I know what it feels like. It’s a tough decision. And urgent one too.
Because management decides to change an HRMS system only when things get out of hand.
To begin with, you don’t want your bosses to yell at you for no fault of yours. You don’t want to hear the employees crib…”HR is useless”…”Why there is a late mark when I was on time?” …and thousands of other remarks hurled at you, when you are not personally responsible!
You try to reason out; it’s not you but the legacy HR software which is to blame. You push hard to convince the CEO, CFO, the men with money…that it’s useless to work around that old horse…the HRMS system of the past in modern times.
And thankfully the realisation dawns:
“No more HRMS issues. Let’s focus our energy on bigger things!”
You get on Google search. Ask your friends. Shortlist the contenders.
A funny thing happens. When you start you think you know what exactly you want. But then when you call vendors, you get bombarded with fancy presentations, long lists of features and sales pressures from all corners. All vendors out there say, they are the best. They promise you the moon!
Things get confusing.
You make an evaluation matrix. You go through demos. Feature to feature, you tick mark everything. And almost everyone looks the same. How to make the decision?
Let me give you a tip: Indian HR automation has moved fast. The real difference is in robust software architecture and the solution approach offered by the vendors.
Comparing the features alone won’t help. A Maruti 800 have almost all the features that a Mercedes would have. All the core features, I mean.
Engine, Steering, horn, gears, wheels, seats, hood, rear view mirrors!
You know I am making a meaningless comparison. To make a point: Which is, the feature list tick marking is as meaningless.
At least in the automobile purchase you know the horsepower and other details. In buying a payroll software you never see under the hood.
Then, how to cut through the chafe of clamouring vendors and find out the best payroll for your own situation.
I have some suggestions. Listen carefully, it will help:
Ask for a torture test:
In the automobile world, before they launch a vehicle, they do a torture test. The vehicle is subjected to all kinds of extreme situations. Can it survive those challenges? Once it passes those standards, only then it comes to you.
Now, let me tell you a little #insight. All software’s works well in normal circumstances. Especially in the demo stage.
A payroll system fails when it faces complex HR scenarios. And in a country like India, there are plenty of them. There are no ideal situations. As HR you can follow all guidelines, but employees falter. They procrastinate, don’t follow the rules, and ask for regularisation later on…and many such issues. You have faced that, isn’t it?
So make a list of all your complex scenarios. Think of the toughest challenges that HRMS software can have. Ask your HR friends to supply you with their experiences. Even think of some imaginary ones.
And when the vendors show you the software features, ask them how these features will work under those tough situations.
Create a problem situation, a stress test for them.
Now insight number #2 for you:
What you are evaluating is not just the software, but the people presenting the solution.
How they respond to your tough questions is the real difference.
Do they try to avoid these tests?
Insists it just won’t happen?
Do they keep their cool?
Do they ask you deeper questions to understand why you are asking these questions?
Do they enjoy it and ask for more such situations to demonstrate that their software can solve any challenge that you might pose them?
Judge their HR domain knowledge and understanding. Because you will need it after you deploy their solution. It will tell you the real story. Feature to feature, you can tick mark all software’s equal. But the real difference is in –How these features deliver the solution for your complex HR requirements.
Now let us move to the next important dimension
Audit their approach:
The legacy systems were the norms once upon a time. And they worked for years for you. If they have become a bottleneck now, it is because the organisation has grown. The expectations of the management and employees have changed.
That’s why, Payroll system change is not just technology upgrade. It’s a chance to upgrade the whole HR thought process and policy update.
Listen carefully to the Vendors coming to you. Are they talking about the features, features and features? Or, are they asking you the questions regarding fundamental changes happening in the organisation and its outlook?
The difference is subtle but you will get it when you focus on it. Are they just selling, or partnering with you in this journey? Do they confront you sometimes and even challenge your current practices like a consultant would do? Even at the risk of losing your business!
You know who will add value to your business.
And the best way to know if they have added value in real world is
Look for the customer testimonials:
Awards can be bought. Feature lists can be swelled up. But nothing comes close to a customer testimonial. From a customer who is like you. Who has the same issues like you have.
Now: All testimonials are not equal. Also listen carefully to the tone of those testimonials. Are these just superficial phrases or the customers talking about specific things.
If you notice, I said LOOK for the customer testimonials. A video testimonial is much more trustworthy than a printed one.
Just think about it, how many of your customers will come on video to say they are delighted by your products and services.
They can give you stuff in writing. But video is tough…not just for you, but for everybody out there.
When they say it on the screen. It means a lot more.
When you follow these little pointers, you will be able to see the difference. While you can’t see under the ‘hood’ of a software, you will know how robust it is by understanding the approaches taken by the vendors.
A stress test will filter out the best for you.
So that’s my little piece of advice to you.
If you want to call us for a demo and stress test, it will be a pleasure to show you the real good HRMS solution we have. We have stress tested in almost all complex scenarios, in all industries.
And we don’t say we are the best: Our clients do it for us!