How Can You Successfully Implement HR Software?

How Can You Successfully Implement HR Software?

Implementing HR software in your organization can be a complex task. To help you navigate this process, we’ve gathered tips from professionals ranging from marketing executives to HR managers. From recognizing the broad impact and fostering collaboration to emphasizing training and a soft launch, these experts share their best advice for successful HR software implementation.

Recognize the Broad Impact and Foster Collaboration

When implementing HR technology, I cannot stress enough: HR data is IT data is Finance data. HCMs are not just HR’s system, it impacts everyone in the organization; it’s everyone’s system! 

As a project manager, I ensure that associates and stakeholders have an opportunity to discuss day-to-day pain points, suggestions and requirements early in (and throughout) the project life cycle. It never hurts to have more information—not that everything will be covered in the initial project, but with this approach, you begin tackling your change management tasks during your requirements-gathering phase. 

The transparency and collaborative efforts do not go unnoticed—getting buy-in and getting it early, inevitably supports the success of the project.

Michelle Ericson
HCM Implementation Project Manager, Apex Tool Group, LLC

Define Needs and Evaluate Current Practices

One of the common issues when people implement HR software in a business is when users are unsure of how they want it to benefit their organization. Therefore, it is critical you get a clear brief as to what your organization needs from new HR software before you purchase it.

To initiate this process effectively, begin by evaluating your existing HR practices and systems. Take the time to assess what is effective and what is not. Engage in discussions with individuals currently engaged in HR operations to understand their frustrations with the current systems of operation and gather valuable insights on potential improvements.

After acquiring a comprehensive understanding of what you and your team want to get out of an HR system, create a well-defined specification that can serve as a benchmark for evaluating different products available in the market.

Eleanor Holmes
Marketing Executive, myhrtoolkit

Involve Stakeholders and Aim for Efficiency

Don’t create new HR processes in a vacuum without input from those that will actually use and be affected by the system. Make sure you involve all stakeholders (the HR team, Accounting team, department heads and senior leaders in the company) from the beginning. 

HR software is meant to improve efficiency, streamline processes and save time. But if it creates more steps, is too complicated or inconvenient to use, you will accomplish nothing and actually create a bigger problem than what you set out to solve.

Chuck Simikian, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
HR Consultant and Trainer, The Team at HR Stories

Align Team on Success Metrics

As a leader, it can be easy to come across shiny new technology and pass it down to your team to test out and implement. Unfortunately, this often falls down the priority list, especially when colleagues don’t understand what metrics to use to effectively evaluate the solution. 

Aligning on success metrics as a team is key to getting the full experience when testing a new HR software. For example, if you’re testing a new sourcing tool, make sure your team knows the current cost per hire, time to hire and budget being spent on other channels. If they don’t, they’re only evaluating it based on user experience and the ability to fill a role. That would be like a marketer running an ad and calling it a success with one conversion. 

Teams that align on success metrics before piloting HR software will see success when it comes to implementation.

Matt Parkin
Business Development Lead, FindWRK

Time Software Adoption and Prepare Onboarding

The best tip I can give is knowing when to spot a certain software that is required for use, then having the time and onboarding procedures in place ready for the mass adoption of the software (without rushing your teams or not giving them the chance to learn the software properly).

Tracey Beveridge
HR Director, Personnel Checks

Communicate, Train, and Continually Evaluate

The first step to a successful implementation of a new HR software should always be to clearly communicate the purpose and benefits it will bring to the organization. Address all concerns and emphasize how the software will streamline processes and improve efficiency. 

Furthermore, involve all key stakeholders and department leaders in the decision-making process and seek their input and address their needs. They have to feel like active participants in the transition, you have to make them your champions and gain their buy-in for this process to be successful. 

Provide comprehensive training and define user roles in the new platform to make sure that everyone knows exactly where their responsibilities lie. Piloting and testing the software with a smaller group in HR is highly encouraged and should be mandatory to better address any initial concerns or bottlenecks in the early stages of implementation to avoid any future issues. Seek continual evaluation and improvement!

Momchil Minchev
Human Strategy Manager, HR Systems and Analytics, ADS, Inc.

Prioritize Objectives and Prepare Functionally

One tip to successfully implement HR software in an organization is to prioritize the objective of streamlining, unifying and strengthening HR processes to reduce drudgery and enhance HR service delivery to employees. While there may be multiple objectives to achieve through the implementation, this particular one holds paramount significance.

To accomplish this, it is vital to invest efforts in identifying, documenting and re-engineering HR policies, processes, rules and their applicability. HR functionaries must ensure they have clarity, agreement and approvals from key stakeholders to facilitate effective mapping and timely configuration. There are enough case studies to indicate that inadequate functional preparedness can result in failed implementations.

By aligning the implementation with the objective of optimizing HR processes and obtaining necessary support, organizations can increase the chances of a successful HR.

Atul Mankad
Domain Expert, Naman HR

Map and Redesign Process Pre-Implementation

Regardless of what kind of software you’re implementing, there is a process that goes with it. Don’t expect software to fix your problems if you haven’t taken the time to address the problems with your process before you implement the software. 

The saying is true: garbage in, garbage out. So, map your current process first. Then identify the steps that are broken or not working well.  

Redesign the process—get feedback—get buy-in—make sure people will do the new steps before you spring new software on them. Then find a software partner that can help you execute your new process.  Then test your new process and software with a pilot group. 

Get their feedback, make the appropriate changes and leverage the new experts to be champions for the roll-out for the rest of the organization.

Marcie Shelton
Owner & Leadership and Strategic HR Consultant, The Leaders Partner

Emphasize Training and Soft Launch

Start with a soft internal launch with plenty of time for training across all of your employees. 

You should not assume prior knowledge of a tool or even an ease of adoption, rather you need to have training procedures in place to cover all angles of the software from very beginner levels upwards.

Wendy Makinson
HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

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