Buying HR software: Questions to ask vendors

Buying HR software

Questions to ask vendors

Whatever type of organsation you are, there’s an HRMS solution for you. It’s not always been the case, but the HR & Payroll tools on the market today are on a par with anything in finance, marketing or sales.

But with the wide range of options available, it’s much easier to make an okay choice than it is to make a perfect choice.

Not all solutions offer flexibility to accommodate the nuances in HR. Some HR departments are responsible for Payroll, some aren’t. Some take full control of recruitment, some do not.

What do you want to achieve?

Before you start grilling prospective vendors, have a clear idea what your objectives are.

  • Common objectives include:
  • Reduce HR & Payroll resource costs
  • Boost engagement and improve employee relationship management
  • Eliminate human errors in data processing
  • Future proof against industry or organisational change
  • Instant, remote access to tools and information
  • Modernise clunky processes and improve user experience
  • Access sophisticated reporting and analytics
  • Decrease the IT burden associated with operating multiple platforms
  • Automate administrative processes
  • Leverage insights from real-time employee and payroll data
  • Consolidate disparate data to create a single source of truth
  • Support a wider business agenda for digitisation
  • Integrate HR with existing business systems

Questions for vendors:

Longlisting

  • What industries does the solution serve?
  • What size businesses, smallest and largest?
  • Can they put you in touch with other similar clients who use the solution?
  • How is the development roadmap of the solution guided, by customers?
  • What levels of customer support are guaranteed?
  • What is the average response rate of a technical support call?
  • When on-site help is needed by a customer, how is this handled?
  • How is the solution kept up to date on compliance issues and governmental reporting changes?
  • How, when, and where is user training provided?
  • How easily can the solution integrate with other systems if required?
  • What is the standard policy for providing software updates, upgrades, and enhancements?
  • How easy is the process for purchasing additional modules and functionality?

Tough questions: What kind of vendor are they?

At the sharp end of the process, vendors should all have proven their ability to deliver on your requirements.

But great responsiveness and general bonhomie at the proposal and demonstration stage is no guarantee the same level of service and attentiveness will continue into a long-term working relationship.

Questions like this can help you form an opinion on who they are:

Competence: What policies and procedures do they have in place to support their commitment to product performance?

Service: Similarly, how do they reassure you of a continued level of customer service? Will they appoint an account manager or customer success manager as a single point of contact?

Communication: How will communications be delivered and managed? What channels do they prefer?

Continuity: How will they cope with demand-level changes, crisis or disaster recovery? You might pose hypothetical scenarios and ask how they might impact the vendor’s ability to meet your requirements

Stability: Can they demonstrate evidence of financial stability? You could seek credit rating documentation. Who are their investors?

Culture: Does the vendor share cultural and working philosophies with your organisation? A closer cultural fit will make for a more harmonious working relationship

As in many business-technology purchases, the decision between broadly similar potential suppliers often comes down to a subjective question: Is the vendor someone we want to work with?

If you’d like a no-nonsense conversation about your HR software needs, book a callback from one of our specialists using our Demo form.

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