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Your workplace like it or not has an ever-changing technological landscape. Thus, there will come a time when it will be necessary to switch from one human resource management system to a new one. The transfer of data involved in this process can be tedious, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Ideally, you’ll want to export as much data as possible from the old system to the new one, simply because manual entry is time-consuming and far less efficient. Imagine how long it would take to retype several fields worth of information for hundreds of employees. Let’s explore the data that may easily transfer from system to system, as well as the data that may take more effort to transfer.

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Items That Transfer Easily to a New Human Resource Management System

Data entered into single fields should transfer between systems. This data includes common information such as employee names, pay grades, addresses, manager names and department names.

The person in charge of the data transfer should possess a report that contains all this pertinent data, which you may be able to generate from your current HRMS. (If your program doesn’t have this function, try contacting the company that made it.) An export file or report allows the process to unfold fairly quick, by matching apples to apples between the two systems.

This procedure is far more preferable than re-entering all the information by hand.

Items That May Be Difficult to Transfer to a New Human Resource Management System

Typically, the data contained in single fields transfers very easily. However, there are other types of information that require more effort while exporting to a new HRMS.

The most challenging fields are those that are generated from calculations of several other data fields. This includes items such as employee work history, accrued vacation, leave, or sick days, and information on benefits.

If the new system doesn’t run the same types of calculations, this data may not transfer unless the new system is customized to work well with the old one. Consequently, many companies choose to preserve the old system files in order to maintain the older records that didn’t survive the upgrade.

Due to all these factors, it’s best to have a candid discussion with the maker of any new human resource management system. Be sure to ask questions about the import process to avoid wasting any time on a system that won’t work for your situation. You should know exactly what will and won’t transfer, and if you need a custom system, all related costs and implementation strategies should be included in the agreement.

Following this protocol from the very beginning will save you a great deal of time and effort later. Remember, your main goal is to do what works best for you. It is well worth it to do the research and ask questions up-front.

Our professionals can save you time by finding systems that are compatible with your current software. Visit our vendor match page to get started!

Authored by: Dave Rietsema