Strategic retention has become more important than ever in today’s competitive job market. Many HR professionals have turned to powerful software solutions to help them stay ahead. With the swiftly evolving nature of artificial intelligence and the push towards cloud-based platforms, technologists would argue that HR software is becoming a necessity.
That being said, the market is inundated with a myriad of software solutions. So, which one should you purchase? Implementing an HR software is a big investment in both time and money. Choosing one that doesn’t suit the needs of your company can also have adverse effects on your talent management strategy. It’s important to consider the size of your company and pick a software solution that best aligns with that.
Small organizations – 00 to 100 employees
Comprehensive HR software at an affordable price is becoming a reality for small businesses. While you may not need all the functionality of an end-to-end or custom platform, every small business needs to stay on top of payroll, onboarding, and benefits tracking. There are a plethora of small business software solutions out there, but it’s important not to let flashy branding turn your head. Focus on systems with core HR functions that will allow you to grow your budding employee base.
Medium organizations – 100 to 999 employees
Now that your company has begun to scale, your workforce will be growing rapidly. Mid-size businesses often benefit from utilizing aspects of automation in their software, to aid in sourcing candidates, conducting analyses, tracking performance, and more. At this stage, you’ve probably already purchased HR software, so when looking to upgrade, make sure a new platform will perform better than your current vendor. If not, it could be a costly mistake that may stunt your company’s growth.
Enterprise organizations – Over 1,000 employees
For companies that can pay a premium, purchasing an end-to-end software suite is one of the best ways to manage a large and diverse workforce, including succession planning, large-scale project management, and learning management systems (LMS). This sometimes means that there might be fewer choices on the market to handle the workload, so enterprise-level companies need to think carefully before making the strenuous logistical transition over to a new platform.
When shopping around for a software provider, juggling all the options can be intimidating. Keeping some of the following in mind can help ease the decision:
What can my software do for me?
Not every software solution is created equal, and in the ever-evolving nature of talent management, configurability is key. Take a closer look at the frontrunner in your search. Does it integrate with larger databases or platforms for increased functionality? This can accelerate and enrich your business processes using top-level software integration as the driving engine. It’s also okay to ask for references or case studies. What other businesses in your growth bracket are saying, can have real implications for how the software will perform at your organization.
What does it cost?
Cost is a prime concern for HR professionals looking to stretch their budget. Most software as a service (SaaS) companies run on a subscription business model, so stakeholders have to sign off on a recurring spend. The good news is that many cloud solutions operate on a pay-as-you-use principle, so smaller businesses can use the same HR software as a major company, without paying the same price.
If custom features are your goal, be prepared to shell out considerably more for bespoke software solutions. According to FullStack Labs, the 2018 hourly rate for software development consultants can reach up to $850 per hour, with a finished project ranging from $125,000 to $5 million. This might not be in the realm of possibility for smaller businesses, but the SaaS marketplace is bustling with affordable, preconstructed options to suit every budget.
Are there any surprises?
Finally, you’ll want to examine the fine print. Are there hidden costs in the contract? Do you have full ownership of your data? Will you need help to implement the software, or hire ongoing IT support? Ask potential vendors about recurring costs to avoid getting charged for add-ons that you don’t need. Also, in the event of a security breach, you’ll want to know what level of responsibility your vendor maintains for providing a secure platform, and what your internal IT staff will be taking on.
A good software adoption strategy considers where you are now as well as where your company is headed. In the end, choosing the right software is about finding the right fit for your people. It takes time, but the dollars saved in terms of efficiency and employee retention will be worth it.