Part 1 – Selecting a Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

By - July 28, 2016

Human Resource Information System (HRIS) applications are utilized by organizations to manage everything related to talent management, from recruiting, to on-boarding, benefits, self-service, payroll, incentive compensation and more. Industry research suggests that using a fully integrated HR system to streamline and improve overall operations can help companies become leaders in their respective industries. Today’s best in class HRIS automate everything related to HR in a single web-based software system that not only offer core functionality, but also cutting edge features that allow HR to become more strategic. However, the process of selecting an HRIS can be overwhelming.

Below are key areas of focus to ensure the success of an HRIS selection, and implementation:

Establishing your needs: The most important step in any search for HR systems is to establish your needs both for the short term and long term. It’s critical to define what the most important system features are for your HR team and for your company to ensure that the HRIS you select accommodates these needs. For example, the size of the workforce is an important decision element. You would not want to include an HRIS system in your evaluation that has proven to be a leader for Fortune 500 companies when your organization’s size is much smaller, because many of the standard functionalities will not be applicable, but based on your company’s growth strategy, it may make sense longer term.

Industry specific: The majority of mainstream solutions are capable of serving many industries; however, some products are industry specific. For example, the unique needs of retail and manufacturing, versus health care, may be evidenced in the areas of time and labor or talent management. Organizations with unique industry requirements should be sure to include vendors with a higher percentage of clients in their industry-specific evaluation criteria, in addition to considering other cross-industry solutions. Vendors generally target their solutions on specific market segments.

Assessing vendors: Prior to evaluating third parties, a key element of the selection process is understanding your requirements. It is the critical that your company does not allow the Third-Party to define your requirements, therefore the creation of a focus group comprised of HR, executives and IT will ensure project alignment and success. After defining your requirements, you will want ask questions such as:

  • How well does the Vendor address our requirements?
  • How does the solution mitigate our risk?
  • How secure is the vendor from a financial and IT security aspect?
  • What is the Vendor’s record with Customer Service?
  • Who does the Vendor partner with? Industry specific?

HRIS systems allow companies to align HR strategy with business objectives to get the most out of their workforces and adapt quickly to market changes. Regardless of who is involved in the system evaluation process, HR professionals must own the decision and take responsibility for driving the implementation. In order to ensure HR is owning the process, the creation of a focus group comprised of HR, executives and IT will ensure project alignment and triumph. In the next part of this 2-part series, we will dive into emerging industry trends and key characteristics of modern day HRIS systems.

To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.


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