How to choose HR software that’s right for you



Read time
8 mins

Choosing the best HR software requires careful consideration of your requirements and the software available on the market. Here’s how to set yourself up for success when it comes to selecting your next HR system

Your HR system is a crucial part of your HR team. It enables them to carry out their day-to-day responsibilities, stores important employee data, and is a portal to a range of other software that may be integrated with the central HR system. But is your current setup fulfilling all your organisation’s requirements? If not, then you’ll be searching for new HR software to implement over the upcoming year.

Once you’ve assessed the benefits of HR software, and decided that there is a case for investing in new HR software, the next step will be to choose the best HR software for your needs. It will be a tricky task for you to fulfil, but you’ll have to make sure the HR system you select will meet your organisation’s requirements – now, and in the future. Ask yourself: what essential functions do you want, what’s your budget, and do you really need all those optional extras?

There’s a lot for you to consider, including the thoughts and wishes of colleagues in other departments. But help is available: here are seven points for you to follow when choosing a top online HR system, so you select the best option for your organisation.

How to choose HR software that's right for you


1. Create a requirements list

The first thing you may do, if you haven’t already, is conduct an online search – you might have found Ciphr and this article by doing just that. But if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want, then you won’t find the solution you need.

So you should begin with an assessment of your current HR technology. Check its good and bad points, plus analyse the tasks your team undertakes. Make sure you also highlight any processes that can be automated, what can be improved, and your goals for the new HR software.

Sound daunting? Well, this is a task on which you’ll want to collaborate with your colleagues. Book a session together and encourage all participants to share their ideas. You should also contact other departments to ask about any issues they may have with your current setup. This will help you collate a list of requirements for your new HR softwareand prioritise them, so you can start drawing up a shortlist of possible options. Our handy HRIS requirements checklist offers 53 questions to help you get started with compiling your list.

Remember that modern self-service HR software such as ours can do much more than just administrative tasks. It can boost employee engagement, empower staff and improve communication. HR software can be integrated with other systems to eliminate duplicate data entry and ensure compliance, while also offering detailed reports and management information. Yet it must meet strict data protection requirements to safeguard employee details, too.

Need more help building your requirements list? Check out our free HR software buyer’s guide


2. Build a business case

Buying a human resource management system will be a substantial investment for your organisation so, to make sure you can have the best HR system, you’ll have to persuade your decision-makers to provide an appropriate budget. Your business case for a new HR system should include both quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrates the need for investment – showing how it will benefit your organisation now, and in the longer term. Points you might want to incorporate into your business case may include:

  • Feedback from users and stakeholders on processes and task efficiency
  • An assessment of how your current HRMS software satisfies your requirements list (or not), what you’re paying for your existing HR system, and a cost and operational comparison with a new system
  • Collate this information – data, feedback, and requirements – into one document
  • Quantify how new HR software may boost your processes and help your organisation meet its commercial and operational objectives (these might include, for example, customer service scores, or talent retention goals)
  • Calculate when the software will start paying for itself, ie its return on investment (ROI)
  • Identify your main decision makers and stakeholders, and adjust your case to their needs

You should also create a detailed plan that covers all resources you’ll need to implement the HR system, the estimated schedule, roll-out and product training. This plan will help you include the vital elements involved in choosing an HR system, and can ensure your business case contains all relevant areas.


3. Shortlist your vendors

You can start to narrow your choice of providers by finding vendors that meet your needs. While you may not yet have a complete list of requirements – some may emerge as you start to explore the market – you should have a solid idea of the minimum functionality your new HR software needs to be capable of.

Now you can start refining your shortlist further by benchmarking your current HR system against those from other providers. Make sure you compare all the functions you need, get all the essential details, and check each provider objectively. You may find creating a template will be helpful for you to follow here, as will having the same group of people making these comparisons.


4. Meet the vendors

Always review what a potential HR software vendor can provide before signing on the dotted line. It will be a costly mistake if you choose a system and it can’t be implemented in your desired timescale, or there are issues and you don’t receive the appropriate customer service. You may then find yourself restarting the process from step one.

Have a list of questions to ask about the different services your vendor will provide. You’ll want to check about the timeline for implementation, what changes might be needed to your current processes (to help you get the most out of the new HRIS system), what modules and functionality are essential for your organisation, and details of the training and support you’ll receive during implementation and beyond. Also enquire about customer service such as common issues, how long it takes to resolve tickets, and who your key contacts will be.


5. Review system capabilities against your wishlist

One way to measure the success of your new HR software will be your ROI, beginning with user adoption of the software. Ideally you’ll have all employees using it, so you’ll want to have a user-friendly interface that’s similar to apps we have for work and at home. You don’t want software that’ll be difficult to use, or that you’ll need to invest time in arranging extensive training sessions for. So the key to success will be choosing a system that’s easy to use.

If you’re offered access to a demonstration version of a vendor’s HR system, aim to test it in every way you can since you’ll have only a short time to find any issues or flaws with the functionality. Check what your colleagues think as well, and discuss if your choice is worth the investment. Another group you’ll wish to consult will be recent clients of your potential vendor, as this will help protect you from any unexpected problems with the system.

Read next: how our integrated HR and LMS system is transforming career conversations at Lifetime Training


6. Make a final decision and sign the contract

The ultimate choice of your new HR software will be made by your HR team but, by including all your organisation’s departments in the process, you can prevent missing any vital functions or have issues arise after implementation. So don’t make this decision in isolation because the new software will affect everyone’s way of working in your business.

Make sure the ‘best’ HR management system you select is the one that can meet both your existing needs and your company’s future requirements as it grows and develops. There’s just no single correct answer: the best HR system will be the one that is right for your budget and your organisation’s needs.

Our HR platform has a great number of benefits for your organisation to consider. There’s its data security and integrity with its ISO 27001 certification, access to our suite of solutions, plus simple integration with other third-party apps. Then there’s the fantastic employee experience, platform flexibility and easy-to-use interface – making it a market leader as an HR system provider.