How to Implement a New HRIS

So you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to select and implement a new HRIS (human resource information system). Whether you’re currently relying on manual processes to get the job done or your existing HRIS is simply not meeting your current needs, finding and implementing a new HR and Payroll system can be the first step in the right direction for your organization.

However, an HRIS implementation is not something your organization does every day, and in fact, you may be uncertain how to go about even selecting a new software provider. This step-by-step guide can help you gain a better understanding of the steps involved in the process so that you can plan ahead and set your organization up for success.

How Long Does HRIS Implementation Take?

One of your first questions when starting the HRIS implementation process is how long the whole thing will take. This will vary based on several factors, including how complex your organization’s structure is and how much support your HRIS provider offers. At DATIS, our implementation process is streamlined yet thorough, typically taking a few months to complete. Our clients receive a week-by-week rundown of what to expect, what we’re working on, and what’s needed from them. This helps create a clear picture where everyone’s on the same page. While it’s a weeks-long process to complete, the HRIS implementation does not require you or any of your colleagues to dedicate 100% of their time to the process throughout the entire implementation. It will, however, require different people at different points in the process. This is all spelled out ahead of time so that you know exactly what to expect.

Because HR and Payroll software is such a robust system that every individual at your organization will need to access and use in some capacity, you should expect your implementation to take a bit of time to carry out successfully. If a software provider promises an extremely short implementation process, you should be wary about the level of support you’ll be receiving during and after that implementation. While you don’t want to be stuck in the implementation process forever, you should expect your software provider to offer a high level of support at this time and to ensure you’re completely ready and capable of using the software before simply switching it on and leaving you to it. 

Plan the Project in Advance

Considering the length of time involved and the robustness of the software itself, planning the HRIS implementation project in advance is absolutely essential. You’ll want to know who from your organization to involve, what steps are required, what to expect from your HRIS provider, and more so that you can plan accordingly. Preparation is essential for ensuring the process will proceed smoothly and your organization will be where it needs to be when you go live with the new HRIS.

The best way to plan is to ask as many questions as possible. The HRIS company you choose should be able to give you a clear picture of what to expect, how long the process will take, and which key players are needed at various steps to get your organization up and running. This will all culminate in training sessions toward the end of the process, both for your management team, that will use most of the features of the HRIS, as well as your entire workforce, which may only need to use only a few basic features. To plan ahead effectively, you’ll need to have a step-by-step guide in place that gives you an understanding of timeframes and expectations while also helping to ensure your project stays on track.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to HRIS Implementation

Before even thinking about the HRIS implementation itself, you need to have a plan in place for identifying new options and making a decision. For a smaller organization, the entire process may be entirely up to you. However, in most cases, the evaluation and selection process will need to take into account the wants and needs of multiple decision makers at your organization. This may include input from the CEO as well as HR, Finance, Operations, and IT.

Step 1: Get Everyone On Board

With that in mind, the first step in your HRIS implementation process will be to get everyone on board. Some people are resistant to change. In order to ensure a smooth transition, it’s critical that everyone is on board with the new HRIS before making the switch. Identify the key players who need to be convinced, and then make sure everyone’s on the same page so you can move forward together.

Step 2: Build a Project Team

Once everyone’s on board, it’s then important to build a project team. The implementation process can seem long and arduous, but once completed, the results are invaluable. Put together a dedicated and capable project team to make the implementation process significantly faster and more efficient. This should include leaders from various areas so that all departments of the organization are represented in evaluating the software. While HR may have specific features they want to see in their new HRIS, Finance may have entirely different pain points or priorities that are equally important to be addressed. At this stage, it may be helpful to list out each department’s priorities, including must-haves and nice-to-haves, so that you have some guidelines to refer to as you start digging into various options.

