This article was orginally published in San Francisco Business Times.
Are you getting the most from your investment in human capital technology?
Given the proliferation of solutions, most small- to-mid-tier companies are overwhelmed by the choices. Should you buy an all-in-one system? Do you purchase individual solutions and integrate them? How do you decide in the first place if the investment is even justified?
Don’t overbuy. Many software providers are all-too-happy to sell you a system that does everything. Often times, it’s more horsepower than you need. If your actual usage is limited, it doesn’t make sense to buy functionality you’ll never use.
Firms often fall into this trap by going with a big-brand solution. They may initially be perceived as a safer choice because of their reputation, but it’s actually the wrong choice if your needs are limited. While a robust platform can meet the diverse and complicated needs of an organization with over 500 employees and multiple locations, a slimmer system can provide similar benefits to a smaller company at a much lower price tag.
Don’t shy away from integrating systems. All-in-one systems rarely do everything well. Most often, critical pieces of the functionality are subpar. We often recommend integrating software from several vendors. Most vendors have integration capabilities built into their platform, along with a ready list of systems integrators.
Factor growth into your purchase. The opposite of buying too much software is buying software that can’t accommodate growth. Projecting software needs is always tricky because variables outside of your control can impact your plans. However, a common mistake we see is trying to save money upfront by getting a system that can’t evolve with you.
Commit to (ongoing) systems training. Many companies and vendors get excited about a new system and provide initial training. After an initial burst of activity, training typically falls off. Without monthly or quarterly training, systems usage and efficiency drop, often dramatically. Regular training, including training for systems upgrades and enhancements, should be part of your overall plan. Employees routinely forget how to use the system. Providing a refresher at regular intervals will work wonders.
Don’t go it alone. One of the ways to get the most from your HR technology is to work with a tech-savvy insurance broker. Brokers with in-house technology advisors can help companies make smarter technology decisions to meet their needs and budget.
Brokers with this expertise can help companies stay current with the latest market technology and use their knowledge to help negotiate price. By relying on an outside team of experts, you can avoid tying up resources and concentrate on what you do best. Get the most from your investment and make sure technology continues to work for your organization.