On HR Bartender, we talk a lot about HR technology, but I recently realized that there is one area of HR tech we haven’t discussed. Listening to an archived session from the Kronos symposium titled “Five Things, You Should Not Overlook During HR Technology Vendor Selection, ” I realized that we haven’t discussed buying technology.
The HR Technology Conference is coming up, so I thought it would be useful to compile a list of things you should consider when buying new technology. Although it is not a complete list, it can be used to start conversations with key stakeholders and vendors.
- Evaluate the organization. Do you want to implement technology for the first time or upgrade an existing system? How much budget is available? A user analysis could be useful to determine the tech proficiency of employees, managers and HR. Companies will eventually need to review their technology infrastructure and determine if it is capable of supporting the new technology.
- Set the goal and must-haves. The question “Why is this company considering purchasing this technology?” should be answered by companies. This will help them determine if the technology investment was a good decision. It is also important for the company to determine what technology solutions are essential. When it comes to HR technology, is compliance software required? If so, is it required to be at the federal, state, or local levels?
- Prioritize customization. We all have many things that we wish to have in technology. However, not all of them are necessary. The company should prioritize the must-haves (from 2) and the nice-to-haves. Consider single sign-on, mobile responsiveness and data storage. Real-time access is also a consideration. A conversation about customization is also important: How much customization is required?
- Confirm the request for the proposal (RFP). Nearly every company makes a significant purchase in technology. It would help if you found out who is involved, what information should be included in the proposal and, finally, what are the selection criteria.
- Learn about the requirements for technology platforms. Organizations will ask prospective vendors for details, such as the technology infrastructure needed to run the new system. It is also important to determine if the new technology will work with existing HR and non-HR systems. Is the new technology compatible, for example, with all internet browsers
- Experience firsthand. There are three types of users in HR technology: managers, employees, and human resources. Employees should have a similar experience with the technology they use. It should provide real-time information for managers to make operational decisions. HR also needs a dashboard for reporting.
- Learn more about the type of support provided for user training. We are interested in learning about ongoing training, not just during the initial implementation. Not just for HR but also employees and managers. Training must apply to all technology levels. It should be available in many formats, including blogs, community forums and webinars.
- Find out more about implementation plans. It is easy to ask questions like “How long does it take?”. Organizations also want to know how much support the vendor offers. Companies may partner with a third-party firm to manage major implementations. Those are logistics that should be considered when preparing a proposal.
- Decide how maintenance and updates will be done. Although this may seem like the last item on the list, it is the first. Consider the culture of your organization when it comes to technology. Are you an early adopter, or do you prefer to wait to implement updates? This will impact the final decision. Companies must decide who will be responsible for updating the company’s website and involve that person. It is important to understand vendors’ roles and ongoing maintenance costs.