Follow a Few Simple Rules to Select the Right HR Software

Gina Deveney
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The right HR software makes everything easier, from tracking applicants to making sure your company is in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. Because there are thousands of different packages available, it takes time to find an HR system that meets your needs without bogging you down with unnecessary features. Follow these tips to find the right HR software for streamlining all your HR activities.

The first thing you must do is establish a budget. If you know your company is not willing to spend more than $1,000 to purchase a new HR system, you won't waste time testing more expensive solutions. Before choosing HR software, you also need to determine your requirements. If you work for a company with fewer than 25 employees, you don't need a system designed for corporations with thousands of workers. Sit down with company executives and HR personnel to come up with a list of must-have features before you start shopping.

Do not purchase HR software without consulting employees from other departments. They might not use the software very often, but they will have to use the reports generated by the new system. Ask people from your accounting, marketing, sales and IT departments to weigh in on desirable features and reporting capabilities. Involving other employees in the purchase is also a good way to overcome objections to implementing a new system.

You don't have enough time to test dozens of HR software programs, so make a list of four or five programs to test. Make sure each program has all the must-have features you came up with before you started shopping. Evaluate each program by reading expert opinions and looking at reviews. Once you have a final list of contenders, contact the vendors to set up product demonstrations. Watching a demo gives you a chance to see the HR software analyze data or generate reports. Live demonstrations also make it easier to compare features and determine if there are any HR software solutions that won't meet your company's needs.

It's very easy to get distracted by attractive interfaces and noisy alerts when watching product demos, so use a scorecard to rate each HR software package. Come up with a list of scoring criteria ahead of time, so you don't have to create a scorecard on the fly. Rate each software package based on its features, speed and other criteria. A completed scorecard will help you compare one software package with another, plus you won't have to worry about forgetting important features.

The right HR software makes it easier to focus on strategic HR activities and reduces the amount of time you spend chasing down files and completing paperwork. Take the time to research several programs and watch live demos before you invest in HR software for your company.


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