How to choose the best HR software for your business

What questions do you need to ask – both of your own needs, and of the solutions on offer? We guide you through the main areas to think about.

So you’ve decided the time is right to invest in HR software. But with a bewildering array of choices out there, how do you know what is right for your business? What questions do you need to ask – both of your own needs, and of the solutions on offer? We guide you through the main areas to think about.


Your needs

As with any technology procurement process, you need to begin by defining precisely what you want to get out of your HR software. What are the key functions that you want to be covered? There is, as you might expect, a huge amount of overlap between the leading providers, and core functions such as payroll, administration of employee benefits, and performance tracking and reviews will almost certainly be covered.


However, different organisations have different needs in terms of, say, applicant tracking and the recruitment process; the more often you recruit, particularly if you deal with fluctuating numbers of temporary and contract staff, the more important this functionality will be. For international organisations or simply those with a large number of officers, the ability to add new countries, languages, departments and divisions may be particularly important.


All businesses should think carefully about the kinds of intelligence they wish to be able to harness via their HR software, and the types of reports they want to be able to run. Which reports are you able to schedule automatically? And does the software have an API which enables it to be integrated with other business applications more easily?


Think, too, about personalisation and tailoring; which fields are you able to relabel or add, and can you add your own forms with workflow authorisations?



Another key consideration for any procurement process; how much is it all going to cost? You want to dig down really carefully into the subscription or license fees, understanding precisely what they are and what they are based on. You need to understand when payment is due – monthly or annually, in advance or in arrears – and you need to know exactly what you are signing up to in terms of future commitments, particularly in line with your business grown plan.


Think, too, about issues like additional data storage if required, and ongoing support and training. What is covered, and what do you have to pay for?


Security and compliance

HR systems handle a great deal of data requiring strict protection, from personally identifiable information such as dates of birth and contact details, to potentially sensitive data such as medical records and financial information. It is essential that you feel confident in the ability of your proposed supplier to protect that data adequately and in line with relevant regulatory compliance frameworks.


You should, in particular, ask questions pertaining to the GDPR compliance of the proposed solution, how you will handle data subject access requests and if and when information is automatically deleted. Ask, too, questions around how data is stored, whether it is protected through mechanisms like encryption, and whether the provider holds any independent security certifications, such as ISO 27001.


Implementation and deployment

A smooth and efficient implementation period has a major effect on the overall resource-effectiveness of your new HR system. Ask as many questions as possible around the typical process, how long they expect it to take, and how and when the system can be integrated with other key business software.


Don’t forget to consider training and education, and the process of importing data from other sources into the new platform. If these processes are overcomplicated, an initially simple-seeming deployment can rapidly become convoluted and costly.


To learn more about choosing the best HR software for your business’s needs, get in touch with Smart IT today.