HOW TO CHOOSE AN HR SOFTWARE PROGRAM

May 2021

HR software is a flexible option for a large, multinational conglomerate and a small growing company alike. Perhaps it is your company’s first foray into utilising HR software, or maybe you’re an old hand that is looking for an upgrade. Perhaps it is time your company goes cloudbased. Whatever it may be, we have put together a guide for you to prepare your business for 21st Century Human Resourcing.

HR department assessment

A new HR system will affect many people inside the company, even if they don’t use it directly. Before making the decision to go with a new HR management system (HRMS), talk with all relevant decision makers to hear everyone out. It goes without saying that anyone involved with HR in the organisation would ideally be involved in the process of assessment.

When you do an HR assessment, there are a few points to consider.

  1. Create a strategy and a team to assess the HR tools.
  2. List your HR software needs. Consider your location. For example, perhaps your business needs UAE-specific HR software.
  3. Identify potential suppliers.
  4. Write a list of points that you would quiz vendors on, like a request for proposal.
  5. Arrange demos.
  6. Research customer stories and get vendor references

Internal or external

When assessing your HR software needs, consider what functions you are outsourcing and which ones you handle inhouse. This would inform your software needs.

Assessment of your HR software needs

Each business is at its own stage of development. Your HR software needs would be specific to your company’s makeup.

Company growth

A key question to ask when considering a human resources information system (HRIS) is whether the software is flexible to grow with your business. This is especially true of smaller enterprises that are on a strong growth trajectory. Does the HRMS you’re considering allow you to buy the functionality you need right now, while providing the possibility to buy additional features at a later stage?

Conversely, if you are in the market for a complete HRMS solution for your large, established business you might prefer to buy the one complete with all the bells and whistles. However, you still require a system that is flexible and can be customised to suit your business.

Organisational needs

HR software should answer the needs of the organisation. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and define your organisational needs and how the HR software would answer these needs. Do you need core HR functionality only, like payroll, benefits and management, or would you want to address other functions like HR analytics and reporting, recruitment and onboarding, employee self-service, system integration, pensions and retirement benefits?

What is your budget, and what is your capability to implement suitable HRMS security?

Operational needs

Operational HR manages compensation needs and reviews, health benefits, employee counseling and coaching, rewards programs and employee engagement. HR software can assist with all of these or just some. Make sure these needs in your day-to-day operation of your company can be sufficiently managed in the HRIS that you choose.

Payroll

Software is by far the more efficient way to manage payroll in any company. An HRMS can include payroll only. In this case, analyse what your organisation’s payroll needs are. Evaluate whether the software is sufficient for your company’s size. Does the software process and calculate all deductions, bonuses, holiday pay, overtime and commission? Does the software provider do the compliance homework for you? In the UAE, there are additional employer responsibilities, like sponsorship and work permits. At gulfHR, for example, the payroll software is designed to be specifically Middle East compliant.

Employee needs

Consider who would be using the software and how much training would be required to operate the system. Your system needs would vary depending on whether you use mostly contract workers or fulltime employees, or perhaps a combination of these. If your employees work off site, perhaps they would require mobile access to the HRMS.

Employee training or onboarding

Your HRMS can create and manage all of your company’s employee training and onboarding needs. You can keep your company policies accessible to employees, book and train them inside the system and ensure they have access to company information when they need it in the course of their work.

Outlining the HR software project

When you are considering HR software for your company, there are also other factors to take into account.

Budget

Know your budget. Get the best solutions for your money. Ensure flexibility and the capacity to customise and add onto the system as your needs develop and your budget allows. It is good to have a short-, medium- and long-term plan with your system.

Time

Communicate the timeframe within which you require the system to be up and running. Give the vendor a reasonable time to implement the project and build in time for smoothing out implementation issues.

Technical

A user-friendly software program will save time when it comes to training employees in the use of the system.

Evaluating HR software systems

You have a list of potential HR software providers. You know what your requirements are. Now you can assess which system would be the best fit for your company.

Total costs and ROI

Analyse subscription and set-up fees, such as contracts. These should be transparent. If it is not obvious, ask the right questions. What hidden fees or costs are involved? And is there a limit to the number of users or size of documents you can upload? Are updates free or charged additionally?

Calculate what the cost per employee would be with the HRMS.

Consider: deployment related costs; data cleansing and migration costs; the cost of people inside your organisation looking at the new HRIS; updates and system maintenance; staff training; and in some cases a consulting fee.

And if you want to know whether the investment would be worth it, you can calculate the ROI of the system. This would include the quantification of time saved, performance improvements and the value it brought to your operational success.

 

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