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Insider Guide to Evaluate HCM & Payroll Providers

evaluate hcm and payroll provider

Business Software

Insider Guide to Evaluate HCM & Payroll Providers

Evaluating HCM & Payroll provider is a challenging task. This guide defines the criteria to evaluate HCM & payroll providers easily.

There’s more HCM technology available now than ever before. And yet the typical HR department still spends 60% of their time on transaction HR.

Why is that? Why isn’t it working?

  • You want to make a plan for growing your organization with the right talent, but you spend way too much time keying new hire data into payroll.
  • You want to uncover insights about how labor costs are affecting your bottom line, but you’re too busy tracking time and attendance.
  • You want to optimize your benefits package so that you can stay ahead of the curve, but you’re too busy hand-holding your employees through open enrollment.

The truth is: Not all HCM technology is the same.

In fact, much of the HCM business now is, unfortunately, a bait and switch game. That’s why choosing an HCM technology provider is so important.

Your HCM platform is the foundation of your business.

Here’s what you need to look in HCM & payroll provider and why.

Don’t miss any of your requirements on future to save some bucks yet.

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HCM & Payroll Security System

Look for MFA, multi-factor authentication, similar to Google and bank security. Protect highly sensitive employee information with an extra level of security. MFA should be a minimum requirement.

Maintains employee security e.g. not asking for social security [SSN] on log-in. It’s not secure to have employees use almost half of their SSN to login. Some systems still require this.

Is data security at rest? It’s not enough for data to be secure only when the user is logged in. Data has to be equally secure (encrypted) when the user is logged of.

Consider single sign-on i-e one username and password for all access. The system has to be easy to use. Your people need one username and password, regardless of title like managers, HR, etc.

Must consider proactive security. You want both software and a team of experts to continually search for irregularities in your accounts.

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Implementation Model

Dedicated implementation team with tenured Project Manager: Understand who will be assisting you and how that process will work. If your sales rep is also leading implementation, they maybe more focused on selling than on success.

Implementation schedule and time frame: It’s important to understand the implementation timeline from sign to start. Will everything go live at once?

Implementation expectations: Be sure to understand what role you will play in implementation (e.g., what information/data you will need to provide).

Implementation fee schedule: Allows you to understand the full cost of starting; upfront vs. total for go live.

Have policies and procedures been reviewed in advance? You don’t want to be surprised during implementation. Make sure you have a clear picture of what can be handled in the system and any potential workarounds.

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Mobile Requirements

  • Native mobile app available in App store and Google play. Ease of use for employees.
  • Finger print authorization for mobile. Ease of use and security.
  • Ability to translate mobile app to Spanish. Ensure you meet needs of employee population where they are.
  • GPS Locator: If needed for remote employees.
  • FF Clock In/Out: Upgrade your time-card to a more modern method. It’s no longer a nice thing to have; your employees expect it.
  • FF PTO Requests: Employees expect it to be easy to request time of.
  • Ability to access benefits information. Great if you or an employee forgets an insurance card.
  • Learning and training courses available through mobile app
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On-boarding Requirements

Information flows from ATS to Onboarding without Excel: You don’t want the candidate to have to re-enter information.

Ability to start onboarding without using ATS: To handle diferent hiring circumstances, you need a fexible system.

I-9, W-4 completed and electronically signed: Allows for a completely paperless onboarding.

WOTC (tax credit) forms completed electronically as part of onboarding: Reduces manual paperwork and eliminates a cause of error.

Ability to electronically sign documents (automatically populate signature and other pre-set information): Think about all the documents involved in the on-boarding process. Anything you can do to eliminate manual steps is a big win.

Compatible with remote work: You’ll want a system that can handle setting up remote workers.

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HCM & Payroll ATS Requirements

Ability for candidates to apply without having to log-in: Paycor studies reveal that you’ll lose about 50% of applicants if an online application takes more than 10 minutes.

Modern, branded careers pages: The job application is a critical first impression. SHRM found an application that takes <5 min to complete increases application conversion by 365%.

Mobile-friendly application process: Multiple studies confirm that 90% of job seekers use their mobile device to initiate a job search.

