Simon Carvi, HR Expert L&D Contributor at Huneety.com.
Are you thinking about changing your HR system? Do you feel your current HR system does not provide a satisfying “user experience”? Do you feel limited in the digitalization of your HR processes? It might be time for your company to explore new HR Software horizons.
HR Software is a busy space, and the choices can be overwhelming. These 6 practical tips have been collected from HR professionals and business leaders who underwent a HR software transition. This is their feedback:
Get the best user experience, even if that means venturing outside of your “payroll ecosystem”.
In most cases, the user experience provided by “payroll” software companies is just not good enough to be widely adopted by non-HR stakeholders. Don’t forget your new tool shall be embraced by your line managers. Simply said: your HR Software must help managers to better manage teams.
Having complicated and non-intuitive interfaces may give managers arguments to not perform basic management job duties such as continuous appraisal, documenting feedback, performing goal setting and competency development roadmaps etc.
- Place user experience as #1 criteria of your HR system selection!
- A simple test is to check if the platform can be operated by a manager without a PDF manual. If this is a stretch, look for simpler alternatives.
Master the basics and start with Core HR first
Sounds logical? Before you think about advanced features such as 9-grid or succession planning visualization, work on a truly unified employee database and all Core HR information covered (employee information, benefits enrolment, taxes).
You do not want to end up with too many data sources, especially if you are managing several countries. Having a harmonized data system will help you save time on the hassle of data collection on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Integrate your core HR database with your employee directory, payroll system and BI tools.
- Get your IT systems teams involved!
Evaluate total cost of current HR system and highlight ROI opportunities.
Depending on organizations, HR systems may not the top priority for top management. To get your management buy-in, try to explain your HR system with a cost and productivity mindset. Make the comparison with other existing systems that may exist in the company, such as in your finance department.
When making your cost evaluation, include:
- Yearly license costs of your current HR systems.
- Cost of previous customizations — to date!
- Previous implementation cost.
- Time spent by HR team & users collecting data from your different systems etc.
Tips to highlight your Return on Investment with the new system:
- Compute total price of your selected system — Your choice should minimize customization costs!
- Focus on time spent on redundant tasks your new HR system could fix. Redundant tasks are not valid just for HR, but also for all current users of your HR platform. Come up with a cost estimate.
- Quantify what HR will do with time saved and how does new activities will profit the company.
Example: Aim at a X% increase in your employee performance outputs if your system allows you to link training management with Performance management.
Do not mimic paper systems, use this opportunity to leapfrog and digitize workflows.
Most companies are transitioning from paper-based processes to partly/fully automated systems. It’s possible that in the past your company required paper forms for each process, with different levels of approvals and signature. Avoid the mistake to try to reproduce existing workflows with the new system! The customizations required to mimic customized flows are very likely to send your project’s budget off-rail.
Use the new software as an opportunity to rethink which processes are truly necessary, and which are not. Think about how digital approval can empower existing teams using the new system, and how they can make the organization more collaborative.
Another way to assess which workflows should be transformed or kept is to formalize your “true North”: what are the key objectives behind this software transition? Write them and refer to them as you simplify processes.
For example, formal objectives when rolling out a new HR software can be:
- Enhance the organization’s leadership by improving the quality of SMART action plans.
- Improve the quality of feedbacks given to the teams through one-on-one implementation, post learning evaluations.
- Create a work group and list unnecessary processes. Erase them.
- Take the chance to refocus HR on added value activity by making new process flows support your organization’s leadership capabilities.
- Break silos and consider knowledge sharing features to promote Bottom / up feedback or cross department communications.
Look at scalability
Although you may want to reap the short-term benefits of the new HR system as soon as possible, smaller organizations sometimes find it beneficial to break-down the long-term software goals into several yearly steps, which are easier to budget and implement.
- Year 1. Core HR integration
- Year 2. Recruiting, onboarding and Performance Management
- Year 3. Learning and development, Talent Management etc.
You need to get how much will the system cost over the long run. Next question is, can you afford your vision?
- Close the loop with your top management and agree on multi-year HR system vision.
- “Big bang” or multi-year plan? Consider your resources and budget.
- Minimize tailor-made customizations. Here is a scalability killer you should avoid. Instead, grab the opportunity to simplify and streamline existing processes.
- Evaluate cost of maintenance.
Integrations, integrations, integrations.
HR Softwares have come a long way. As the world leading systems have grown organically into multi-component behemoths, you might think you need an all-in-one solution.
However, in recent years, a new trend of niche softwares have emerged, each highly specialized in its field (Ie: Specialised solutions for employee recognition, recruitment, gamified learning etc). Those “specialists” leverage APIs to be compatible with other systems your company may already be using. Looking at a software’s integration portfolio will often give you a good sense of how “future-proof” that solution may be.
The first thing to look for are “single sign on” integrations, so you don’t need to manage the login system separately from your Microsoft 365 or Gsuite environment. But integrations can have multiple purposes, such as integrating with your internal communication tools (eg. Slack), data visualization softwares (ie: PowerBI, Tableau) or your Learning Management System (LMS) for example.
Priority top 3 integration list:
- Integrate Single-Sign-On (SSO), if possible, without VPN (it’s 2020, your workforce works from home or cafes, do not create unnecessary barriers in essential systems).
- API with existing Payroll software(s).
- API with LMS.
In 2020 and 2021, LMS is a standalone. E-Learning content is most likely separated from your learning management module. To make your company a “learning organization”, it’s important that you keep LMS integration a priority.
- Look for cloud and SAAS business model platforms. Those are often integration friendly!
- Link existing LMS training catalogue with the new HR system and its Learning & Development module. You want to your HR team to save time managing schedules and post learning evaluations.
- Link learning management with Performance Management module. You want managers to own the development of their teams. HR is controlling the organization’s competency framework. Give managers power over continuous training options to develop their team.
Do you have any recommendations before purchasing an HR software? Share your experience in the comment section below.
Click here If you wish to make your organization and people future ready. You can browse positions with dedicated blended learning plans using the 70/20/10 approach. New positions are added every week.
Simon Carvi is an HR expert professional presenting over 7 years of experience gained through roles in Talent Acquisition an Employee Retention globally and in APAC. Simon is passionate about how people learn and future of work. He helps organizations find practical ways to upskill their workforce as Huneety top learning contributor.