Vivek Paranjpe, is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based at Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region
I am a part of the HR team in a large auto company and we are looking at investing in HR technology for our HRMS requirements, from leave, to PMS, to payroll, etc. I am finding it difficult to understand what would be the right technology fit for our organization. On the one hand, there are ERP modules, and on the other hand, there are the standalone HRMS products, which are available off-the-shelf. I am quite confused as the difference in pricing is substantial. Can you share your views and experiences on what should one look at when investing in HR technology? How do I choose the right vendor? How do I understand what will work best from the available options in the market today?
Which HRMS platform to buy will depend on multiple factors. I guess you need to look at the features of what is available in the market and take a decision based on what is best suited for your organization. To help understand what features you are looking for, you need to first come to a conclusion on what you are looking for. It will depend on multiple factors like:
1. Current size of your organization and what are the plans to scale it up. The HRMS platform should be able to support the growth, at least over the next 5 years.
2. Geographic distribution of your people is another crucial factor. How many geographical locations you expect this platform to support – number of locations, domestic as well as international. Your manpower projections and disbursement will therefore be important.
3. How will your organization look like over next 5 to 6 years? Complexity of multiple businesses and functions that this platform is expected to support will be another consideration.
4. Which applications do you expect this platform to support, is another crucial list that you need to finalize. This will include, apart from the database and reporting, several transactions, PMS, payroll interfaces and related applications, recruitment interfaces and related applications, employee portal, self-service transactions, your own current and emerging decision support needs (DSS), etc.
After determining what is stated above, you need to shortlist few platforms that meet your needs as of today, as well as, for the next 5 plus years. Now, the next set of considerations will have to be looked into, such as, ease of interface with the ERP platform of your own company, track record and capabilities of the vendor to provide long term support, and vendor’s capability to continuously develop and upgrade the HRMS platform with newer versions so that what you invest in today is regularly upgraded. Last but not the least, the cost of the applications, the main platform, cost of services, license fees, etc. need to be looked at.
To sum up:
You need to do considerable homework yourself first. The market is full of interesting products. You need to decide what features are you looking for and thereafter determine who brings the best value for the money.
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