After you have done all of the due diligence required to assess software features and relate them to your core processes, plus you have finally narrowed down your HRIS vendor selection to three or less, it is time to take the remaining few for a test drive. A demo can help you see what the system has to offer. However, it cannot show you how the system will really work within your company.
What can show you how things would tick is a trial period of the software.
The Word “Free”
A free trial will help you see how the system will work in your company without any real commitment. Beware of trial periods that say “risk free,” as this is not the same. It may simply mean that you can cancel without penalty, but will be required to pay for the full amount of time that the system is used if you decide to stick with it.
Before agreeing to any trial period, make sure that you are clear on the terms.
Intuitiveness of Dashboards
The simplicity of dashboards may be readily visible in the demo, but simplicity does not always equal intuitiveness. The dashboard may appear clean and easy on the eyes, but it may prove difficult to locate frequently used features and functions that are very important to your organization. During the trial, it may be helpful to assign a few tasks with the HRIS to several high level managers from different departments, then ask for feedback regarding ease of use.
Compatibility of features to organizational needs should be determined before the trial stage. Even so, the trial stage will act as the final test. Taking advantage of a few different HRIS software trials before committing to one can help you really put compatibility to the litmus test. A trial can help you spot incompatibilities that were not as noticeable during demos and the research phase.
Simple Transition to Plans
When the trial period commences, it’s time to decide whether or not you should purchase the software or agree to a plan with monthly fees. HRIS software vendors should make it extremely easy to transition from a trial to the real thing with relatively few snags. While a trial is nothing like a full on system implementation, you should not have to start over completely or do a ton of groundwork to transition.
Features That Are (Or Are Not) Included
Vendors may get sneaky and equip your trial software with additional features that are not actually included in the basic packages previously viewed. This can lead you to believe that a system is more compatible with your organizational needs and budget than it truly is. Verify that the only features available for use in the trial are the ones that actually come with the plan.
HRIS Vendor Support
Good HRIS software vendors should view you as a client during the trial phase, giving you the same attention and respect that would be given to a paying client. Poor support and customer service may be a preview for future issues, should you choose to stay with that vendor. You should be able to get a hold of the HRIS vendor when you need to. Questions and concerns should be promptly addressed.
If you have a few vendors in mind and are ready to test drive some software, we can help. Call 866-574-4968 and our HR software pros will be happy to assist you.
Authored by: Dave Rietsema