How to Choose the Right Resource Management and Employee Performance Software
Benefits of Resource Management and Employee Performance Management Software
Resource management software can help businesses that need to manage a large, flexible workforce across many frequently changing projects. This type of software can help ensure that the right people are working on the right projects, deploying them based on skills, interests, experience and availability and coordinating their assignment with project timelines.
Employee performance management software, originally introduced to automate the writing and review/approval of performance appraisals, now lets you automate a variety of other performance management tasks, including: onboarding checklists, competency assessments, goal setting, development planning, performance improvement plans, offboarding checklists, and more.
From a legal perspective, performance management software provides better, more consistent, comprehensive, and easily accessible employee performance data to support decisions about promotions, discipline, discharge, etc. But the primary appeal to most HR professionals is that these systems promise to save time and money, while improving performance appraisal quality.
Selecting the Best Resource Management and Employee Performance Software for Your Company
Most companies that buy human resource management software start out looking to automate their staffing and performance appraisal process. With a variety of products available on the market for this purpose, choosing the right one for your organization can seem like a daunting task.
Here are some guidelines to help make the task easier:
Start by Defining Your Needs
It’s great that today’s products offer so many bells and whistles. But before you get dazzled by the list of available features, start by defining your organization’s business needs. Form a small team to answer questions like:
- What problems are you trying to solve?
- What processes do you want to automate using the tool?
- How do you manage allocation of human resource to various projects today? (Document the process and forms used)
- How do you conduct performance appraisals today? (Document the process and forms used)
- Are there changes to your process or forms that you would like to make?
- Do you have your own competency library that you need to use or do you need the product to include one?
- Do you need to be able to import appraisals from previous years into the solution for comparison and reference?
- Do you need to host the solution in house, or would a hosted solution meet your needs?
- Do you need the tool to interface with one or more other tools (e.g. HRIS, payroll, etc.)?
While HR should be the main contributor to defining these needs, you should also consult managers, employee and IT in your discussions. And don’t forget to involve your leadership team in some way. You’ll need their endorsement to proceed with a purchase, and involving them early on can save time later.
Prioritize Your Requirements
Next, you should review your list of needs and create a prioritized list of mandatory and desired requirements. You’ll use this list later to evaluate products.
For example, because of security requirements, you might have to host the software on your premises. You might also need to be able to modify your process and forms after the initial setup.
List the Benefits You Expect to Achieve
To the best of your ability, list and quantify the benefits you expect to achieve from automation. For example:
- Better forecasting of human resources needs
- Improved ability to identify and assign people with needed skills
- Improved goal alignment
- Reduced time to write appraisals by 60%
- Improved appraisal completion rate
If you can quantify the value of any of these expected benefits, you can use the data in your justification and ROI estimation for the purchase.
Research Potential Products/Vendors
Armed with this data, you’re ready to start researching potential products and vendors. Here are some ways to proceed:
- Visit vendor websites, but also HR association websites, blogs and forums.
- Network with your peers and ask them about their experiences.
- Consult industry analysts and review associations’ research and recommendations.
As you review this information, consider not only the products’ capabilities, but also the vendors’ reputations.
Evaluate Short List of Products
Once you’ve identified a short list of products/vendors to evaluate, book an online demo of each product. Many vendors also offer you a free trial of their products.
As you learn more about each product, use your requirements list to evaluate its ability to meet your needs. You might find it helpful to create a table and scoring system that helps you rate how well each product meets your requirements. Don’t be afraid to go back to a vendor to ask for more detail or for clarification; many organizations find they need to sit through several product demos to get all the information they need.
Choose the Right Product for Your Organization
Use the list of prioritized requirements you established to identify the resource management and employee performance management tools that best suit your organization. You should also review your list of desired benefits to see whether the products you evaluated will deliver these. And don’t forget to compare costs, including licensing, implementation, training, maintenance, support, customizations, etc.
Ideally, one clear front runner will emerge that will allow you to proceed with recommendations for a purchase. If not, it may help to go back to your list of needs and requirements and further refine them.