Many companies understand that HRIS implementation can help the company run more efficiently. Yet, companies often don’t realize that hiring an HRIS analyst to tend to all the technicalities of keeping an HRIS in place can be very helpful in maximizing the potential of the HRIS.
Companies generally invest in a HRIS in order to improve efficiency and productivity within the organization. Since most of the people working with the system are not experts, however, it is difficult to know if a company is getting the most out of their HRIS. HRIS consultants can evaluate how HRIS is being used and give companies tips on how to improve processes to maximize the system’s usefulness.
Why Hire a HRIS Consultant?
Expert in the Field
Unlike company employees, a HRIS consultant is an expert in the HRIS field and may know about ways to improve processes that would never have occurred to managers or HR professionals. A HRIS consultant can bring forth new ideas or spot simple ways to tweak old systems in order to improve processes.
Unbiased Review of Systems
A HRIS consultant has no stake in processes or systems that are being used, so they can more readily spot areas that could be improved. When employees and managers have been a part of creating or implementing systems, they may be less willing to scrap those systems. A HRIS consultant can offer a fresher and less biased perspective.
Possible Cost and Time Savings
Hiring a HRIS consultant can help companies to avoid the pitfalls of attempting system changes that turn out to be fruitless. A HRIS consultant has experience with making system changes and has seen other companies make changes that work. While every company is different, a HRIS consultant’s advice is more likely to work out the first time than a plan that has never been attempted before.
When changes are made to HRIS processes at the request of a HRIS consultant, the consultant can be an invaluable training resource. The HRIS consultant is in a unique position to thoroughly understand the organizational needs and how to move the organization from the currently used systems to the revised systems. Assisting with training may be bundled in with the other costs of consulting or may warrant additional fees, so organizations should clarify this when hiring a consultant.
Improved Efficiency in Implementation
In addition to helping with the training itself, HRIS consultants can help to make the rest of the implementation process as smooth as possible. HRIS consultants know the best ways to prioritize steps and plan rollouts for maximum effectiveness with minimal time spent. This can be valuable whether HRIS is being newly implemented or processes are being altered.
Impartial Vendor Evaluation
When a company is just acquiring a HRIS or is looking to change systems, HRIS consultants can provide impartial insights into the advantages of choosing one vendor or system over another. Vendors are obviously going to try to convince companies to purchase or stay with their software. HRIS consultants are experienced with many different vendors and can help give a more accurate evaluation of which system will be the best fit for the company.
Contract Negotiation Insights
A HRIS consultant has a better understanding of standard pricing for HRIS contracts than most managers and human resources professionals. This can put companies in a better position to negotiate contracts, which can save a lot of money in the long run.
The Benefits of Hiring a HRIS Analyst
Bridges Skills Gaps
Companies that are not directly rooted in technology are choosing to get on board with HRIS in greater numbers every day. While the venture can be highly beneficial for companies within many industries, the process of HRIS implementation and the daily use of the system can be very daunting for managers whose expertise lies in other areas. HR professionals are not familiar with the technology either.
An HRIS analyst can help bridge the skills gap by using the HRIS to supply managers with valuable information and assist managers and employees with daily operations and decision making.
Some industries that may benefit from having an HRIS analyst in place include:
- Grocery store chains
- Medical facilities and hospitals
- Restaurants and QSRs
- Sports marketing agencies
- Theme parks
- Senior care services
- Retail store chains
- Aerospace parts manufacturers
- Vehicle manufacturers
Source of HRIS Expertise
An HRIS analyst can effortlessly scan through reports and information to find out the real HRIS story. Managers and HR professionals are not as familiar and comfortable with HRIS, so it’s easy to miss patterns that could increase productivity and profits. HRIS analysts also possess the expertise necessary to identify and correct mistakes found within the HRIS, before the business can be negatively impacted.
Improving HRIS System Training
When organizations implement a new HRIS, the training required for all the employees, managers, and HR professionals to learn the new system can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when the system is unfamiliar to the trainers. An HRIS analyst can be very helpful at this juncture, as they can provide insight into the best use of the system and also field questions.
While vendor representatives can offer some assistance with HRIS training, employees may feel more comfortable receiving this instruction from an HRIS expert. These experts remain “in-house” and are available for later consultation.
Ensure Wider HRIS Use
Hiring an HRIS analyst can help companies ensure that the time spent planning and budgeting for the new system will actually be put to good use. It is difficult to change processes in any company and without the proper support, employees, managers, and even HR professionals may resort to using their prior system.
An HRIS analyst can provide support and encouragement in this season of change, which will help ease fears regarding the new system and actively engage employees and managers in using HRIS features and functions on a daily basis.
Hiring the Right HRIS Consultant
If you know that your company employees do not have the expertise to implement a HRIS without assistance, hiring a HRIS consultant can help you to save time while ensuring that the project gets completed correctly. A HRIS consultant can help you to improve your processes so that you can make the best use of the new system and can help to train managers and employees on using the system. Of course, not all consultants are right for your company, so the following tips can help you choose wisely.
Attain Recommendations from Trustworthy Sources
Finding a HRIS consultant is the first step to hiring one. Talk to professional friends and business acquaintances that you know that have used a consultant before and ask whether they would recommend the consultant that they worked with. If you do not have personal resources to draw from, consult a professional association, do some research to find a consultant firm, or consider hiring a consultant from the company supplying your HRIS.
Check Their Credibility
After you have located a consultant that is on your prospective hire list, check their credibility. Ask for their certifications and a listing of their achievements with other firms. Make sure that you consider whether they have worked with a company that is similar to yours before, as well, as a consultant may know everything about a system but nothing about how to actually make it work for your company.
Investigate the Reputation of the Firm
While the consultant will be your point of contact throughout your HRIS implementation, the firm backing the consultant should also be considered. The firm trained the consultant and provides the consultant with support and advice, so if the firm goes belly-up or gives bad advice it can directly affect your project and your company. While the reputation of the firm shouldn’t make you overconfident about the consultant, it should give you cause to worry if the reputation is questionable.
Dig Deep Into References
While you can do some online research to find references, you should also be able to get references from a consultant when you ask for them. A good consultant firm that is well established should be able to provide you with a list of references from companies similar to your own that have had pleasant experiences working with both the company and the specific consultant. If at all possible, speak to some of the companies directly so that you can separate the facts from the sparkling recommendations that may be misleading.
Interview to Assess Fit
When you finally meet with a consultant face to face, you should feel relatively confident about their credibility and skills, so the meeting should mainly be focused on assessing their fit with your company culture and making sure that their goals match your goals. Ask odd questions that will reveal their sense of humor and bring your list of goals for the HRIS so that you can go through it line by line to gauge their reaction and hear their ideas. Since the interview is the final call, be picky and don’t ignore your gut instincts.
Authored by: Dave Rietsema