2019 HR Software Buyer's Guide
Whether you’re managing employee hours and compensation, processing hundreds of job applications, onboarding and training new hires, managing employee benefits, or conducting performance reviews, Human Resources (HR) is a business function that influences every aspect of your business, because it’s all about the people who work for your business. Having the right software in place not only streamlines and simplifies your HR functions, but also produces quantifiable results you can use to improve your processes, from hiring and training, to benefits and industry compliance.
Fortunately, there are many HR Software programs available, each offering an array of powerful, effective tools to support your business. Selecting or switching to the perfect HR software system for your company involves deep business examination and thoughtful research and analysis of the features and system capabilities that will best suit your business now and scale with you as you grow. These factors can often make selecting the HR software for your business seem overwhelming.
This guide will provide insight and tools you need to select the best HR solution for your company
HR Benefits and Features
HR solutions offer a centralized system for managing all the vital functions that go into successfully managing your workforce. While HR needs will vary by company (and by industry), there are certain features that will benefit all businesses, including:
- Easy-to-Use Interface and Dashboards
- Employee Management
- Employee Learning and Training
- Time and Attendance
- PTO Requests
- Onboarding and Training
- Benefits Administration
- Payroll Integration
- Culture Management
- Recruiting and Applicant Tracking
- Employee Surveys
- Performance Reviews
- Reporting and Analytics
- Mobile Tools
Implementing a HR solution in your business can generate many key benefits for your business, including:
- Reduced Operational Costs
- Increased Productivity
- Improved Employee Morale and Satisfaction
- Increased Insight Into Employees and HR Practices
HR Trends to Watch in 2019
Business trends and software trends have a symbiotic relationship much of the time, innovation in one area always drives change in the other. To stay current and competitive in your industry by embracing all the best tools for your business, you should regularly study trends surrounding the software solutions you use in your company.
Here’s a closer look at some of the trends driving HR this year.
Cloud HR Adoption Continues to Increase
One of the most significant trends that has continuously evolved business software over the past few years is cloud technology. Cloud-based solutions are growing more popular among all types of businesses each year due to the benefits of convenience, mobility, and cost-effectiveness they offer for companies small and large. HR is no exception, and in 2019, adoption of cloud-based HR solutions is only expected to continue growing.
AI Moves to the Forefront
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology isn’t new, but it’s getting a lot more attention at the mainstream level in many businesses as software companies enhance systems with AI as a new component in their solution.
In 2019 and the years to follow, AI is positioned to play an impactful role in how companies recruit, screen, and hire new employees. AI technology makes it possible to quickly search through applicants and other talent pools, using a predefined list of qualifications, so that businesses can streamline the process of finding and hiring the best people for their business.
Choosing Your Perfect HR Software Solution
Conduct a Business Review
Before you select your HR solution, it is a great idea to make a list of the specific business needs that are driving your decision to implement a new system or upgrade your existing one. Thinking about the manual data barriers or customer-related issues that may be holding your business back will help you gain insight into just how different HR solutions will best fulfill your needs and help you meet your goals.
Many companies find it helpful to include company leaders and key partners in their decision-making process of choosing a HR solution. You can include key people in your business (from executives to support managers and agents) in your selection and planning process to make sure that all of your important needs are accounted for and your solution contains all the features and tools you must have.
Questions to Ask to Guide Your Review
- Which areas (recruitment, performance evaluation, employee engagement etc.) have software that is outdated or cumbersome to use?
- Are there any specific functions that you would like to speed up or automate?
- How much can you afford for purchasing a new HR software?
- Are your employees skilled enough to use it, or will training have to be provided?
- How can you get support for troubleshooting, should any problems arise?
- Is a cloud-based solution more viable, or an on-premise one?
- Will you or your employees need to access the software while they’re away from their office computers i.e. do you have a need for mobile-friendly software?
- Does your HR software need to be integrated with other existing software?
- When it comes to deployment, are you willing to transition all in one go, or introduce the software to your company gradually?
