Documenting your needs and corresponding HRIS features is an important part of the purchasing process. In this video, learn about a process for preparing a request for information, otherwise known as an RFI.
- Now that you have identified your top administrative and strategic needs, you can begin by directly contacting the various HRIS vendors and begin a conversation. What you can do is I recommend and take the formalized approach of reducing a Request For Information or RFI. With an RFI, you eliminate much of the second guessing that can go on in the purchasing process. Like with buying a car, you want to know if the program's basic capabilities will meet your needs and what customization is available.
You do this preparation work before you ever spend time going on a demo. Many companies will produce a simple Excel spreadsheet they provide to the vendors to identify their needs throughout the employee lifecycle. For example, in addition to specific recruiting and onboarding needs, you'll need to consider the rest of the employee lifecycle. Here's just a small sampling of the questions you can ask the vendors such as in payroll, does it allow for remote workers to clock in and out? Do the online paycheck comply with state pay stub requirements? Does it allow you to go back and easily make adjustments? Can it let us know if departmental overtime thresholds are being hit? In time and attendance, does the attendance module include the ability to track sick leave, PTO, and vacation? Does it have a mobile interface to allow for time-off requests? If you have more than 50 employees, does it have a way to help you track intermittent FMLA leave? In performance management, to what degree can the HRIS work with your existing approach to performance management? Does it allow for self-assessment or 360-degree reviews? Does it provide an up-to-date assessment of where managers are with completing their performance management obligations? In learning and development, does your program integrate with our existing LMS? Can we upload other third party SCORM compliant training? In compliance needs, does it help me with EEO-1 reporting? Does it help me with ACA reporting? Can I share the employee handbook online? In administrative needs, what level of permissions are needed and what are your employee self-service needs and how do you upload existing employee data? How customizable is the system when it comes to producing reports? And does it run benefit reports for ACA compliance? In technology, what are the system's technological requirements? Is it compatible with Microsoft SQL Server database platform? What are your cyber protection protocols? Do you offer cloud-based services? Do you have an API for our existing payroll vendor, work comp claims management program and COBRA administration program? Do you offer a mobile interface? In implementation, how long does it take to implement the program given our company size? How much of the work will you do and is there an all-inclusive setup fee? In support, what training is available for administrators, managers, and employees on using the HRIS? What support is available for free and what support is available at a cost? And is there a robust user group locally or online? When it comes to contracts, what are your typical contractual terms? How does your pricing work? In references, can you please supply us with three references who use the program currently? Your company information such as years in business, number of customers, customer retention rates, and who are some of the longer users of the system and more.
Even after asking all of these questions, you may of course have additional ones such as feature upgrades or extra costs. Once again, the point is to be clear about your needs and let the HRIS vendor respond to your questions. Once you have your responses back from the vendor, pull the decision making team together and then review them. Try to whittle down the potential vendors to your top three before you go on any demos.