the features that are "needs" or "must-haves", as well as those features that are "wants" or "good-to-haves". A good rule of thumb is to assess the ways a system might improve current procedures. The greater the benefit for the organisation, the more likely it should be bumped up to a "need".

Make sure to also understand the security protocols of any solution under scrutiny, since sensitive information will be stored on the database. Security procedures and security audit information are good places to start. User reviews are also a great way to determine whether the functions provided are robust enough for the HR team’s needs.

2. Integrations

Most HRIS systems today are cloud-based, which is a great thing for storage and efficiency, However, one of the more important questions will be whether the HRIS solution integrates seamlessly with other systems you have, without incurring unnecessary upgrade fees.

It might be worth investing in an all-in-one system, if budget and organisation dynamics allow.

3. Price

Usually, cloud-based HRIS solutions will charge according to the number of employees — and the more features you want, the higher the cost will climb. Once the deep dive on the organisation is done, seek out providers and ask about the exact functions needed to get a reasonable ballpark figure.

Will support cost extra? Will there be a one-time setup fee? How much will it cost to add necessary features? These are questions any supplier should be able to answer quickly and without a lot of complex changes to criteria.

4. Scalability

All businesses aim to grow, so the ideal HRIS solution should be able to grow with the organisation. Besides determining whether a system will integrate with legacy platforms, the HR team should consider new technologies that might be adopted later, such as accounting systems, or learning management software,

It might also be a good idea to select a system that offers more functionalities than needed right now so the company has wiggle room to take advantage of them as it grows.

5. Implementation

When it comes to getting a new HRIS solution up and running, it’s important to know how long it will take for the vendor to install the system, and how that process might impact any day-to-day operations.

More importantly, once HR narrows down suitable vendors, other affected stakeholders should be consulted to help finalise the choices. An evaluation committee is ideal to ensure all relevant voices are heard.

Departments outside of HR that may be affected include IT, Payroll and Finance, and Operations.

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