Before you can go scouring the marketplace for your perfect HR technology solution, you first need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Which means knowing what your organization needs in an HRMS. So, how do you go about identifying those HRMS requirements? First, know where you’re starting from. Second, establish what your users need by way of functionality. Third, look at your technical requirements.
1. Know where you’re starting from
What is the foundation on which you’re searching for a new HRMS? Keeping it simple, that foundation consists of your business context and your HR context.
What are your current business priorities? Are you aiming to expand, diversify, consolidate, acquire… etc? What HRMS features would help you achieve your strategic goals? What performance measures (KPIs) do you have in place to track your progress? What can an HRMS do to help meet those goals?
Technology and automation are disruptions, opportunities to shake everything up and make some improvements. Review your HR processes and activities. Which ones could be done more efficiently? What ‘work arounds’ are you currently using that could be replaced by a better-designed process? What do your users complain about most (complaints are often a rich source of priorities for change)?
2. Functionality needs
Having looked at what the organization needs, it’s time to consider what the people need. It’s time to consult your stakeholders. An HRMS stakeholder is anyone who has an interest or influence over the selection and implementation of the new system. Common stakeholder groups are:
- C-suite and Executives HR Leadership – This group includes organization’s strategic decision-makers and senior HR influencers. They can be your staunchest champions, once you’ve convinced them of the strategic benefits.
- Managers and Employees – This is the ‘coal face’ group, the people who are actually delivering your organization’s products and/or services. The key question for them is, how will the HRMS improve their day-to-day working lives?
- Operational HR Staff – Those delivering your HR services will have specific insights into the functions that could benefit most from technology. They know the problems and pain points first-hand. They also stand to enjoy (or suffer) the greatest impact from a new HRMS.
- Specialist Staff – Other specialist teams within the organization will have specific inputs, especially where their specialism overlaps or otherwise connects with HR; e.g. the accounting team will be interested in how payroll is to be managed.
Engaging with stakeholders is all very well, but how do you do it and approach each stakeholder group? The answer depends on each group’s level of interest and influence with regard to the HRMS project. Use the following categories as a guide to engagement:
- High influence, high interest – (e.g. C-suite and senior executives with responsibilities connected to HR and people management). Must be fully informed and have their needs satisfied.
- High influence, low interest – (e.g. non-HR C-suite members, such as marketing or sales). They will probably have minimal input to the project so keep them informed with ‘high level’ communications.
- Low influence, high interest – (e.g. HR administrators, lower to middle management). These will often be the day-to-day users of the HRMS’s self-service functionality. They will also likely be the harshest critics of the system. Engage in detail and seek to persuade them of the benefits.
- Low influence, low interest – (e.g. ‘shopfloor’ employees unlikely to be impacted by a new HRMS). Again, ‘headline’ communications should suffice to keep this group informed, and concentrate on other stakeholders with higher influence and/or interest.
3. Technical requirements
So far, you’ve focused on the human side, the HRMS features that your people need. However, there will also be more technical issues, often determined by circumstances. Such requirements may seem mundane in comparison to the above points, but they are equally essential to your project success.
Consider the following:
- Number of personnel records to be stored
- Number of users required
- Cloud, on-premises, or hybrid deployment
- Language and currency requirements (if any)
- Regulatory issues (legislation, etc.)
- Mobile access (including the choice of web or native apps)
- The need to integrate with other business software
Having reviewed your business, HR operations, stakeholder needs, and technical requirements, compile the various requirements in a single, prioritized document. Then circulate it with stakeholders and project personnel for review and further input.
This Guest Blog was written by Dave Foxall. Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market for HRMS World.