5 questions you should ask prospective HR software vendors

5 questions you should ask prospective HR software vendors

15 August 2023

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As a business owner it’s vital to the success of your company that you regularly review your processes and ways in which you can improve how things are done in order to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability. One way to do this is to implement a HR software system in order to take away the time consuming administrative burden of your HR processes.

Once you have made the decision to go down this route, it’s crucial that you choose the right HR software system for your business from the myriad of options available in the marketplace. Do you need an all singing, all dancing system that is geared up for a large organisation and has a never ending stream of bolt-on options? Or is a simpler system that has been designed with SMEs in mind more appropriate?

Whatever the size of your business, there are some key details that you need to establish by asking questions of the prospective HR software vendor. Here are our top five questions to ask and the need-to-knows before you put pen to paper and sign up for your new HR software system.

1. How much does the software cost?

This may seem like a blatantly obvious question to start with, but if you don’t establish your full financial commitment to a new HR software system then you could end up blowing your budget and overspending. At a time when every penny counts, that could be a critical error.

Different systems have different pricing models, so make sure that you don’t get sucked into thinking that just because one vendor prices their system in a particular way, that all the other suppliers use the same pricing model. Some will charge a one off set up fee, some will have monthly price brackets depending on your headcount, some will have a flat rate per employee and others will bill you for an annual subscription charge. It’s crucial then, that you uncover any hidden costs by asking the right questions so that you understand your financial liability and ensure that you don’t go above and beyond your budget.

2. What training and support do you offer?

Having a fantastic new HR software system is all well and good, but if your staff don’t know how to use it, they will soon disengage with it. Your investment will be wasted and the system will quickly become a white elephant. When considering a new system, you need to ask the vendor what training and ongoing support they offer. Ideally, there should be training for key users during the set up and implementation phase, and then those key staff can cascade that knowledge to colleagues as system experts. Some providers may charge extra for this training so again, make sure you understand if there is an additional cost.

End user training is important so that staff understand the core functions of the system and how it works. This training could be delivered by your provider in person, or they might have a series of short training videos that employees can watch at their leisure so they can learn how to do the basics.

Once your system is in place though, you don’t just want to feel abandoned so ensure that you also ask about ongoing support if a problem occurs. Is there any support? If so, is that via phone, email or an AI chatbot? Does the vendor have set response times and is support available 24/7? Imagine the worst-case scenario and ask how your vendor would deal with it. That way, you’ll get a feel for their customer care standards and how they value the user experience.

3. Is our data secure in your system?

Unfortunately, there are some not very pleasant individuals out there who like nothing more than trying to get hold of people’s sensitive personal data and so making sure that your HR software system is secure is a top priority. As an employer, you have a legal obligation under the Data Protection Act and GDPR regulations to ensure that your employees’ data is stored securely and so it’s of paramount importance that you ask your HR software system vendor about their system security. They should be able to explain to you in plain English what security they have in place, how it works and what safeguards they have in the event of a cyber attack which results in a system breach. If you’re not sure and want to seek expert advice, the Information Commissioner’s Office can help.

4. What is the core functionality of your system?

You may have already done your research and know the answer to this question. You might have even taken the HR software system for a free trial, but if you haven’t, then you really need to gather this information. Ideally, you will already have a list of non-negotiable functions and features that you want from your new system in order to improve your people processes. You might then have a further wish list of nice-to-haves as well.

You should also decide what you might be willing to compromise on as not every system will be able to offer you absolutely everything. Many systems will have core functionality and then if you want to add extras, they offer a range of bolt-ons. Be careful though as those bolt-ons will most likely bump up the price.

5. When can we go live?

You’re happy with the system features and price, you know your staff are going to be well trained and supported to get the most out of the new software and the system will store data securely. The final key question to ask is when you can go live?

Implementation processes and timescales will clearly be different from one vendor to another, and will take into account the size of the client and the scope of the project so there is never going to be a one size fits all answer. That said, suppliers should be able to give you a relatively good estimate based on their experience and that will help you to make any necessary arrangements, schedule training, communicate out to staff and create a launch plan.

Is HRX the system for me?

This is the secret sixth question and we’d love to answer it with a resounding yes! Our pricing model couldn’t be simpler. First of all, you can take HRX for a free 30 day test drive and we’re sure you’ll love it.

Our users tell us that one of things they love the most about HRX is how simple and easy it is to use, but if you need help then you can find it in our knowledge base or by contacting a member of our team. We look after your data securely and give you peace of mind. To find out more, you can read the full details of our security information.

HRX was designed by HR professionals to support SMEs. The core features include employee self-service, manager dashboards, comprehensive employee records, fuss-free reporting, quick and simple holiday bookings and effective absence management. If that wasn’t enough, HRX is super quick and easy to set up and you can be up and running in a matter of hours!

If you’d like to learn more, or you have any questions about our HR software, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

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