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How do I choose HR software?

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

With lots of options available, choosing HR software for your business can be a difficult task. Here's a beginners guide to choosing HR software for your business;

1. List the functionality that you need, split out what's essential and what's nice to have

Be clear about the functionality that you really need and what would benefit your business. Try not to think too much about replicating what you do now, but about how you could streamline and improve the way you carry out your HR administration. Bear in mind potential links to other software that you might want, for example you might want your HR software to link with your accounting and payroll software.

You can simply list out the functionality that you need by putting all your needs and chosen providers into a spreadsheet and looking at which providers come out on top.

2. Set a budget

Systems will vary in terms of cost and in terms of what functionality you're looking for. Make sure you're clear on what you're looking to spend and that you outline this to providers from the outset.

Don't forget that most providers will charge you extra for things like specialists to implement the system and training for employees on how to use the system so it's important to have money in your budget allocated for this.

3. Arrange demos with providers that have the functionality you need

Once you've got a number of chosen providers, ideally three or four, invite them to provide you with a demo of their system. This will allow you to see the software in action and get a feel for how it works in practice. Make sure you have a set of questions to ask the providers, and ask the same questions of each provider so you can compare them all at the end of the process.

If you can, get key individuals involved in demos, like managers within your business, they'll be able to give you support and can help champion the system as you move onto implementation.

4. Get free trials

If possible, see if you can have free trials of the systems you're considering. Not all providers will allow this but for those who do it will allow you to have a hands-on look at the systems you're potentially looking to purchase.

5. Get people involved from within your business

Multiple people will be using your system once it's implemented, so make sure when you're choosing a system you get multiple people across your business involved in the process so they feel involved and can give you their views. Getting people involved from your IT and Accounts departments, for example, who will be involved in using the system will be key.

6. Make sure you have the resources to implement a new system

Implementing an HR system, and making it a success, takes considerable time. In most cases, you'll need someone dedicated to implementing your system, not just someone doing it as part of their day job. If you've got the resources within your business to be able to do this that great, but if not make sure you bear in mind the additional costs associated with having a consultant on board to make your journey smoother.

7. Set realistic timescales

Realistically it can take anywhere from 3-6 months, if not more, to implement HR software. Make sure when choosing and implementing your software you set realistic timescales and have all the resources you need to make the process as easy as possible.

Want more information on choosing HR software? Watch our video here with the brilliant Charlotte Fordyce, HR Specialist at Tap HR;

Would you like to see if your HR is up to scratch? Take our free quiz.

Our quiz aims to give you some insight into how you're managing your HR practices and provide you with some free tips and pointers on what you can do to make your HR practices even better! After taking our quick quiz, you'll receive a personalised insights email to help you take action and supercharge your HR!

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  • All information within the post is provided for guidance only; always seek your own legal advice.

  • The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, March 2023 but may be subject to change.

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