Technology

2014 SHRM Recap: Finding the Right Vendor is Tough

By

Bonny Blackmon

| Jul 1, 2014

If you weren’t at #SHRM14 this past weekend, then you missed out. A torrent of thought-provoking insights on leadership, developing a smarter workforce, advancing technologies and other HR initiatives were buzzing on the conference floors and Twitter as well. With all of the excitement surrounding these new HR strategies and offerings comes a number of questions and concerns. If you found yourself overwhelmed by the amount of information you received at SHRM and you’re not sure how to navigate through it all, hopefully this post will help you to iron a few things out, specifically when it comes to switching providers.

As the industry changes and evolves, HR professionals are looking for the right solution to meet all their needs, from welcoming new hires to managing turnover and everything in-between. Human capital management should be more than timesheets and employee reviews. The wrong solution could cost you in data security, top performing employees and penalties. With these seven tips you should be able to make a confident buying decision that will help you to drive organizational performance.

Tip 1: Look for the total package in one application

Find a solution that has it all without adding it all. Let me explain. Human capital management technology should cover every aspect of the employee life cycle including Talent Acquisition, Time and Labor Management, Payroll, HR Management, Talent Management and Benefits Administration. However, packaging is everything. A single-source solution and a single-application solution are not the same thing. Typically a vendor who offers a single-source solution provides a product set that has multiple programs that require integration; whereas with a single-application solution your workflow is seamless. Users only have to enter in data one time which updates throughout the platform in real-time.

Tip 2:  Search for attributes that will have a positive impact on your business

HR software should be a one for all, including supervisors, IT, employees and executive, not just your HR staff. The best human capital technology will impact all positively and improve efficiency, produce insightful analytics, empower employees and reduce exposure. To determine if and how the proposed software can have a positive impact on your business, ask the following questions:

  • How does it improve efficiency?
  • What are the reporting capabilities for producing insightful analytics?
  • What tools are available to empower supervisors and employees to self-manage certain transactions?
  • What processes does the system offer to reduce exposure to compliance violations?

Tip 3: Do your due diligence

Before handing your sensitive records over to a complete stranger do your research. Look into their financials and long history of profitability. How are they funded: are they privately held, publicly traded or venture capital-funded? What’s their geological footprint? Are their quality management processes ISO 9001-certified? The more financially stable the vendor is and the more control they have over their product, the more dependable they will be.

Tip 4: Ask for security assurance

With advances to technology, more and more businesses are making the move to the cloud. While the cloud offers more security and a more efficient alternative to hosting internal software, internet breaches still occur, so don’t assume your data will be protected. We recommend you review the following with your IT department:

  • Is the vendor ISO 27001-certified?
  • How long has the vendor been providing its software in the cloud?
  • Request documentation on the security of its technology infrastructure.
  • What are its data storage and handling procedures?
  • What is its business continuity plan?
  • What are its information-sharing and staff training procedures?
  • Are there data protection features within its online software, e.g., multilevel log-ins, audit trails, and custom user access?

Tip 5: Set your standards for support

Your new HR technology provider should be your partner, offering direct communication and immediate support. Don’t get trapped in an automated phone system while you’re trying to solve issues on your own. Be sure you partner with the best fit, a provider dedicated to customer service. Set you standards for support early and don’t settle for less.

Tip 6: Search for a vendor committed to improvement

In our tech savvy world, new implementations and software updates are a regular occurrence. Make sure your next vendor is dedicated to constant improvement with the agility to withstand the changing needs of the industry. Keep these few questions in mind:

  • When was your last software update?
  • How many software updates were released in the past year?
  • How quickly are you able to implement sudden compliance-driven updates?
  • Do all customers operate in the same software version?
  • Do you take development requests from customers?

Tip 7: Find out up what happens if you need to change or cancel your agreement

Even the best-laid plans can change. Make sure you find out up-front what the off-boarding process is like just to cover all your bases. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do I have to sign a contract for any specific time period?
  • If I grow rapidly, or am faced with a large layoff, will I have to change or upgrade my software?
  • Could I face penalties for cancelling the contract?
  • Who owns the data, including any candidate databases?
  • What is the process for obtaining my data when a contract is cancelled?
  • Do you provide off-boarding support when a contract is cancelled?

Selecting your HR technology vendor can be overwhelming, but a critical component to taking your organization to the next level. Hopefully these tips help you #SHRM14 attendees narrow down your options and help navigate you through the mounds of information to pair you with the right vendor.

If you are still searching for the right vendor click on this link to download the full whitepaper: Top 7 Tips to Consider When Switching HR and Payroll Companies

About the Author

Bonny Blackmon

As Paycom’s recruitment marketing strategist, Bonny Blackmon writes about such topics as human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition and career advice. Her brand-awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching Paycom Careers’ blog and social media channels, and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with family.

See more posts by Bonny Blackmon