Build Your HR Budget
Budgeting for a new HR is a necessary first step to determine how much you can afford to invest. To accurately plan for what you can spend on purchasing a new HR or upgrading your existing solution, you should consider aspects that impact your current and future profitability potential such as costs, time savings, efficiency and productivity.
Determine Which Type of HR Technology Will Best Suit Your Needs
HR software vendors typically offer an array of different technologies and deployment methods to best meet the size, budget, and needs of your company. While cloud solutions are swiftly gaining popularity, particularly among small and medium companies, larger business still often choose to go with an on-site solution, so they can create a more customized and proprietary system.
Here’s a closer look at the main HR technology options available on the market:
Cloud-based technology is becoming increasingly popular for all types of business software, and HR is no exception. Cloud technology functions through a third-party platform that is powered by the internet, which supports business mobility and remote system access that a flourishing company needs. Cloud HR systems are also more affordable, which gives more companies the opportunity to embrace a solution earlier in their business.
On-premise, or on-site HR solutions are systems that are built on-site in an office building or other physical location. On-premise solutions require hardware and ongoing updates and maintenance, which makes implementation more expensive than cloud solutions.
Think About the People in Your Company Who will be Using Your HR System
For your HR solution to be a success in your business, your employees will need to embrace it and use it to its full potential. If your system is cumbersome or confusing, many employees may become frustrated and not use it as much as they should. This can hinder your growth, so it’s important to pick a HR software that suits the needs of everyone who will using it.
As you think about the users in your company, think over these questions to find the best fit for your teams:
- How many employees will be using the HR system?
- What data sources need to be integrated with this system? Will it interrupt day to day business for my teams?
- What technical expertise levels exist in your users? (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced)
- What are the needs of each group of users?
- What type of support will users need as they learn and use and maximize the potential in your HR?
- What training will employees need?
Know What to Look for in Your Perfect HR Provider
As you meet with various HR vendors that you’re interested in working with, you should do some due diligence in researching their reputation before you commit to purchasing their services. Some of the key things you should look for in your perfect HR vendor are prominence, reviews, and support.
Industry prominence and popularity
While you should not choose a vendor based on popularity alone, a vendor’s standing in the industry can signal what you can expect from their services. Make sure that the provider you select has prominence in the industry and is popular among other companies with similar needs as yours.
Reviews from current or past system users
One of the best ways you can easily research a HR vendor you’re considering is to look for reviews given by current or past users. Reviews from current companies using the software can give you great insight into how the provider treats customers and how companies value their services and features. Past reviews can establish a history of service values and give you a snapshot into how the provider handles business over time as well.
System Support Offered
Support is a vital component that all vendors will offer. However, the types and degree of support will vary from provider to provider, so make sure you know what level of support your team will need, and then ensure your selected vendor can easily fulfil those support needs.
Understand Hardware Needs of Your HR System
If you choose to implement a cloud-based or hosted HR system, then you will not require any hardware to get your software up and running quickly.
However, if you’re going to be implementing a solution on site, you’ll need to plan on investing upfront for hardware, installation, and ongoing maintenance on your system.
Research and Compare Multiple HR Vendors
Once you have a firm grasp on all the things you need and want from your HR solution, and understand what you must invest, then you can begin researching and comparing vendors.
There are many excellent HR vendors on the market, and you’ll undoubtedly be able to find your perfect system if you take a bit of time to really look into what each vendor offers and compare your top choices against one another to determine which is best for you and your business. As you compare your options, make sure to keep your list of key business needs and required features handy so you can reference them and keep yourself on track as you absorb all of the information and create a short list of viable options.
Set up Demos and Get Pricing from HR Vendors on Your Short List
Once you’ve created a short list of three to five HR solutions that you’re interested in implementing, it’s important to take your preparation and research one step further and get in touch with each vendor. Most providers will happily set up meetings to discuss your needs and requirements and can demonstrate all the key features for you.
Before you participate in a meeting or demo with vendor, make sure that you refresh your memory on all your business and feature needs. It is also a great idea to provide your lists to the vendor prior to meeting, so they can put together the custom options and pricing they have available that will meet your needs. This will make your time much more efficient, and also give the vendor a clear understanding of exactly what you require.