Tips on Selecting Human Resource Applications

Jul 24 08:12 2009 Clay C. Scroggin Print This Article

Most Human Resource Information System (HRIS) industry articles are going to tell you that the first step in selecting a Human Resource Software (HRS) is to determine your needs, which is often easier said than done. Until you have an understanding of what the various Human Resource (HR) products are capable of, it can be difficult to know exactly what you require.

Even if you do,Guest Posting your needs are probably going to change as you see “nice haves” in the products you review. All of this is why we created, a user-friendly selection tool and database detailing the features and options of industry-leading HR products. When you take our survey you will determine which features and options you absolutely require, which might be of interest, and you will weigh the importance of each. Upon completion of the survey, you will be presented with a list of the HRIS software products that best meet your particular needs.  From there, you may select a free demonstration of any or all of them.

Tips for Comparing Apples to Apples

Now it’s time to schedule the free demonstration and take the next step in your HRIS selection process. No two demos are going to be the same, so it’s often difficult to compare the various systems. This is where I suggest taking charge of the demo presentation; if you want to compare apples to apples, you need to make sure you see the apples do the same thing (I call this “standardizing” the demo). Ask the presenter to run you through a few standard processes during each. For example, a walk-through the steps to hiring a new employee, to terminating an employee, to running a turnover report, or to setting up a medical benefit plan. Grade each product on how well or how poorly they handle each of these functions. If there are specific reports that you must have, make sure to request a demonstration of how those reports are created.

HRIS Support

Just as you standardized the sales demonstrations, you should also standardize how you view the support for each company. Ask about hours, response times, costs, product improvement updates, and government compliance updates. Are all updates included with the annual support? I would also ask what happens if you uncover an actual bug in the system. What are the steps to resolving such a software problem? The sales person may tell you the system is bug-free, but don’t believe it; make sure they have a system through which you can report problems.

Making Sure the Person Responsible for Your HRIS Implementation is Qualified

In our archive you will find an article called “Who Will Perform Your HRIS Implementation is as important as the Software You Select”. It’s full of tips on selecting the best team to implement your HRIS solution. In brief, make sure the person who will be performing your implementation has the experience needed to complete a clean install. Being certified is not the same thing as being experienced; I would make sure they have had at least 10 implementations under their belt of the same systems you are purchasing, and with companies which are similar in size to your own.

Why Number of Installs and Size of the HRIS Software Company are Important

We included the number of installs of our participating HRIS software vendors for a reason: It’s important. As I said before, no software application is going to be 100% free of bugs. But the more installs they have and the longer they have been in business provides a greater opportunity to correct as many issues as possible. And the size of an HR software company can offer helpful insight as to the stability of the company. Generally speaking, the more employees a company has and the longer they’ve had their products on the market, the cleaner their applications will be.

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About Article Author

Clay C. Scroggin
Clay C. Scroggin

Clay C. Scroggin has over fifteen years of experience in the human resource software industry. Clay is currently the President and owner of, a web site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR software. offers an extremely comprehensive HRIS selection tool to assist you with your HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process. Make sure to download’s free HR and Payroll Software Buyer’s Guide.

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