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How to Choose HR Software in 6 Steps

Choosing HR software shouldn’t be difficult – after all, there is a multitude of options available on the market. The hard part, however, is choosing the right HR software that matches the needs of your business and ticks all the relevant boxes. That can seem like a monumental challenge.

HR managers have several factors to consider when choosing HR software such as budget, the ability to integrate with other software tools and how it will impact employees. It is not surprising to learn the process of choosing HR software can be challenging. Where do you start? Which HR software is best for your employees? This guide will help identify your specific HR needs so you can focus on the areas that are most important to you such as recruiting and retaining top talent.

6 Steps to Choosing HR Software

There are key questions all businesses should ask when choosing HR software in order to find out which model works best for them. After all, the right HR software can vastly improve an organisation’s efficiency and support the needs, development, and performance of its employees. Following these steps will help make an informed choice.

Step 1: List your HR software requirements

When choosing HR software, the first step is to establish which tasks you expect the technology to perform and who is most likely to use it. Some HR solutions are designed for specific areas of a business, such as recruitment or employee development, while others have wider benefits and control all HR functions in one platform.

A CEO, for example, is likely to use HR software for different reasons compared to an IT executive, finance officer or HR manager. So, while it may be tempting to choose an HR solution that handles every function of an organisation, some solutions are better at managing specific tasks than others.

It might be that you’re looking for an out-of-the-box HR software solution that can perfectly manage your business’ standard procedures and workflows. With software like this, you might find some of your internal admin processes need to be adapted in order to accommodate the new system. Alternatively, you may require a completely bespoke service that is customisable to your needs. This can offer greater flexibility as the HR software directly reflects existing admin processes and procedures without having to change them. As a bespoke solution, this could cost you a little more but offer better efficiencies.

Making a list of exactly what you need your HR software to do is a good starting point. If you fail to do this you may rush your decision, leading you to pay more for software that doesn’t meet your specific requirements. It’s worth reminding yourself of your primary objective when investing in this software. After all, HR software is more than a tool to help you streamline administration, it can offer many beneficial functionalities.

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Step 2: Consider who will be affected

It is important to identify areas of a business that are likely to be affected before choosing HR software. This will be useful when selecting the appropriate technology. Those who adopt HR software without identifying needs, employee concerns, growth objectives and specific problems within a business are likely to end up with unsuitable software.

In general, new HR software will, among other things, affect:

  • HR and payroll, including:
    • Recruitment
    • Onboarding
    • Employee life cycle
    • HR operations
    • People management
    • Attendance
    • Workforce planning
  • Processes in other departments, such as:
    • Finance and budgeting

IT, including device on-boarding As it stands, without a HR software in place, many needs are not being met, which is seriously impacting culture, workflows, and processes. By adopting and investing in HR software it instantly automates particular processes, saving HR managers and teams time to focus on the more important tasks, like establishing an organisation’s culture.

Before investing in HR software, it is important to narrow down who will be impacted by this solution to find the right software that works for your business.

Step 3: Consult with Human Resources

Once you have considered who will be impacted by your HR solution, it is time to pay special attention to your HR department. HR software performs a wide range of automated processes that help streamline a business by reducing manual work, cutting labour costs and boosting workforce productivity. Consulting your HR department will reveal their specific needs and assist in selecting the appropriate software.

Your HR team will have specialist knowledge of their field and the tools they require to complete tasks. Overlooking their opinions could burden you with software features you won’t need or lack others that are essential for the smooth running of your business operation.

This selection of suggested questions to put to HR teams should help build a clear understanding of exactly what is required from your HR software:

  • What are the biggest challenges currently facing the HR department?
  • If you are already using HR software, does it fulfil your needs? If not, why not?
  • Which HR software functions are used regularly, and which ones aren’t?
  • Could HR software better help to reduce time spent on certain HR processes? If so, which processes?
  • Does the HR strategy link to your business’ corporate strategy?
  • What does your HR department need to achieve this and will appropriate tools allow objectives to be delivered?
  • Which software tools would be most useful to your department?
  • How mature is HR within the organisation in terms of tools used and experience?
  • What HR software changes would improve the employee experience?
  • Do you receive HR or admin-related complaints from employees? Could these be addressed with new HR software?
  • If controlled by the HR department, what is your HR software budget?
  • Are your HR staff members accepting of new software, or is there hesitation? Check what the misconceptions are and address how this can help the department.