Step 3: Compare Different HRIS Systems

Now comes the bulk of the work. You’ll need to identify different HRIS systems and compare them against each other to see which one best fits your organization’s needs. This may require an official RFP process that gets sent out to everyone, or may come down to your individual research to create a list of options to consider. Once you’ve created a list, you’re ready to move forward. If you’d like more information and guidance on considerations for evaluating the software itself, check out our Buyer’s Guide for more information. Here, we’re focused primarily on the evaluation of the implementation process itself vs the full software system and software provider.

Remember those guidelines from the last step? These can be invaluable in keeping you focused and on track to find the HRIS that’s the best fit for your organization. Of course, you’ll want to evaluate the different features and functionality of the software itself. However, how the company will handle your HRIS implementation is just as important. In fact, how well the implementation process is handled can determine your future success with the software, regardless of the features of the software itself. So here are some important implementation considerations you may want to think about when looking at each new HRIS option:

Support: Consider how much support your organization will need from the HRIS provider. Be sure the provider is able to deliver with the best training and support methods for your organization.

Approach: Depending on the HRIS provider, there are many different approaches to implementation. For example, some providers may mitigate data for you, while others may only hand out guides to assist you through the process. Another difference between approaches is that some providers will have onsite implementations, as compared to other providers who will give implementation support through online presentations.

Protection: Your IT staff should analyze the proposed data migration plan from the vendor. Your HRIS will house sensitive data about your organization and its employees, and thus, the provider should utilize best practices to protect the data.

Strategy: Remain focused on your main objectives and try not to rush your “go live” date. Transferring the amount of data and training someone on a new HRIS is a lengthy process that requires time to ensure a thorough job.

Commitment: Be sure your entire organization is excited and committed to completing the implementation. This project will take the entire organization to implement and will have profound effects on your organization’s ability to propel its HR department forward.

Step 4: Implement and Train

During the implementation process, your team will go through extensive training. However, this group may not include everyone that will use the new HRIS system. Be sure to sit down with everyone at your organization who will be utilizing the new system and train them on how to use it properly. This will decrease errors made once the switch is finalized and help your employees feel more confident in using the system.

While initial training may be provided onsite directly from the HRIS provider, you may also want to review the training and how-to documentation your provider has available for down the road – when adding new employees to the team, for example. The more documentation your software provider has available, the less you’ll have to create yourself and the easier the process of onboarding will be as well. You may also find it helpful to have this documentation on hand after you go live with the software, as it can provide some refreshers as you familiarize yourself with the new system.

Step 5: Redefine, Reconfigure, Reinvent, and Recharge!

With the right HRIS software implemented at your organization, you should find your entire organization is empowered to do more than ever before. You now have the ability to transform your workforce and your organization to take things to new heights – it’s all up to you. Redefine your HR management mantra to be more automated and use more real-time reports. Reconfigure how you will do certain HR processes in a more efficient manner. Reinvent your employee experience so you can retain your top talent.

By the end of this process you will have a recharged HR department that can increase productivity, retention, and recruitment, while allowing the organization to focus on what matters most – your clients.

The DATIS Implementation Process

At ContinuumCloud, we understand the importance of the HRIS implementation process. And we also understand that implementing and learning a new software program can be a challenging and stressful time for your organization. However, our team provides full support and is here to help throughout the entire implementation process and beyond. Our consultative approach uses proven methodology to ensure your HRIS is optimized for your organizational needs. Additionally, we focus exclusively in the Health and Human Services industry and therefore have a deep knowledge of the unique structure and challenges faced by organizations like yours. We are your partners in success and will use our understanding of your industry to help identify and implement the right solutions for your organization.

Our hybrid approach to implementation means we’re here for you throughout the process – but without getting in your way. Our implementation specialists will be available onsite during key periods of the implementation to help set up the software and provide the necessary training. For other, behind-the-scenes aspects of the implementation, our team works off-site to get the job done, staying out of your hair as we build the software to suit your needs. By the time your organization goes live with the software, you’ll be a system expert, fully ready and capable of a successful future with our HRIS.

If you’d like to learn more about our unified HR and Payroll software and how it provides the ideal solution for Health and Human Services organizations, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss our HRIS and the implementation process with you in more detail.

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