Buying #HRTech? Ask These Four Questions TODAY

4 Questions to Ask Your HR Technology Vendor

Start your HR technology research the right way by downloading my new HR Technology Suite Selection Guide. It’s totally free and practitioner focused. Click here. 

HR technology is the number one largest purchase for your department and possibly your company. It’s like newlyweds buying a home where they will flourish, build and grow their family. And with sometimes foolish optimism that’s how we go about purchasing our home. It’s that place where we pin our hopes and dreams for our company to be. Appearances aren’t always what they seem to be.

That’s what happened when I bought my first house. It was a small 3 bedroom 1970’s ranch style home that passed inspection. Only later when the paint started falling off in sections did we realize that the home had terminate damage, and I learned to ask more questions, educate myself so that I wasn’t taken the next time. And I did with home number 2 and 3. I just didn’t apply those same lessons the first time to HR technology.

One time many years ago, I was swooned by a snazzy salesman selling his newest HR technology service and vendor pimping all the bells and whistles. It was in the cloud or at least I thought it was. It was seamless and it was pricey. I asked questions. He had answers. I signed a contract and got stuck with a sub par piece of crap HR technology.

Four Questions to Ask Your HR Technology

Spend any Saturday afternoon watching HGTV and you’re sure to run into one of my favorite shows, Holmes on Homes. Mike Holmes fights to make right for unsuspecting home owners who buy homes based on a dream. What they discover is their home is not the pretty reality they thought it would be. In my own Mike Holmes fashion, I introduce to you four questions to ask of your sales person in HR Technology.

  •  Ask about the company. Things like company size, number of clients and company financials are key to understanding the success of this budding or flourishing HR service company. Follow up on their references and ask for information of clients they’ve lost. If they refuse to provide, be prepared to walk away. 
  • Understand the Contract. Ask questions about the length of contract, additional fees, setup costs and if the contract is automatically renewed. There’s nothing worse than asking the CEO for an additional $70,000 to make a small change with your HR technology because it wasn’t on your budget. Believe me, I know.
  • How is your data secure? My husband, Greg works in the healthcare information technology industry, and there is no industry outside of maybe financial where information and data security is more important. Like hospitals employers have access to medical information, time off requests as well as candidate and employee dates of birth and social security numbers. Find out exactly what they are protecting this information from outsiders and cyber attacks.
  • Ask about specific actions, reports and actions for end users. One of my biggest beefs when selecting HR technology is the lack of involvement with end users. Talk to them about how they use the current system, what reports and features are most important to them. I speak from experience when one change can cost your end user upwards of 45 minutes a day. Multiply that by 75 HR professionals in the field and you are loosing nearly 300 hours a week for your organization. Failure to make that small change as referenced above could cost you over 300 nonproductive hours a week and $70,000 doesn’t seem like so much.

What kinds of good as well as bad experiences have you had yourself when buying HR technology from vendors and services in our space? I’d love for you to share your tips and additional questions with our readers here.

Selection Your HR Technology maybe never be the same. Download our HR Technology Suite Selection Guide. It’s totally free and practitioner focused. Click here.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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