Resume parsing: To avoid re-keying info, you’ll want an ATS that automatically fills in fields.

Ability to have multiple applications including Spanish applications: The easier and friendlier the experience, the better impression your company will make.

Ability to see calendars, schedule interviews and send invites directly from ATS: Streamlines the process and saves you time.

Quickly and easily respond to candidates and keep record of communications; automatically log comments: Empowers hiring managers to communicate and make decisions.

Post jobs to multiple websites like LinkedIn with just a click; provide option to purchase advertised positions at a reduced price: The more streamlined and cost efficient, the better. Eliminate the need to post positions to individual sites.

Ability to find candidates using advanced search without having to purchase additional modules: As your company grows, you’ll want to be able to search your applicant database by information on applications and resumes, including a radius (distance) search.

Ability to create offer letters directly from the system to send out for electronic signature (with the ability to also send PDFs): You don’t want to exit the system and interrupt your process in order to write offer letters or other routine communications.

Analytics (time to hire, referral sources, candidate dispositions) available on a dashboard: Enables you to quickly and easily generate reports so you can get a bird’s eye view of your recruiting process and pipeline.

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HR & Benefits from HCM & Payroll Provider

Unified system: You need a system that lets you enter data once and then makes it available everywhere vs. separating the HR module from the rest of the solution.

Ability to store employee files electronically and print or download files as needed: You want a solution that works with you, not against you, and makes workflows easier.

Employee Self Service (ESS): Allows the employee to log-in and make changes.

Configurable workflows with multiple levels of approval for employee changes: Maintains control of the system without being too rigid; enables employees to make changes.

Track FMLA eligibility in the system: Reduces dependence on manual tracking and cumbersome spreadsheets.

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Time & Attendance Feature of HCM & Payroll

Multiple clock-in methods available (computer, kiosk, physical clocks):Meet employees where they are while still maintaining control and compliance.

Quick view manager/admin dashboard to see current status and items that require action: Without a quick view, supervisors have to search for time card errors manually or by running reports.

Ability to handle PTO policy: You want a system that can handle the specifies of your workplace environment.

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Payroll Service Features

Payroll education and know-how: Many providers will gloss over this and say that “payroll is payroll”; however, your payroll is unique. Make sure the system can handle it.

Ability to work on pay-runs in advance: You want to ensure your payroll isn’t set up as an older “batch” system that requires you to create a batch each time you need to process. That’s simply too time-consuming.

Blended overtime: Your payroll solution must be able to handle complexity, or else you’re going to be stuck handling it yourself. For example, can the system handle a scenario in which an employee has multiple rates of pay or shift differentials, in addition to overtime?

Full pre-post journal available prior to processing: Gives you the ability to see exactly what every single check will look like prior to submitting payroll.

Control to add earnings, deductions, taxes and change system parameters without having to call support: Gives you control of the system to make changes as needed—with proper security— so you don’t have to wait for support.

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Workforce Insights

Cross-functional information available—time, HR and payroll: Some systems allow you to see charts for a part of the system; however, true insights come from slicing data across all aspects of the system.

Provides visual, interactive charts: Spend less time searching for data and insights and more time acting on available information.

Ability to drill down into charts: To see specifc trends and data to take action versus just seeing a chart.

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HCM & Payroll Reporting & Analytics

Customize an existing report: So you can modify an existing report and tweak it versus having to start from scratch.

Custom report—did the provider show how to build one from scratch as part of the demo? Many providers will gloss over this, and clients find out later the process to build a report is much more difficult than what was talked about on the demo.

Ability to report across years: Not all reports run payroll to payroll or from Jan 1 to Dec 31; some systems have difficulty running a report across calendar years.

Create filters and formulas: Need to be able to ilter and add formulas to avoid having to do extra work later in Excel.

Sharing of reports: Reporting isn’t very helpful unless it can be easily shared.

Scheduling reports: Create a report 1x and then have it automatically sent to those who need it on a scheduled basis.

Library of pre-built standard reports: Access to templates to build important reports, like labor distribution, employee changes or even birthday and anniversary lists.

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Business Paragon Editorial Staff

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