As an HR professional in a small business, do you sometimes feel like the proverbial kid staring enviously through the window of the candy store? If you are still struggling to free your HR function from the quagmire that is not-so-affectionately known as “spreadsheet hell,” you may find yourself peering enviously into your computer at ads for automated HR systems. And wondering how you can get your boss to okay even a modest spend to implement HR technology.

When you have your nose to the spreadsheet grindstone day after day, despairing of ever having all of your company’s workforce data in one convenient place, technology can seem an especially appealing proposition – the latest bright, shiny toy for your workplace. But making an investment in HR technology simply for the sake of owning the latest “new” thing practically ensures poor outcomes.

There are several relevant issues to think about and work through before you will be ready to take your purchase request to the boss. In Part 1 of our special two-part blog, we’ll walk through the major pre-considerations involved in your HR technology purchase. Part 2 will help you demonstrate how you’ll use HR technology to provide value to the business, so that when the time comes to make the buying decision, you’ll be confident in your ability to present a strong case to the leader in charge of the checkbook.

4 Key Considerations that Drive HR Technology Decisions

1. Know your goal. The single most important point to examine is this – why do you want to make an HR technology purchase? What problem (or problems) do you want to solve? What process(es) do you need to do differently and why? How will implementing HR technology help you do those things?

Take time to think thoroughly about the goals you have in mind for your HR technology solution. Maybe you’re looking to speed work processes. Or you need to be able to generate specialized reports about your workforce. Examine how you do the work in question so you know every step involved. You’ll need to discuss this with any potential HR system provider – especially if your methods fall outside typical operating parameters. You’ll want the assurance that you’re considering a system like BambooHR that allows for flexibility and customization.

2. HR will always have HR work to do. Transactional processes will continue to remain a foundational element of HR. Applying the appropriate technology can help speed those processes for HR professionals. In addition, technologies have the power to remove some transactional operations from HR practitioners’ plates by enabling employee or manager self-service capabilities. Think about the options you’ll want to make available to your managers and workers. Beyond simply listing these capabilities, dig deeper to understand how much time your HR professionals will be able to save so they can devote efforts to other projects. You’ll want to quantify that time so that you’ll be able to translate it into potential savings for the company.

3. GIGO is still true. Remember garbage in, garbage out from your first computer course? If you’re like most every other HR pro working in businesses across our nation, you probably have some data issues that haunt you regularly. Worries about inaccurate information, inability to access the data that’s needed, and problems with data spread across organizational departments plague HR practitioners.

When you implement an automated HR system, you’ll need to populate it with data about your employees. Your challenge will be determining how to collect and clean up all that initial data so you can rest assured that your new system is loaded with the highest quality information you can provide. You’ll want to ask any vendor you’re considering what’s involved in initial set-up of your HR system. At BambooHR, we’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

4. Designate a point person. If you’re heading the HR function in a small or mid-sized business, chances are that you’ll be the one overseeing the set-up and implementation of your new HR system. But in case you aren’t, don’t overlook the need to appoint someone on your team to be responsible for coordinating the effort. Your vendor needs a consistent voice from your organization, and one go-to person for data and decisions. Planning for a single point of contact helps ensure that your implementation goes smoothly.

Check out Part 2 of our blog to learn how to present your boss with a business case for HR technology.



Why and when to stop using spreadsheets.