hris tips

When selecting a new HRIS, it’s easy to get carried away and think about how much easier life could be if only several different tasks were automated. With revamped HRIS released nearly every day, there are features to assist with most everything, saving time and improving processes throughout the organization.

Implementation is often seen as the annoying step between selecting an HR software solution and actually getting to use it. Trying to rush through the implementation or underestimating certain aspects of it can cause a company to overshoot its implementation budget, however. The following tips can help to stay within budget, while also ensuring a timely go-live.

Consider Whether Features Will Have a Positive Impact

When reviewing the features available on HRIS, a common mistake is to check off every available feature on the system that the organization could possibly use. Some features may be overly complicated to automate and actually add time, or only save an insignificant amount of time and trouble. When opting to add features, it’s important to consider whether the features will really add value and be worth the investment.

Pare Down Input before Reviewing HRIS Vendors

Managers and employees from different departments in the organization may have different agendas when it comes to HRIS. Receiving continuous input from employees and HRIS selection team members can make it difficult to simplify HRIS selection, which can skyrocket the number of features deemed “necessary” and overshoot the HRIS budget.

Determining essential and non-essential features in advance and keeping the HRIS selection team small can help minimize noise and maintain clear objectives.

Assess Whether HRIS Features Support the Company Goals

HRIS can help improve staffing and scheduling, recruiting, document management, communication, training and development, and many other areas pertaining to people management. However, it is highly unlikely that automating every single function can help to achieve company goals.

To get a tight handle on the priorities, it may be helpful to review the company’s mission statement and vision and break down how different HRIS features will directly support the company goals.

Start Simple, Build Later

Most HRIS vendors allow companies to select a very basic and scaled-down system, with few features. Later, they can then add features as needed or desired. For companies that are just beginning to automate systems or are switching from an on-premise HRIS to a cloud-based system, starting simple may help to stay well within budget, which in turn will allow wiggle room for adding features later.

Taking a simple approach can also help ease implementation, which can ensure that time and dollars spent on implementation stay within the budget and plan.

Maintain a Big-Picture Focus

When a member of the HRIS selection team presents a good argument for how HRIS features can save time or increase productivity in a department or on a certain project, it’s easy to get sidetracked and label the feature as essential. While the argument may be valid to the department, it may be insignificant to the organization as a whole.

It’s important to carefully consider whether each selected feature will help improve the organization as a whole, before opting to pay extra money for it.

Create a Detailed Plan of Attack

Creating an implementation plan that details how much time and money should be allotted towards each step can help to highlight budgetary considerations that may have otherwise been overlooked. Creating a detailed plan can also help the implementation team to clearly visualize how the implementation will be executed, which may speed the process and save labor costs.

Check Consultants’ Credentials

Hiring a consultant to assist with HR software implementation is a wise move for most companies, but it’s important to make sure that the consultant is actually an expert. An inexperienced consultant can cause an implementation to go over budget and delay the go-live. Read reviews on the specific consultant, find out how long he or she has been doing HR software implementations, and meet with the person ahead of time.

Use Consultant Time Wisely

Whether a consultant is paid by the hour or by the project, it should be a priority to utilize their time as effectively as possible. This means being prepared for their visit, compiling paperwork that they may need to see and otherwise performing activities that will help to streamline the work that they will be doing to get your system running. If possible, at least one high-level employee from your company should be made available to assist the consultant with implementation.

Stay On-Task Throughout the Project

Once an implementation has begun, it’s possible to get distracted with optional features and functionality that wasn’t decided upon beforehand. While it may seem like it will take little time and money to embark upon these extra endeavors, they may end up bringing you over budget. Sticking to the original plan and avoiding side tasks can help you to stay within your budget and timeframe.

Anticipate Challenges in Data Migration

Data migration seems like it should be simple and straightforward, but often there are unexpected challenges that crop up. Employee information may not be complete or may be inaccurate, which will require meetings with employees and paperwork to correct. If the manual entry of information is required, it may also take more labor time than estimated.

It may not be possible to predict setbacks in your data migration, but it is possible to allow a little extra time and money that can act as a buffer if there are setbacks. Best case scenario, data migration goes smoothly and you turn out ahead of budget and schedule.

Plan for Integration

HR software usually works best when integrated with other systems. Integration may not be easy, though, so it’s best to figure out what integrations will need to take place so that time and money can be allocated towards those steps of the project. If a consultant will be brought in, he or she should be made aware of the necessary integrations ahead of time.

Implementing new HR software can be very beneficial to a company, but it can also be costly and difficult. Carefully planning your implementation project and anticipating challenges can keep you within budget so that you ultimately maximize your ROI on the new system. Our experts would be happy to assist you in finding a HRIS that fits your needs and budget. If you feel that our help could be valuable to your organization, visit our vendor match page to find out more.

Authored by: Dave Rietsema