Six Questions You Should Be Asking When Updating Your HR Tech/Payroll System(s) – Part 1 of 6

Many questions come to mind when companies start trying to solve for HR technology issues.  For many who have never been through an implementation, there are so many questions, it can be hard to decide where to start.  In our role of helping clients navigate the maze of HR technology solutions, we’ve heard them all (or most at least!) but are always curious about what questions companies have top of mind.

In our constant search for enhanced insights, we participated in a SHRM Twitter session (#Nextchat), which did a good job of boiling it down to six of the most frequently asked questions. We’ll share some of the highlights from the chat session as well as add our own additional insight in this six-part blog series.

The topic of the chat session was called “How to Transform Your HR Department Through Technology (Even If Your HR Department is Just You) and below are the six questions covered*:

In a nutshell, when looking for new HR technology, HR professionals should always ask themselves:

  1. What business problem will this solution solve? What other questions should they be asking?
  2. What should HR professionals be on the lookout for when it comes to HR tech contracts? What are some important considerations?
  3. What advice can you share for sourcing and selecting potential HR technology vendors?
  4. What are some tips for HR technology implementation for small HR departments and departments of one?
  5. What are the keys to convincing the C-suite (especially in a small company with a limited budget) of the need for new technology?
  6. How can small HR departments and HR departments of one leverage relationships with technology vendors for maximum value?

The first and perhaps broadest question companies should be asking themselves is “what should I take into consideration when looking for new HR technology”.  First and foremost, our recommendation to companies is that they stay focused on the bigger picture, take a step back for example and ask “What business problem will this solution solve?”.  Don’t get to caught up in trying to solve only for the urgent crisis at the moment.

Again, in this article we’ll highlight the first question which companies chimed in on: “What business problem will this solution solve? What other questions should they be asking?”*

Here are some of the responses posted by participants which elaborate on the basic question above:

  1. What business problem does this solve?
  2. How does this integrate/overlap (or not) with our current technology?
  3. What is the cost/ROI?
  4. Is it cloud-based and if not where/how is it hosted?
  5. Who are the key decision makers and is everyone involved in the process that needs to be?
  6. How easy it this for employees to use?
  7. Who will own it/update it?
  8. Is it configurable to meet our requirements?
  9. What support is provided with the technology?
  10. What do we really NEED the technology to do?
  11. How will we hold vendors accountable to do what they said that could do during our initial discovery/demo phase?
  12. If you’re planning to automate work, gather a focus group who will be the end-users of the technology so that you ask them how the work is done and design the process right from the get go.

The list goes on and while these are all great questions, the bottom-line is that there really isn’t a one-and-done checklist of questions for companies considering new HR tech.  Each client situation is unique and the questions that should be asked of the client and potential vendors should be specific to where they are at as an organization and within their search process.  MillsonJames leverages a very customized consulting approach to help your clients address those tough questions head on to mitigate risks down the road.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series which will focus on what to look for in vendor contracts.

*questions pulled from SHRM #Nextchat series on Twitter, Summer 2019

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