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It is not easy to find an HR software system that perfectly suits your needs.

With most systems, you have to do so much customization that you might as well build your own solution in house. To make matters worse, an almost infinite number of sellers will try to convince you that their solution is the best. Or they will tell you that they know better than you do what will work for your company.

However, there are a few things that you can do in order to set your HR team and your organization up for success.




Trust Your Instincts When You’re Shopping for HR Software

When you’re buying new HR software, your business intuition can keep you from making an expensive mistake. You and your HR leaders understand what your business needs. You and they know what provoked the search for new HR software in the first place.

Therefore, don’t allow yourself to be seduced by a salesperson. Likewise, don’t trust everything you see or read online. Instead, think objectively about your company’s culture and the way you do business. In other words, have a clear vision of the solution you expect your new HR software to provide.

Moreover, don’t plan to use a new HR software system to enforce a cultural shift or procedural change in your company. Implementing new software requires enough change management without making some huge organizational alteration along with it. If you understand your company’s need for the software, the right option will provide a solution to a problem. The last thing you want is a disruption that makes your problems worse.


Ask the Right Questions

HR software is different from many other types of software. That is, it is almost always used and managed by employees. As a result, the solution identification and request-for-proposals (RFP) process is usually not as extensive as it is in other areas of the business. What’s more, the emphasis is on the end user’s experience.

What this means is that a lot of companies purchase their HR systems based on how those systems look and feel. This can mean that they don’t ask enough questions about the system’s layout and infrastructure. However, most of the people who will be using as well as managing the software will be your employees. Therefore, opting to serve your end users at the expense of your backend users is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Take ATS Software, for Example

For example, vendors for applicant tracking systems (ATS), or recruitment software, will often focus on the ease of their system’s application process. The problem is that this focus is directed toward people who are not yet your employees. Candidates will likely spend a maximum of one hour interfacing with your ATS software. However, your employees will interface with that system eight hours a day, five days a week.

So don’t purchase an ATS that is easy to use from a candidate’s perspective but which prevents your system administrators and recruiters from doing their jobs effectively. If you do, you make enemies of your talent acquisition team. In the worst case scenario, this can even extend to hiring managers. They can become frustrated with how long it takes to hire quality candidates. The ill will can then extend throughout your company, as teams remain short-staffed for long periods.

Include the Right People from the Beginning

Therefore, ensure that you have the right people involved in demos and the RFP process from the very beginning. This will make it more likely that one person or another will ask the right questions. Therefore, you’ll be better able to arrive at a happy medium between the employees who will be using the system and those who will be maintaining it.


Stay Within Your Budget

The very first thing you should do is understand what your budget is for your new HR software. Most companies don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend. Therefore, get your executive leadership team to give you a clear budget. You can then use this figure to narrow your search.


Find the Right Balance

Unless you build your own solution internally, you probably will never find an absolutely perfect solution for your business. However, by following the suggestions in this post, you will be able to find HR software that provides the right balance between customer and administrator needs.


About the Author

Sat Sindhar, MD, at contributed this article.