Choosing the Right Technology Offerings for HR
Companies have had to review the functionality of their Human Resource Information Systems, their Applicant Tracking Systems, and their Learning Management Systems on a more frequent basis now, more than ever before. Changes in technology have provided improved features that make older systems obsolete. Some companies have improved their systems, while others have let them run without upgrading features.
There are a few most important things that must be done before looking to upgrade a system. First, you must list out the specifications of what you want the system to do, before doing a request for proposals. Too often I have seen companies go to market trying to say ‘make it better then what we have”. That does not work in doing an RFP. You need to sit down with a combination of Human Resource Professionals, Information Technology Professionals, and Finance Professionals to determine what your specific needs are - before listing out the features you are looking to acquire.
Planning in advance, understanding your needs, and communicating them clearly in a request for proposals can provide a successful implementation of a new system in the future
Second, you should also look to see what space providers work in, be it companies with less than 1,000 employees, 1,000 to 3,000 employees, or largest employers with over 3,000 employees. Typically, system providers know their sweet space of how large an organization is that their system works best. That also is typically associated with how much the system costs. Of course, you need to plan for the future too. If your company is planning to grow exponentially, you should buy a system that will cover your needs in 5 years once you grow larger.
Third, no matter how good the system looks once you review it, many times the provider will out-source the implementation of the system to a “preferred” third party. I have found that to be a disaster in getting a new system implemented on time and in budget. I once worked on implementing a new HRIS system with a “preferred” third party where the “Project Manager” never even agreed to come on property to meet and talk with our implementation team. If you have to work with a “preferred” third party, you need to put in the contract that they meet you on site, and determine how many visits to your property would be ideal for you. Managing from afar only works once they directly understand the strengths of the implementation team, and the technology needs of the organization.
Fourth, especially with Learning Management Systems, you must structure the contract to be able to access your data even if you change to another provider. I once looked at switching systems and was told we would have to pay for keeping our data on who took what required training. Needless to say, our Vice President of Finance was not happy hearing that we would have to pay to keep our data, once we left the Learning Management System, for another provider!
Planning in advance, understanding your needs, and communicating them clearly in a request for proposals can provide a successful implementation of a new system in the future!