HRIS and HRMS, or Human Resources Information System and Human Resources Management System, are ways for HR to become technologically advanced. Most companies combine the two systems, but essentially HRIS tracks statistic information whereas HRMS is more for personnel management. (For purposes of this article, we will call it the HRIS.) In a world where everything is becoming technology-driven, it only makes sense to have the ability to automate some of the HR processes. These systems are designed to create efficiencies in HR without allocating too many resources to those items.
There are a few things to think about when deciding which HRIS to choose:
Help from IT – make sure to consult with your IT department before selecting a new system as they will (more than likely) be assisting with the implementation of the new solution. This is especially true if you are looking to change out multiple systems as this can be a nightmare if IT doesn’t know what’s going on.
Integration – when looking for a new HRIS ensure that it will integrate with your current systems. It’s more than a pain to work out of multiple systems that don’t integrate with each other, especially when it comes to accounting and payroll. If you can’t find a HRIS that will integrate with your other system(s) you may want to look into an all-in-one solution to upgrade to.
Stick with what you need – if you don’t need resume and applicant tracking, org charts, or training then don’t select the package with those options. Most companies have packaged solutions, but if you don’t find a package that suits your needs find out if you can choose certain functionality and put your own package together (this may or may not be more cost effective).
Look into the future – while you shouldn’t get a system that is above the functionality that you currently need, also think about what your company may need in the future and choose a company that offers additional functionality to be added later on.
Check references – would you hire a new employee without checking their references? I hope not! So, why would you choose a system to hold your company’s confidential employee information without checking their references as well? I know I wouldn’t! When checking references, be sure that the company is similar in size, maturity, and industry.
Customizability – when looking for a new system ask about how customizable the system is, if your IT department can customize it, or if you’ll have to pay each time you want something new (especially when it comes to reporting). Speaking of reporting, ensure the reporting that you need is either already available or can be created (this includes ad hoc reports that you run frequently).
Timing – get a clear picture of the real timeline for implementation, training, and roll out of the program for your organization. Many companies will give you a quick timeline to get you to buy, but nail down specific times (i.e. 2 weeks to build customized system, 3 days to load it on computers, 1 week for training, etc.).
Support – ensure you know exactly who will be supporting you and your IT department when you have questions or issues (issues always come up…always), what days and times they are available, and the level of support you can expect.
Actual cost – finally, you should know exactly what the system is going to cost you. Just because the sticker price says $499, clarify if there are additional costs, such as for installation, add on modules, additional users, training, support, etc. Your CFO won’t be very happy with you if you come to him or her with a $499 price tag that approved, but then ends up being closer to $999.
Work with the companies you are researching to get all of the information you can before taking your proposal to the Board. The better prepared you are, the better you will look.