10 things you should look for. Choosing HR software

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1 10 things you should look for Choosing HR software

2 Introduction Selecting a new piece of HR software can be a daunting task. There s a lot to think about. At the end of the day, the chosen software won t just affect the HR department it ll affect the organisation as a whole. While there s an understandable element of risk associated with investing in any software, there s also a huge opportunity for HR. Get it right, and you can greatly improve working processes and boost productivity. By freeing up HR personnel to perform a more strategic role within the organisation, the right HR software can really enhance the value and impact of an organisation s HR function. So, you know what you need: a solution that s going to reduce time-consuming admin, leaving you with both the time to focus on top-level strategy and the tools to turn your vision into reality. It s just a case of finding a product that fits the bill. For 57% of companies, it s a decision they re planning to make in the next 18 months. 1 Of course, choosing the right product is easier said than done. That s why we ve put together some tips to help you in your search. From where to source recommendations to the questions you should be asking vendors, this guide will set you on the right path to finding the best solution for you. So, where to begin 57% of companies plan to make a new HR software purchase in the next 18 months 1 1

3 Talk to your peers Fellow HR professionals are a good place to start. They ll be able to provide a wealth of information and advice to help inform your choice. In fact, recent research shows that 59% of business buyers turn to industry peers before making a decision on HR software. 2 While you don t necessarily need to pull with the crowd, it would be unwise to ignore them altogether. As well as talking to peers directly, you can follow their discussions on industry forums. Threads on these sites provide detailed, candid reviews on the realities of working with different solutions. We suggest trying the following: The CIPD communities forum: Of course, while there s a lot of information to be gleaned from these sources, it s still subjective. What s right for one organisation may not be best for yours. So if you know the exact features you want, HR Comparison s product selector tool (http://www.hrcomparison.com) or Select HRM (www.selecthrm.co.uk) are particularly useful. However, that s only an option if you already know what you need - and even then, it won t tell you everything you need to know. The UK Business Forums: employment-hr.147/ 2 2

4 Informing your choice what to bear in mind 10 key points you should look out for when choosing software Is it user friendly? Is everything integrated? Are reporting and analytics easy to access, view and customise? Can employees self-serve, update and access their information? Does it manage the entire employee life cycle? Is your data secure? How much will it cost to get off the ground? Will this save my team time? Will time savings translate into cost savings and, overall, can I justify the investment? Cloud vs On Premise 3

5 1. Is it user friendly? 2. Is everything integrated? The better the user experience, the faster and more seamlessly the software will be adopted and integrated into your organisation. Employees will be happier to use it too, and you ll save time and effort in the process. Remember that software is only as good as its user. If the interface is too complicated and confuses your team, rather than aid its development, your system will end up being more trouble than it s worth. That s why a lot of costly change management programmes require consultants to show people how to use their software. It s not just a question of aesthetics; the design of the solution can determine whether it succeeds or fails. For more on how usability drives adoption, read our guide, Rapidly adopt, deploy and leverage new HR technologies: Five principles to achieve strategic HR for your organisation. Most vendors will offer a free demonstration so you can testdrive any software before you consider adopting it. Although the focus of the modern department is very much on strategy, there are still a range of admin-heavy processes to contend with. Any solution worth its salt should greatly increase the efficiency of these processes, leaving your team with more time to focus on the bigger picture. Organisations are looking for ease of use, and 40% are willing to sacrifice technical features for a single vendor solution. 3 To achieve this, your software should bring all these processes together, providing a single portal through which you can manage everything recruitment, payroll, performance management, expenses, holidays, timesheets and absentee data without having to move information between an array of disparate systems. Ask the vendor to demo the software to you. You will need to be clear on how the system collects data and what various tasks the data is pulled through. This will indicate to you where data may need to be inputted manually

6 3. Are reporting and analytics easy to access, view and customise? 4. Can employees self-serve, update and access their information? Once you install an integrated system, you ll find your data is now aggregated in one place, rather than siloed across the organisation. This allows for easier and more meaningful real time reporting. In fact, 88% of organisations believe that making decisions quickly based on real time data is becoming increasingly important. 4 Once your chosen software allows for easy data curation such as report generation at the touch of a button you will benefit from unheralded levels of insight, right across the organisation. As a result, you ll have the advantage of being able to make confident decisions, based on evidence and data collected in real time. 88% believe making decisions quickly based on real time data increasingly important User-friendly software that s adopted quickly and easily should empower staff to take care of their own admin. The solution you choose should hand employees ownership and responsibility, giving them the freedom to edit and manage their working life. This is critical in today s digital world and it s in employees own interests. With the prevalence of apps and consumer software taking over most day-to-day functions, interactive technology has changed and people expect their personal information to be on hand wherever they are, whenever they need it on any device. Not only will this reduce your department s administrative burden, it will drive engagement. And the more people you have using the system, the more data you ll have available for reporting. For more information, read our guide, Empowering your workforce: The benefits of devolved HR

