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4 tips for making a HR software shortlist

Googling “HR software” can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many HR products on the market that trying to find the right one for you, is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

With so many competing companies all offering the latest and greatest in HR tech innovation, it can be tricky separating the wheat from the chaff and finding a HR software that is right for your business. 

The easiest way to start making sense of the multitude of HR software, is by making a shortlist of products you like. Narrowing down the number of tools you’re reviewing from 100 to 10 is the first step towards choosing new HR software for your business. 

Whilst this might be the first step, it’s also one of the most important as it will dictate the HR tools you’ll be reviewing for the rest of your HR system selection process. 

In this article we’re going to share four tips for creating a useful shortlist of HR software, and we’ll also share why a shortlist is so important in your overall decision making process.   

This guide isn’t going to talk you through making a shortlist, think of this like a handy tips and tricks guide to help you make the best shortlist you possibly can. If you’d like a blow-by-blow of how to select a HR software tool you can download our guide: 4 steps to finding the right HR software: a buyers guide

Why is a shortlist important?

Lists are a great way to compartmentalise our thoughts and gain a greater understanding of the project we’re working on. Everyone loves making a good list, whether it’s a to-do list, a shopping list or a Christmas list; lists have been proven to boost productivity and speed up the time it takes to complete tasks. 

It should come as no surprise then that creating a shortlist is an essential part of selecting some new HR software. Putting together a thorough and detailed shortlist can help you with the HR system selection process in several ways.   

Thinking about what HR tools you want to add to your shortlist, will get you thinking critically about what features and functionality are important for your HR team. What do you need your HR software to do and why is that important to you?

Conversely, what features can you live without? What isn’t important to you, and is there anything you actively don’t want from your HR software. By creating a shortlist of HR softwares you’d like to research, you’ll begin to think critically about the features and functionality you want from it at a very early stage in your decision making process. This will give you a greater understanding of what you want from your new product and will mean you make more informed decisions when reviewing HR tools.  

A shortlist also helps you compare offerings more easily. Trying to review 100+ products will get you nowhere. By selecting a few HR platforms you really like the look of, you can make any comparisons between them much more meaningful. 

Selecting a few HR platforms to compare against each other and having a strict comparison criteria, is much more useful to you and your decision making process than blindly trying to compare the features of over 100 HR software platforms.     

Lastly, having a shortlist of products to compare also gives you a better way to estimate the time it’ll take you to make a decision regarding a HR software platform to invest in. If you know you’re comparing six products on your shortlist, you can reasonably predict how long it will take you to review and demo them all.

This will help you map out the rest of your HR transformation project and, more importantly, it lets you report your progress to your leadership team and keep them in the loop with your decision making process.  

This is why a shortlist is so important when undergoing a HR system selection project. In the next section of this article we’ll go over our 4 tips for making a useful HR software shortlist for your HR transformation project.  

4 tips for making a useful and exciting HR software shortlist for your business

When it comes to making your HR software shortlist there are a few things you should keep in mind to get the most out of your list. We’ve detailed them below. 

If you’d like to download our step-by-step guide to selecting a HR software you can do that here: 4 steps to finding the right HR software: a buyers guide

Search far and wide for potential HR software

The first page of Google is a great place, you can find pretty much anything you want there. But there are more places that you can find HR software suppliers and to give yourself the best shortlist possible, you should make sure to use all the search tools at your disposal.

Make sure you’re checking the second and third pages of Google too. A lot of the results on the first page are paid advertisements, so it’s wise to look a bit further down the search results to make sure you’re seeing all the potential vendors you might want to work with.

You could find your perfect HR software supplier on page 3 of Google, make sure you go the extra mile when creating your shortlist. That way you can make the best shortlist possible for your HR department and business.   

Research, research research

Make sure you’re hunting out independent reviews when you’re researching your HR software shortlist. An HR product’s website will only tell you one side of its story and it’ll always be a positive one. 

Keep your eyes peeled for TrustPilot reviews and comments on a HR platforms social media accounts. These are all good indicators of what current customers think about a specific HR product and if too many red flags are present, then that’s probably a sign you shouldn’t include that HR tool in your shortlist. 

What are your peers using? Get recommendations

If you’ve worked in HR and Payroll for any length of time you should have a sizeable network of contacts and former colleagues you can approach and ask for recommendations. What are other people in your network using for their HR software solution? 

Do they like it or do they want to change? What would they change to? Asking friends and colleagues what they’d want from a piece of HR software is an easy way to get insights and recommendations for your own shortlist. 

Keep a level-head when watching sales videos and looking at product websites

Product videos and demos are designed to do one thing, SELL. They might be dressed up like tutorials or how-to guides but their ultimate goal is to display their product and sell it to you. The same goes for a HR product’s website. They look flashy, appealing and make it sound like their solution will melt all your problems away, but they’re designed to do exactly that. 

Keep a level-head when reviewing sites and demos and keep in mind what you want new HR software to do. That way you can be sure any shortlist you put together will be full of tools that actually help you solve your problem.   

Do you need help finding some HR software for your team?

If you’re about to undergo a HR system selection project but you’re finding making a shortlist of HR tools difficult, Phase 3 can help. We’re an HR technology consultancy firm that helps businesses like yours understand, on-board and maximise the benefits that a new piece of HR software will give you. Contact us here to find out how we could help you.

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