Five Questions to Ask a new HR Software Provider
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So you’ve whittled your supplier list down to your preferred HR software providers, the products fit your requirements, so how do you choose? Here are some key questions to ask, to help make that important decision.
1. What kind of system training is available?
Find out whether there are flexible training options which fit in with your requirements. Many providers offer group training sessions at their offices and will use an example system to demonstrate the functionality. However, trainers may also be able to visit and train you on your system in your own environment, which some users feel a lot more comfortable with. Some providers also carry out online sessions, which may be useful if their offices are far away, and can help avoid travelling expenses. Make sure that your preferred method of training is available before making your choice.
2. When can I access support?
You’re bound to have a list of queries when you start out with a new system; ensuring there are a helpful team of experts, who are easily contactable, is essential in getting you off to the best start.
Be sure to find out if the supplier’s Service Desk hours cover your entire working day. Will there be times when you have no access to support?
Similarly, ascertain what level of contact you can expect from your Account Manager. They should be your primary point of contact, ensuring you have everything you need; let them know your communication preferences in order to set their expectations.
Some organisations would prefer monthly visits or catch ups, some would simply prefer contact via email. Make sure they will be there when you need them.
3. Do you have any feedback from your customers?
Be sure to ask for existing customer feedback. Customers are often very willing to express their views and give feedback; especially if their experience is either very good, or very bad. If the provider is unable to offer you any, it usually isn’t a good sign.
Equally, ask for feedback from organisations in your own sector – sometimes a solution can fit the needs of some organisations perfectly, but may miss the mark for others. Plus, it’s always good to hear positives from a company that you recognise.
It may also be useful to ask for their customer retention rate – if they are a good provider, they should be retaining a healthy percentage of their customers each year.
4. Can you speak to a current customer about their experience?
Reputable suppliers who provide good products and services have advocates. If you want to gain an understanding of how another organisation uses the system, this is the best way to do it. It’s also a great way to get an honest review and ask any questions that may help you choose between providers.
You can also check out online reviews to see what different kinds of users think of the system, the services and the organisation as a whole. Websites such as Software Advice or GetApp will show you the ratings of different aspects of their products and services.
5. Which accreditations do you have?
This question is meaningless unless you know what you are looking for. There are specific areas that you should consider when choosing an HR software provider:
Data Security: If you need to tick this box, an ISO:27001 accreditation is what you should be looking for. This is an internationally recognised best practice framework for an information security management system.
Approved G-Cloud provider: The G-Cloud is a government framework through which approved organisations can provide public sector buyers with cloud-based services without needing to go through a full tender process.
If you’re a public sector organisation and you haven’t considered going through the G-Cloud, it’s definitely worth a look. It can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Investors in People: The Investors in People HR accreditation ensures the organisation is operating at a high standard and organised manner of working, by proactively investing in the development of their employees.