With smartphones and constant internet access, people are equipped with more knowledge than ever before with just a few swipes and clicks. According to SAS Insights, today's empowered consumer has more control over their buying decision than previous generations.

That's why apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor took off (we know you rely on them just as much as we do): people want to know if where they're going/what they're doing is a good idea or if they should take their business elsewhere. Other sites, like the Better Business Bureau, have ratings for thousands of companies across the country. Before investing in auto insurance or choosing a chiropractor, consumers can do some research to make sure they're working with the best option.

Whether it's a restaurant, mortgage company, or corporate service, it's always a best practice to research something before you spend a lot of money on it – your future self and bank account are always grateful. That's why you should take the time to do some research and evaluation before settling on a human capital management platform for your business. Selecting HCM technology is a big and important investment, so it's crucial you make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

Before you start your research, you'll need to work through the first step of the HCM buying process. This involves looking within and picking out what precise organizational needs you want to meet through your technology investment. Let’s look at some key questions you can ask to discover these:

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1. How long has it been since you evaluated your existing technology?

You'll need to make sure the HCM software you’re using is in good shape and meeting your organization’s varying needs. When evaluating your system, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How long has it been since my technologies have been assessed?
  • How easily can my technologies be supported?
  • Do my technologies keep up with the latest changes to labor and tax laws without a lot of manual work?

It’s also key to assess the number of platforms you’re using. A modern HCM system should be a one-stop-shop for HR. To support all types of workers and stakeholders within this single system, you'll need to make sure the platform is also accessible and easy to use. Consolidating to a single HR platform provides employees with a consistent user experience, meaning they won't need to jump back and forth between multiple sources to find the information they're looking for. Equally important, with one interface that’s user-friendly and intuitive, HR can easily communicate people data and become an invaluable strategic business partner.

2. What specific challenges do your different departments face regularly?

It's no surprise that different types of businesses and industries deal with various issues in their everyday work. HR teams at large-scale enterprise organizations have some different priorities than HR professionals overseeing workers at small start-ups. That's why you'll need to make sure you're working on a comprehensive HCM platform that caters to the specific challenges facing your business on a regular basis.

To do this, you'll need to identify the exact issues impacting your business both on the day-to-day level and over a long span of time. You can find out more about the specific challenges facing employees in different departments by asking them; after all, nobody understands their day-to-day obstacles as well as they do. Armed with this feedback, you can ask potential HCM vendors if they can accommodate the organizational hurdles that matter most for your people. By choosing an HCM system with priorities that resonate with your organization as a whole, you’re going the extra mile to ensure employees will actually use the system you implement and get the most out of it. This can help you get started on change management proactively, before you even choose a solution.

3. What are your short-, mid-, and long-term priorities?

Just as you should keep your employees’ specific needs in mind when beginning your research into different HCM systems, you'll want to make sure this platform is aligned with all of your business's priorities. Whether your company wants a short-term solution to deal with the influx of summer PTO or is pursuing a long-term goal of reducing employee turnover rates, your HCM platform should cater to your HR needs, both large and small.

Something you can start doing right now – even before you have your new HCM system lined up – is assign different levels of importance to various HCM processes. The ones with the highest level of importance are the ones that will make the biggest impact on your organization sooner rather than later and represent early areas of development for the HCM system you select. From there, you can add other business priorities and evolve your HCM system over time.

4. How do you maximize your budget?

Just a word of advice: When you're trying to work on a budget, it's typically cheaper to use a unified HCM platform rather than using multiple vendors, according to HRMS Solutions. So when you're trying to balance high-quality HR technology with fair pricing, you'll likely want to work with a single vendor.

And if you think you’re cutting costs by sticking with manual and paper processes for a majority of your HR functions, you might be in for a rude awakening. According to industry research firm Gartner, about 3% of a company’s revenue goes toward paper, printing, filing, and other costs associated with storing and maintaining documents. Sure, 3% might not sound like a lot, but try calculating 3% of your organization’s total revenue. It’s a pretty hefty amount when you look at it that way.

When you're ready to cut through the noise of the HCM buying process and find a platform that meets your company's specific needs, check out our HCM Buyer's Guide. We'll walk you through each step of the buying process, starting with identifying your business's needs and ending with setting the table stakes. Switching to a new HCM platform shouldn't be confusing and time-consuming. It should be a seamless transition that involves evaluating your current needs and processes, without the hassle and overhead.

Download the HCM Buyer's Guide

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2019