Step 4: Research HR software providers

Now that you are armed with vital feedback from the HR department, it is time to begin the search for new HR software.

In order to narrow down your search, it is recommended you read customer reviews, testimonials and industry blogs to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of certain HR products. Google search is also an excellent way to identify some top HR software brands. Similarly, find out if the HR software provider offers other services such as training and support, then evaluate if the provider works with companies of a similar size to yours.Before choosing HR software, your research should also aim to answer:

  • Does the provider fully comply with data privacy?
  • Do they provide support?
  • Is a demo or free trial available?
  • Is the software hosted on the cloud?

Finding HR software available on the cloud, as opposed to an onsite/desk solution, are preferred by many organisations as it is incredibly low maintenance. Instead of being supported on local devices, such as in-house servers and laptops, cloud-hosted software is monitored and maintained solely by the software provider, with any updates completed over the internet. As well as supporting HR departments, it also alleviates pressures on IT departments.

Making a list of software companies that might meet your needs before completing an initial review will help you to make a shortlist. Using Google, trust reviews and suggestions from colleagues within the same sector will help to determine the right solution for you. After you’ve produced your shortlist, you can complete a deep dive into the functionality of the programmes. Try to ensure that every stage of your checklist is ticked without any compromise.

Thorough research will highlight which software tools are popular and the reasons why. You can then ask yourself whether these tools will benefit your business or not. Be clear on which HR software functions are essential for your business and which ones you can live without. When you have narrowed down your search, you can begin making a shortlist of HR software providers and compare the pros and cons of each.

Once these processes are complete, think about consulting directly with the sales department and asking any unanswered questions or even requesting they send you a business proposal that meets your HR software brief. Spending time with stakeholders will also give you a fresh pair of eyes over the software, and will help you to understand if it’s really right for your needs.

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Step 5: Arrange a trial

Most HR software providers, including Staffology, offer a free trial or demonstration. Take advantage of the hands-on experience of using their software which will strengthen confidence or reveal any shortcomings and difficulties using the system. Perhaps invite employees to try the software out as it is likely they will use the system the most.

If a free trial or demonstration isn’t available, it is advisable to subscribe to a new HR software package on a shorter-term basis so that you aren’t tied into a long and expensive contract if this isn’t suitable for your needs.

Step 6: Stick to your budget

It is best to be clear about the size of your budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying for a product that is only partially used. With so many HR software solutions available, it is likely the perfect product for your business already exists.

If you are growing your business, you should also consider HR software that provides full flexibility. In these cases, the price of a package is likely to increase when the number of employees rises.

Make sure software quotes fall within budget and prices are fixed to avoid extra costs for certain features excluded from your contract. Where possible, stipulate a trial period with free cancellation in case the software falls short of your expectations.

It is also wise to check your chosen HR software integrates with other programs your company may already use and that scalability is possible in order to expand beyond the software’s core features.

When you are happy with the outcome of your research and have chosen an HR software supplier that meets all your business needs and is within budget – it is time to implement and onboard.

By this stage, you should be confident your employees can work with the software, and they should have a clear understanding of how it will benefit them. Now, you are ready to introduce it into everyday working life.

The Importance of Choosing the Right HR Software for You

Choosing the right HR software is important for a variety of reasons, even if the selection process is tricky. It is always worth persevering to be sure the HR software you choose satisfies all business needs, performs well and fully supports employees and their development.

Following these processes will arm you with the data and knowledge you require to select the right HR software with the correct features and functions that will support you in everyday HR tasks. Not doing so could be an expensive mistake.

Businesses that choose the wrong HR software are often left trapped in a system that is neither suitable for them nor their employees. This is likely to hurt efficiency and could hold back business growth.

Finally, user-friendly HR software that supports an organisation’s workforce is key. Your HR system shouldn’t require extensive training to understand it. This will help employees feel fully supported and engaged within a business.

However, the process of learning a new HR tool doesn’t end with the purchase itself. New releases or software changes could impact user experience along the way so it is advisable to continue to invest in training or find an HR software provider who will do this for you as part of the terms of your contract.

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Unsure which HR software package is right for you?

Look no further. Staffology offers a variety of HR software solutions to suit any business of any size. Contact us now for a free trial.

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