It’s a new year. For some business owners, and many human resources professionals, that means you have almost no time to determine if your current systems and processes are really working in your organization’s best interests. Therefore, quickly ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Can your current HRIS software fulfill all your technology needs?
  2. Are you confident that you will receive support from your vendor when needed?
  3. Is your team able to implement and properly utilize the technology?
  4. Are the costs of your current HRIS competitive with other vendors for comparable technology and services?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship with your current vendor. If the four questions above started to make you think, consider this more comprehensive list of questions for HR compensation, payroll and generalist professionals:

  • Are your “customers’” needs and expectations being met?
  • With regard to your current HR and payroll:
    • Are the processes efficient and results-oriented?
    • How many resources are needed to keep things operating, and how much time is spent on system maintenance?
  • Other items to consider besides operational and administrative aspects:
    • Is everything currently coming from one vendor?
      • If not, would it be easier if everything came from one vendor?
    • What is the purchase basis (e.g., rental, capital purchase)?
      • What is the ideal purchase basis for a company your size?
    • How will the system be provided (e.g., hosted, managed, insourced)?
      • Again, what is the ideal setup for your company?
    • Are the IT requirements for the system reasonable enough to be supported by your internal IT function?
    • How many users are currently on the system, and how much are you paying per user?

If these questions are instilling fear and doubt in your mind, we know how you feel.

We are not embarrassed to admit that Skoda Minotti has changed HRIS vendors approximately every other year for the past six years! However, we know that we are not uniquely afflicted. The changing landscape of employment as a result of the boom of diversified large and small business has produced numerous options, all with similar offerings.

Here is what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about changing HRIS vendors.

First, try working with your current vendor to see if any concerns you have can be mitigated or rectified. If you and your current vendor have a great relationship, always give them the first chance, and even if you do make the decision to switch, continue that working relationship through the transition until the actual switch is made.

When Changing Software:

  • Develop an RFP and solicit potential vendors.
  • Throughout the process, include the following key parties in your organization:
    • IT
    • Management sponsor(s)
    • System administrator(s)
    • A pilot group of key users who will utilize the system strategically.
    • Note: When asking questions on usage and applications, try to ensure the vendor is able to demonstrate how it’s done—not just say “yes we can.” View as much of the software as you can to get an idea of how it actually operates.
  • When you customize a system to your specifications, keep in mind that this usually means you are duplicating your company’s specific processes in the new system. A key part of your evaluation should be a comprehensive review of your internal processes to identify any inefficiencies and bring improvements to the new technology. Work smarter, not harder!

When Meeting Vendors:

  • Use demo scripts that allow you to see how most important and most difficult processes are implemented in the HRIS.
  • Ask them to show you, not tell you, how items work.
  • Ask what is included and what features cost extra.
  • Speak with existing customers to hear how they use it and learn about issues they face.

Implementation:

  • On average, implementing one process takes between 6-8 weeks.
  • We recommend implementing the system in stages to allow for better planning and easier implementation.

Finally, consider this: 68 percent of IT projects fail due to poor planning, and only 18 percent of administrators feel they are able to overcome the challenges of implementation. If you make the decision to switch HRIS systems or implement an HRIS system for the first time, know that you’re not alone, and, although you have a long road ahead, there are valuable resources available along the way.

Do you have questions about HRIS software or other compensation and benefits challenges? Contact Shelley Morgan at 440-449-6800 or email Shelley.