Do you remember the last time you went to purchase an automobile? You knew what you were looking for: a reliable, dependable car. You wanted it to be functional, but look nice as well. For practical purposes, it should have cup holders, a navigation system, and maybe an excellent sound system. When you arrive at the dealers, they show you models that have apps, texting ability, iTunes, seat warmers, steering wheel warmers, auto starts. How about a self- parking capacity and a warning system when someone gets too close to you, or the reverse? Before you know it, you are walking out of the dealer with accessories you will most likely never use, and wondering. “How did that happen? What is even more important is that you purchased additional items you are likely never using. You were dazzled by the SHINY STUFF! At one time or another, everyone has done the same thing when making a big purchase, especially when buying software. We are all diligent about identifying the exact requirements we need. We include all parties to ensure we have captured everyone’s needs. After all, aren’t we looking to streamline processes, provide greater visibility, and ultimately reduce costs? Here are four easy steps to approaching the purchase of an HCM for your organization.

    1. Determine Your Business Needs. What is driving this decision? Do you need to replace your payroll system or the complete HR system? Are you 100% manual and need to automate? Are you growing and expanding into other locations? Do you have multiple systems that do not integrate with each other?
    2. Identify Your Company’s HR Needs. What functions are you not addressing today? How do you want your employees to interact with the system? Do you have other systems currently in use and will this HCM need to integrate with those systems?
    3. Establish A Budget. By determining the requirements, you will be able to identify which HCM market sector to include. Smaller and mid-size companies are often better off with a small or midsize HCM because they understand your needs and will help you avoid the “Shiny Stuff”. Make sure you are looking at all costs associated with various modules. When it comes to Payroll, don’t forget about the year-end costs.
    4. Security and Service. Security is critical to protecting company information. Are you looking for a Cloud-Based system? The system should meet the same standards that your governance requires. Do you require an SLA (Service Level Agreement)? Every HCM provider has one, and it should meet your requirements to proceed.

Doing your homework upfront will help you focus on what you need, and keep you away from the “Shiny Stuff”. One last item to add to your list is ROI. HCM Software is a large purchase, and you want to make sure you have established an ROI formula. Remember, everything has a number, and this included the ROI on software.