5 Critical Factors to Consider When Choosing a HR Software

April 17, 2017
By

Category: HR Tips & Trends

Looking for the right HCM or HR software for your company? If so, you’ve probably realized that it’s not an easy decision, nor should it be.

The right HCM can help make the lives of HR professionals monumentally better, while a bad HCM could give them more work – in addition to being a financial drain on the company.

So, where should you start? How can you nail down the perfect HR software for your company? We’re here to help. Below are five critical factors that can help you choose the right HCM for your business.

#1 – Intuitive User Interface (UI)

There’s a reason why Apple iPhones are such a hit. They’re easy-to-use and intuitive – so much so that even toddlers and grandparents alike can use an iPhone. The HR software you use should aim for such heights.

Think about it: The goal of HR software is to make it easy for HR professionals to focus more on strategic planning and less on administrative tasks. So, if the HCM you choose is confusing and hard to navigate, questions on how to use the software will be directed to you. And that’s more work for you, not less.

As such, it’s important to choose a HCM with an intuitive UI. It’s an easy statement, but it’s actually harder to implement than you may think.

“User Interface (UI) Design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions,” according to usability.gov.

So, as you’re considering different HR software options, just keep in mind the importance of an intuitive system that anticipates what you need, opposed to one that hinders you.

#2 – Seamless Integration

We’re going to use the phone analogy here, too.

When you buy a new phone, it’s frustrating when the phone accessories you have and love – like phone case, charger, headphones, etc. – don’t fit or integrate anymore. The same frustration applies to HR software.

A HCM shouldn’t disrupt your ecosystem. Instead, it should make your HR ecosystem easier and more efficient. That said, smart integrations should be a key factor when choosing a HR software.

“Canned integrations is simply a list of partner apps with which the HRMS vendor has built direct integration capability that you can opt into by either paying extra or downloading a connector,” notes PCMag.com.

These built-in integrations are great if the systems you already use are a part of the pack. But what you should look for in a solution is something that’s even more flexible.

For example, “open APIs allow you to build your own integrations between whichever systems you like as long as they both support the API and you’ve got some programming talent in-house,” notes PCMag.

Learn more about Zenefits integrated partners and custom integrations.

#3 – Scalability

Like the big things in life you invest in – a car, house, partner – you want your HR software to stand the test of time. The last thing you want to do is go with the latest and greatest software, only to realize that a year later, your company has outgrown it. Unfortunately, finding a scalable solution can be tough. 

In fact, a 2014 survey on strategic workforce planning by Workday and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that only 43 percent of companies believe their strategic workforce planning process is scalable. That means over 50 percent of companies are struggling to find a scalable solution to manage their workforce.

As you evaluate the longevity of a HR software, below are questions you can ask to see if the product is scalable:

  1. Are there limitations to the number of employees the software can support?
  2. Does the HR software align with the benefits you want to offer your employees?
  3. Will the HR software continue to streamline processes through company growth?
  4. What’s on the roadmap? What features or updates can you look forward to?

Understanding how your company intends to grow – and how the vendor intends to grow – is critical. As you’re choosing the right HR software for your company, just remember to think and plan for the future.  

#4 – Customer Service

As we noted earlier, great HR platforms should be easy-to-use and intuitive. They should enable customers to utilize the product at ease with little to no problem. But, what if problems do arise?

During these (hopefully) rare cases, you’ll want a competent human to support you. Unfortunately, a great product doesn’t always have a great customer service team behind it.

In fact, 2017 research by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that “as companies have focused on new self-service technologies, they’ve underinvested in frontline service talent.”

And while it’s easy to understand the rationale – a great product shouldn’t require much customer service interaction – when you dive a bit deeper, the logic simply doesn’t make sense, as HBR outlines:

“As customers handle more of the simple issues themselves, frontline service reps get increasingly tough ones – the issues customers can’t solve on their own. And today’s reps are struggling with these complex problems. In a world of self-service, talented reps matter more than ever.”

#5 – Cost and ROI

This one may be obvious, but we’d be remiss not to include it.

As you consider your HCM options, cost should certainly be a factor, but it shouldn’t trump ROI. You don’t want to go with the cheapest option available, but rather consider how the HR software will pay off.

Consider this from entrepreneur.com, which recommends investing in automation to reduce workload:

“Make the business more scalable by supplementing its processes with software. For example, instead of relying solely on human capital to handle things like scheduling or data entry, invest in software that lightens employee loads and allows workflow to be more efficient. Software will be an upfront cost, but as the business expands, that software can minimize new hires, keeping costs down over the long term – even as profits increase.”

Bottom Line

Picking the right HR software takes time, research, and investment. It’s not an easy decision and it shouldn’t be treated lightly.

Make sure to shop around, compare product features, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The vendors you’re scoping out should be able to give you clear answers on how their product will help your company grow and succeed.

See how Zenefits’ HR Software can help grow your business. 

About

Raised by small business owners in Long Beach, California, Sarah loves creating meaningful content that truly helps people run their businesses successfully and efficiently. In addition to being a Content Marketing Manager at Zenefits, Sarah is a coffee addict, baked-good lover, and a LA Clippers fan.

Category: HR Tips & Trends


You might also like