Technology and I have a long and tumultuous — dare I say — love-hate relationship. I’ve always been amazed by its efficiency and robustness, the ever-evolving ability to systematize our lives and businesses. But truth be told, the concepts haven’t always come easy to me.
Instead, I spent years mastering, organizing, and maintaining a “manual system” for my business needs because the cost of a human resource information system (HRIS) or an automated HR/payroll system was notoriously exorbitant. Not to mention, some of those systems weren’t the most user-friendly either.
But, in this day and age, technology has come a long way. And manual processes just aren’t cutting it anymore for most businesses, especially once you have at least a couple hundred employees. Plus, with the sheer number of regulations and laws and all of their variations, it is very difficult — almost impossible — to stay compliant when handling your HR and payroll processes manually.
An HRIS Checklist
When it’s time to let go of your manual processes, consider these points before investing in an HRIS platform:
Be honest about your needs and budget. We’ve all been there. Choosing between two innovative tech products — both brand new, shiny, holding so much promise about how easy and simple they’ll make our lives. It can be tempting to go for the “top of the line” product. But don’t get caught up in the hype. Determine your basic needs early on, including how the system will be used and the metrics and reports you’d like to generate. After your basics are covered, add one or two “upgrade” features to the list. Then, take a good hard look at your budget and identify the maximum you can comfortably invest in a new HR platform.
Don’t go it alone. Make sure you seek input from pertinent departments so that the HRIS system fits the needs of all users. Individuals in IT, operations, accounting, recruiting, and senior management may be worth consulting as they will likely access the system on a regular basis.
Window shop. Don’t rush to make a decision. Just like hiring the wrong employee can be costly, buying into an ill-fitting platform can be incredibly expensive as well. Go into this understanding that it may take several months to find the right HR platform and that you’ll probably see more salesperson demonstrations than you care to admit. Don’t shrug off the demos though — they offer an excellent opportunity to ask questions, gain information, and pick the brain of subject matter experts. Once you have a good feel for all of the HRIS options out there, make a short list of your top vendors and then drill deeper into each system’s offerings.
Coordinate the paperwork. Depending on how you wish to proceed, submitting a request for proposal (RFP) might apply to your situation. Basically, you’ll provide a summary of your project needs, minimum requirements, and budget to each vendor on your short list. Vendors will then bid on your project.
Make the call. Once you receive all of the bids, now’s the time to make the call. You’ve spent months researching, completing demos on each HRIS platform, and obtaining buy-in from all users. Choose the platform, notify the vendor, and start reaping the benefits of automated HR and payroll!
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