Investing in a HRIS and going through the motions to get it installed and integrated is a huge step for any company that will require a big investment of both time and money. While most companies understand that time should be spent beforehand to gather information that will help managers choose the best HRIS, there are a few mistakes that companies often make in the process of gathering this information.
Inadequately Assessing Organizational Needs
Spending more time interviewing employees and department heads in the initial stages of gathering information can save a lot of frustration, money, and time later. Not every single person in the organization needs to put their two cents in when determining needs, but the key employees that will be affected should have a say so that the functions that are needed of a new system are as clearly defined and specific as possible.
It might be helpful to interview the following employees when doing needs assessment:
- HR leaders
- Finance managers
- Internal IT
- HR back office professionals
- Self-service managers
- Front-line employees
Letting Vendors Take the Wheel
Vendors know the magic tricks that will wow their audience and will not hesitate to pull out all of the stops to impress a company that is not ready, especially when doing a demo. Letting a vendor just do their thing and put on the show can distract managers and employees and pull their attention away from assessing whether the system is actually up to snuff when it comes to the necessities. It helps to have a plan and a clear set of questions prepared in advance so that employees can ask the vendor to show how well the system performs those specific functions.
Not Looking at Enough Vendors
When it comes down to demo time, there should be no more than three vendors left on the chopping block. However, the initial search should include as many vendors as possible. Searches can quickly be narrowed based on the reliability and experience of the vendor and the compatibility of the systems that are offered with established needs, but it is helpful to have a large sampling to apply these constraints to so that highly compatible vendors are not overlooked.
Hand-in-hand with inadequately assessed needs is a lack of prioritization in needs. In many cases, organizations create a compilation of the HRIS system needs and just figure that a chosen system should take care of all of these needs equally. Systems are different, though, and failing to properly rank needs can result in the passing up of a system that is spectacular at meeting all of the more important needs because it does not meet a low-priority requirement.
Risk of “Heavyweight” Ranking
During needs assessment interviews, it is common for top-level (“heavyweight”) managers to weigh in more than employees that are “lightweight” class. This is not always desirable, as everyone is going to view the things that they deal with most often as the most important HRIS requirements, including those top-level managers. To avoid the risk of “heavyweight” ranking, it may be helpful to develop a list of priorities and allow each department or manager to assign a number of prioritization to each need that can be averaged later on.
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