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Major Considerations for Choosing the Right HCM System

Posted by Kit Dickinson on Sep 13, 2016 10:15:52 AM
Kit Dickinson
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Planning to implement a new human capital management system into your business? An HCM system is a major investment, and it has implications for several departments in your organization. The right purchase will boost your efficiency and cut costs while helping to guarantee that you stay in compliance with the latest regulations.

But a successful purchase depends on considering all the factors and asking HCM vendors the right questions early on.

To make the buying process a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top considerations you should be aware of as you shop for a new HCM system. Bookmark this page, or print it out and keep it handy.

Most Important Considerations for a New HCM System

Bring in your stakeholders

Meet internally with all the stakeholders in your organization to get aligned on the need-to-have versus nice-to-have features and benefits. This will give you what you need to generate a specific list of requirements to objectively evaluate vendors. It’ll also help keep you from getting distracted by shiny features that you don’t really need.

Don’t shut out any stakeholders from the process. Not only does your CFO need to be on-board with the implementation, but Payroll should be consulted as well. They’ll have critical insights about your needs that should be on the radar from Day One.

Evaluate your gaps

Know exactly what’s not working with your current solution. Start at the system level and identify how your current software is holding you back. Where are you feeling the biggest pains internally? What isn’t working, where are the process breakdowns, and what are the gaps in your current system? If you’re happy with your HR system, but payroll or time-and-attendance is lacking, focus on those two systems rather than an all-in-one solution.

Also think about the gaps within each module:

  • What specific features and capabilities are missing?
  • What tasks are too clunky? What steps are slowing you down?
  • What do you have to do manually that you’d like to automate?
  • Is there anything that isn’t reliable?
  • Is there anything that doesn’t play well with the rest of your system?

Stick to specialists

Depending on your business, we recommend limiting your search to vendors in your specific industry. Find someone who will understand the challenges of a company in your line of business. If you’re a manufacturer, make sure they’ll be able to address your incentive and production pay policies. If you’re in healthcare, their system should be able to address your scheduling needs.


Consider whether you want a fully cloud-based system, or to control the application on-site. Most companies are moving to the cloud, but you might have control or cost concerns that warrant hosting the solution on your premises.

Also consider your other systems and find out how well the vendor’s software will integrate with your other applications.

After-purchase considerations

Make sure you know what their service and support models are, and what you’ll need.

  • Are you looking for teams to implement on-site or virtually?
  • What are the vendor’s support hours?
  • Will you have dedicated resources assigned to your account for the life of the relationship?


Of course, you’ll need to decide early on what your price range is. But also be forthcoming with the vendors about your budget so that they can tailor their offering to fit your budget.


Get an understanding of how flexible and scalable their solution is. Make sure the HCM system can scale with your business—and that it can be modified to meet unforeseen hurdles during implementation.

Don’t eliminate HCM vendors too quickly

Don’t go in with prejudices toward a particular vendor, even if you’ve had a previous experience with them. Technologies and service models change, and your experience from a decade ago may not reflect the vendor today. Give an equal shot to anyone who fits your profile.

Purchasing an HCM system doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Keep these considerations in mind from early on in the process, and you’ll make a buying decision you can be confident about.

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Topics: Non Industry-Specific Solutions