How to choose an HR system: Everything IT leaders should be looking for

IT leaders, do you get involved in the HR tech selection process?

According to research by Sage, 63% of HR leaders recognise their current systems have limitations and are not fully confident that their HR tech is fit for the future – yet less than half (49%) say  IT is heavily involved in the buying of HR software.

While HR leaders will be well versed in what they need from their perspective, you as an IT leader have an essential part to play in finding the right HR system for your organisation.

Here’s what we cover in this article:

Enabling business transformation with HR tech

With the world of work having turned on its head since the pandemic, employees now have higher expectations of their employers more than ever before.

From the exponential trend of hybrid working, to the impact of the great resignation, organisations are having to reimagine the employee experience to retain their people and ensure they’re happy and productive.

Progressive organisations aren’t holding back.

Driven business leaders are focused on reorganising, rearchitecting, and reimagining the way their organisation works to elevate their employee experiences, with digital transformation seen as an enabler for success to future-proof the business and keep it secure.

However, true digital transformation is no mean feat and choosing new HR software might not be a quick or easy win, but certainly a highly worthwhile and revelatory one.

Streamlining HR operations – while making sure that any system you implement has a high level of security – guaranteed uptime and dedicated support should all be top of the list.  

When choosing an HR system for your business, here are four things to consider…

1. Reliable security and regulatory compliance

Organisations today are facing increasing pressure to secure and protect employee data to ever higher standards. In fact, 26% of records compromised in data breaches involve employee’s personally identifiable information.

It’s vital you look for a cloud solution with additional layers of security, such as all connections protected with Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption (version 1.2 or higher) to prevent data being intercepted or hacked.

A fail-safe disaster recovery plan as standard should also be high on your checklist.

2. Strong and ongoing customer support model

Pre-pandemic, of $1.3tn that was spent on digital transformation, it’s estimated that $900bn of that went to waste.

It’s no good just implementing a new piece of tech – you need training, support, and a strong customer service team from your chosen vendor.

Online support via a help desk and virtual training is great, but does your vendor of choice have an established customer community?

Look for an online user’s hub where customers can access helpful resources and support each other.

Find an HR and People system with a dedicated customer success team, who are on hand to provide support and find out what success means for your business, for as long as you are a customer.

This will remove a lot of the queries that traditionally might go to your IT team to triage.

3. Powerful integration and flexibility

Choosing a flexible system than can be tailored through configuration by your HR team is a smart move, as it means less reliance on your IT team’s time.

Look for a system that HR can easily configure and personalise through click not code, to create custom fields and rules aligned to your HR, manager, and employee needs.

A configurable and extensible system will also empower your HR team to continue to be leaders of change as they’ll have flexible tech to help experiment, test, innovate and drive new ways of working.

In fact, 64% of companies say they are achieving “measurable business value” from their investment in HR platforms, including significant HR cost savings, all made possible through highly flexible and configurable HR systems.

4. Readily available and real-time data

Just 33% of HR leaders say they have a single system of record for their people data and only 38% say their data is instantly accessible in real time.

Make sure your chosen system is hosted in the cloud so your people data is stored and collated in one central always-on hub.

This means your data is always up-to-the-minute, giving the business one single source of truth.

Also, look for a centralised HR and People system that is always on, so employees can access information at any time, from any device, anywhere.

This is absolutely vital for hybrid working.

Push to have your say

Now’s the time for IT leaders to help HR find a system that not only meet the needs of the workforce and their HR team, but also yours in IT.

That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you push to have your say in the selection process.

Partnering with HR will not only make sure the business gets a sound technical and secure investment but it will enable you to select an HR system that will empower your IT team, too.

Elva Zachman

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