HR practitioners know that business strategy should drive HR strategy, and the same is true for the organisation’s Human Resource Information System strategy – it should be driven by the HR strategy and aligned with the business strategy.
Therefore, when selecting a Human Resource Information System for the organisation, the first and most important step is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the HR strategy and the business strategy. If you don’t have this understanding, you will need to obtain it before you commence the selection process.
The next step in the process is to clearly define what the organisation requires from its HRIS. At a macro level this should be fairly straightforward as the needs will align directly to the HRIS strategy and architecture. At a micro level, the needs analysis must encompass in detail the business, functional and technical requirements. Care needs to be taken as this stage as many organisations end up ‘over buying’ software that does not meet its needs.
For example, following are just a few of the key questions that need to be asked at this point:
- What information does the organisation need to be managed, measured and evaluated?
- What types of changes can the organisation predict and what adaptability will it required from the HRIS?
- What ongoing support will be necessary?
- Does the organisation require inhouse maintenance of the system or will the contracting of external maintenance be necessary?
Once you understand your needs you can approach the market and evaluate the different systems that are on offer to determine which meet your needs. Do not let yourself or others in the organisation be influenced by fancy marketing brochures and the sales pitch of the sales people or consultants. The evaluation process should act as a funnel process that allows focus on meeting the needs of the organisation in the best possible manner.