7 5. Does it manage the entire employee life cycle? 6. Is your data secure? Providing the HR department with an overarching view of employee development, a system that covers all aspects of each employee s career from hiring to retiring will make you perfectly placed to identify opportunities for talent development and succession planning. 17% increase in revenue per fulltime employee and improve customer retention by 16% Organisations that maintain their forms in a digital format for onboarding new talent are able to streamline the recruitment and development process, and achieve business results faster. Best-in-class organisations were able to increase revenue per full-time employee by 17% and improve customer retention by 16%. 5 It goes without saying that you need to make sure all the information held in the system is safe and it s therefore critical that your vendor s level of security meets your company s exacting standards. In spite of the fear held by many CIOs, using a Cloud-based vendor is in many cases a better option. Choose a vendor whose servers reside in your country and are subjected to round the clock monitoring, with next to perfect uptime statistics and backup procedures

8 7. How much will it cost to get off the ground? 8. Will this save my team time? Implementing new software is an investment and like any investment, you want to see it deliver a return as soon as possible. As a result, the need for a short implementation time is becoming more and more important. If the software is so complex that you need a team of consultants to get it live, the entire project will become exponentially more expensive. Plus, you ll have to wait longer to see the benefits and risk a drop off in engagement. Typical questions to ask your team and potential vendors could include: How long will it take to implement and what are the associated consultancy costs? How much does it cost per license, per year? Are there any financial costs attached to decommissioning current software? Do you also need to update IT applications for compatibility with newer software? If so, what s the cost? Your chosen solution should give HR and employees across the organisation the freedom to focus their time on more valuable, strategic issues by making core, day-to-day functions easier to deliver. No matter how intuitive and painless a system is to bring in, there s still going to be a considerable time investment. It s worth asking yourself: Is the software going to make a real difference to the way my team work? If the answer is no, then it might not be worth the effort. 37

9 9. Will time savings translate into cost-savings and, overall, can I justify the investment? To work out whether or not the software will save the company money, you ll need to consider how long it will take for savings to be realised. For this, you ll have to complete an ROI calculation You ll need to know: 1. Initial Costs For this calculation, turn the initial consultancy, software and other necessary hardware into working figures. 2. Annual Net Benefits Gross Benefits (this is the amount of money saved from implementing a new or replacement application over one employee s salary) minus ongoing costs, like licensing and interest. 3. Time Period This is the life span of the software. For a HR/ Payroll system you can base your calculation on an estimated life span of about 4-5 years. 4. Extra Costs Budget for these. They could include implementation, extra training and project management (both internal and/ or external). It s worth noting that a newer system should reduce the annual maintenance cost, making it more cost-effective year-on-year. 38

10 10. Cloud vs On Premise How do you decide whether software as a service (SAAS) is what you want or whether an installed solution is more applicable for your organisation? What s the right investment? It s important to recognise that every organisation s needs are different, so one solution that s right for one business, may not be right for another. When deciding on a Cloud provider, it s important to choose one that provides the right levels of security and backup and recovery for your business s needs. Flexibility Cloud gives you the flexibility to scale your usage up and down depending on your requirements, and the ability to quickly enter new markets, when on-premise would require a far larger infrastructure investment. By moving to a Cloud provider, you can immediately access the most up-to-date operating system, and benefit from greater capabilities and stronger security. Additionally, because data is hosted on external servers, rather than on-premise systems that use lots of servers and air conditioning, it s greener too. Cost In the long-term, you ll probably end up paying a little more for Cloud than installing and deploying on-premise solutions. You ll usually need to pay a oneoff charge at the beginning. If you choose to add installation and upgrades to your service, you ll just pay an additional fee that s included in your overall subscription cost. Operations Cloud enables employees to work from wherever there s an internet connection. It also makes technology standardisation across a business easier, as everyone uses the same operating system. It also makes it easier to outsource part of your operations to third parties. Infrastructure To take full advantage of the Cloud, it s a good idea to update your own infrastructure, like the browser or security settings on your mobile devices. Cloud can t do this for you automatically, and will need updating regularly, so it s important to use a solution that allows for selective upgrades and testing. This is trickier for onpremise systems, as upgrades and changes made to them may require larger changes within your business s infrastructure. 39

11 The right investment? It s now time to take a step back and decide, based on all the insights you will have gained from our guide, which new HR software is right for your organisation. Review your cost analyses by factoring in both financial costs established by your ROI calculation, as well as time costs determined by speed of implementation and adoption. By asking the right questions, you can bring in a system that will take care of your administration, giving you the insights needed to inform effective strategies, while making it easier to find the talent to put them into practice. It could revolutionise your HR department, saving you time and money. Yes, there s lots to consider and the decision isn t always easy, but you should now be well-informed to determine the overall investment value of new HR software, and confident in making the decision as to whether it s right for your HR department and importantly, the whole organisation. 10

12 Want to find out more? Then why not arrange a demo? At CoreHR, we re on a mission to give HR departments the tools they need to work smarter. To find out more about what the right HR software can do for you, or for a free demonstration, call us on +44 (0) or Sales UK +44(0) Ireland +353 (0)

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