How to choose an HR tech vendor: Five criteria

By Higginbotham on July 14 , 2016

Choosing an HRIS system

What is HRIS? It’s a Human Resource Information System that facilitates payroll, online enrollment, benefits administration, timekeeping, on-boarding and more. Sounds good, but what does that really mean for your business? It means efficiency. The end of entering HR data into five different systems and spending hours reconciling the inherent errors. One HR data entry point. Fewer errors. Better compliance. More time to spend on growth-oriented HR functions.

How to choose an HR tech vendor: Must-have HRIS features

Your business needs aren’t exactly like anyone else's, so the functionality of the software you choose must be flexible enough to fit your company’s unique needs. As you sort through the frameworks and feature sets available, here are five criteria to guide your search.

  1. Full integration: Your HR tech vendor should offer a fully-integrated system. You should never have to enter data in one platform, then turn around and enter it all over again somewhere else. Whatever changes you make should automatically appear everywhere else too, across the entire system.
  2. Branded employee portal: Your employees should be able to log into an online portal where they can access all the information they need – policies, forms, announcements, summaries of benefits as well as their employee handbook. You should be able to customize the look and feel of their portal with your logo, colors and corporate identity.
  3. Access to expertise: Your platform should offer a channel of communication to your insurer, so you can access their expertise whenever you need it. For example, you should be able to ask questions, look up relevant legislation, search a library of benefit plan materials, find consumer health newsletters and benchmark statistics, and download compliance guides.
  4. Plan design functionality: The software you choose should let you analyze, benchmark, estimate and model different plans, so you can hone in on the most cost-effective approach. For example, you should be able to evaluate how your costs are affected when you make medical or prescription changes. You should be able to experiment with different combinations. You should be able to calculate your renewal costs based on trend and midpoint information. You should be able to compile employee-facing information as well, so you can easily present it to your workforce to help each individual make choices about which plan is best for them.
  5. Claims analysis functionality: Do you have problems with utilization? Your software should help you identify those. Do you need to find ways to reduce the costs of your claims? It should offer those as well. Do you have questions about your medical or prescription claims experience? It should be able to model how different design changes would affect your budget and your workforce. Most importantly, your claims analysis tool should be able to transform complex data into meaningful, actionable information, presented in easily-understandable reports and visuals.

We hope these criteria will empower you to find the right fit as you evaluate the HRIS tools available. And, don’t forget that we’re here to help. As your full-service employee benefits partner, our HR technology consultants can provide guidance to find and implement a budget conscious HRIS platform for a seamless HR experience. Contact the Higginbotham HR Technology team to get started.

Related: Open enrollment communication best practices


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