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Zeroing in on the Right HR Solution (and Opportunity)

By Kyle Plett, Director of HR & Payroll System Operations, Dutch Bros

Kyle Plett, Director of HR & Payroll System Operations, Dutch Bros

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson

The same could be said about HR Technology. The number of options and solutions that are available to choose from has never been greater. It can be completely overwhelming to know how to start. Having gone through the selection process many times, there are some key things that might help guide you through the process.

• Identify your unique business problems. Most HR Technology is going to have many of the same basic core functions - Employee Demographics, workflows and approvals. So, yes check off those boxes in your evaluation. Also think about what unique problems you are trying to solve: Engagement, DEI initiatives, better analytics, Performance etc. Functionality in these areas can really help you find the differentiators between vendors.

• You are in the driver's seat. It’s ok to shop around! Look at vendors you wouldn’t have thought of. It is going to level-up your own knowledge and help you ask the right questions when you get to your final selections. I also dream that the more that HR Tech companies hear from us on what our drivers and needs are as HR leaders, they will begin to make functionality based on what they are finding in the field. Let’s keep pushing them to evolve!

• ATS, HRIS, HCM, HRMS, HXS, SaaS, AI, ML, Tenant… There’s a ton of Tech Jargon out there. Do research, ask questions, but don’t worry it’s not scary. Once you learn the lingo you’ll be talking like a pro in no time.

• Have a diverse team of stakeholders in on the final evaluations. This is going to help you with change management in the future. You will be able to empower those people to be your product champions in the core areas of your business where you might need support later.  

• Document functionalities as you review it. It is all going to become a blur as you demo multiple products. You will lose track of who had what functionality. “Their AI only worked in one module?” ”Did we even see “Performance Management”?” Take some screen shots. Schedule deeper dive demos with specific functionality and team members. Do your due diligence.

• “Stay on Target.” - Davish Krail There’s going to be a ton of shiny stuff. Check it out and enjoy it but stay on target to your key business initiatives.

• Flexibility and integration is key. That shiny stuff you saw earlier could make a great add on later. Make sure the system you do end up selecting can play well with others. Integrations, API’s, Webhooks you need to plan for this flexibility so that you can pivot as the business has needs later without throwing off your entire HR/Payroll processing world.

• Don’t forget about your technology culture. If your entire workforce is only on mobile phones make sure there are apps to support that.

• Breaking up is hard to do. You will have to shrink your list. It’s ok. It’s ok to continue checking in with vendors to see new functionalities, improvements even after you “break up” so don’t break up too hard.  

Enjoy the ride and reach out to references and other HR leaders as you step out on your selection adventure!

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