There are many steps to finding the ideal HRIS to meet your business needs. First, you must make a case for acquiring a new HRIS and have it approved by senior management. Then you must set to figuring out what type of features that you will need and which systems that you plan to convert over to an automated format.

After you have established a budget and prioritized your HRIS requirements, it is time to start looking into vendors. Looking through HRIS features and vendor offerings online can help you to get a rough idea of which systems may be right for you, but a request for proposal may help you to narrow your selection faster.

What is an RFP?

A request for proposal, or RFP, is a statement of requirements for an HRIS. Required features and what they will be used for are clearly outlined in a RFP. A general idea of how vendor solutions will be evaluated for selection is also included, so that vendors understand exactly what to offer and how they can help you.

A RFP can help you to communicate most effectively with vendors so that they know what you are looking for and can present their products in the appropriate light. Since your selection process is outlined in a RFP, vendors can even double check your criteria against the features of their system. A RFP can help to save time, as vendors will focus on presenting the features that you do need and won’t waste excessive time going over the features that you don’t need.

Creating an Effective RFP

A RFP will only be effective if it leaves no doubt as to what the technological needs of your business are currently and in the future. With the most clearly defined RFP, the vendor will understand exactly how your human resources systems work, what needs to be automated, and how they can provide you with support and assistance. If it becomes clear that they can’t support your needs, they will not make it to your short list.

A RFP Establishes Formal Communication

A RFP is not only a good tool for communicating your needs, it is also a preliminary type of formal communication between you and the vendor that you will eventually work with. If there are any issues or debates about what it is that you needed and what the vendor proposed, a RFP can help you to show written evidence that will support your claim. This may be useful in the future, if there are any disagreements between you and the vendor.

A RFP Helps to Clarify Needs

In addition to the benefits that a RFP offers to the vendor/client relationship, a RFP also helps organizations to clarify their needs and expectations. Outlining needs and expectations in a RFP puts those needs to the litmus test, ensuring that everyone is on board and understands exactly what the organization is looking for. If the ideas aren’t exactly certain or clearly expressed, the vendor results are sure to be sub-par.