You’ve spent a lot of time researching your options, interviewing stakeholders, and shortlisting HRIS vendors before making the final choice. After all that effort, you’ve finally decided on the best-fit solution to automate your core HR processes. But there’s still a major step left that can make or break this project: HRIS implementation.

Implementing your HRIS with care will allow your business to effectively transition to the new system. As a result, you’ll experience fewer adoption-related issues and improved HR performance. Alternatively, you’ll get a lot of negative feedback from your end users and struggle to achieve your goals if you rush things.

It’s crucial to break down HRIS implementation into different components to ensure smooth planning, migration, and the actual rollout. While the specific steps your vendor recommended may differ, make sure your process has the following for a successful implementation.

1. Implementation Team

The first component is a project management team to oversee the implementation of your HRIS from the beginning to the end. Creating a dedicated team will help streamline the entire process and prevent unnecessary delays caused by inconsistent communication.

This team should consist of internal stakeholders and a point of contact representing the software provider. Here are the essential roles to delegate, along with their responsibilities:

  • Project Lead. A key internal person who rallies everyone on the team and acts as a liaison between your company and the vendor. They are responsible for owning the HRIS implementation process, facilitating communication, and getting all members on the same page.
  • IT/Tech Expert. A role filled by an internal person who is familiar with the current setup of your HR tech stack and other related platforms. They help map out realistic timelines and handle the technical side of things.
  • Core Professional. A mid-to-senior human resource professional who knows the ins and outs of your HR processes and pain points. They help create workflows, test the system, and ensure that the business actually benefits from the HRIS.
  • HRIS Consultant. An expert from your vendor’s side of the project who knows the product like the back of their hand. They guide and support your implementation project team through the process.

You don’t need a different person for every role. For example, a senior human resource manager can be the HRIS project lead and act as the core professional.

2. Implementation Goals

The implementation project needs to define how you will determine success. This will help keep everyone aligned on an agreed-upon vision and provide a way to consistently measure progress.

Create key milestones and timelines that everyone agrees on. This will be a joint effort involving input from some people on your system implementation team to ensure your goals are realistic.

For instance, you may want to determine how long it takes to transfer all of your employee data to the new HRIS. The IT and HR experts on your team would be able to estimate attainable deadlines based on your company’s headcount and the state of your existing employee database.

3. Internal Communication

Surprising your staff with a new HRIS on the day it goes live is the last thing you want to do. Not everyone is comfortable with change and may need time to adjust to the new technology. Keep everyone informed about the new HRIS throughout the implementation process, as it affects all the employees in your organization, and not just your HR department.

Start by sharing the news of the HRIS through a companywide email/message blast or a meeting. Remember that this should be done long before you deploy the system. From there, the project lead, core HR professional, and IT expert on the implementation team should welcome any questions from the rest of the company.

Keep in mind that this will be an ongoing process. Encourage employees to reach out to the designated team members with their concerns even after the system goes live. This can prevent them from feeling anxious and clear up any reservations about the upcoming change.

4. Workflow Mapping

Having efficient HR workflows based on the functionalities and the user interface of the HRIS will help with testing the system and onboarding end users with ease. The core professional and the point of contact at the vendor company should collaborate on this task. This will help you document the step-by-step processes for different HR-related tasks that the HRIS supports, such as managing job candidates, tracking time and attendance, and processing payroll. You can then use the documented workflows to train your staff and share them on a platform that’s accessible to everyone.

This is also an excellent opportunity to audit your existing processes and find room for improvements. Just remember to take the new system into account for any changes that you make.

5. Connectivity and Data Migration

Slowly start moving all existing HR-related data to the HRIS. This is when the actual implementation begins. If you want to preserve data integrity, do not rush this process.

Moving data from some (or even all) of your existing HR systems may be as simple as tapping a few buttons. However, this depends on the integration capabilities of your HRIS. Alternatively, you may need to manually input some or all of the data into the new system. Ask your HRIS vendors if they can provide you with templates that you can use to map your HR data.

6. User Testing

You want to ensure that your new HRIS works properly before it goes live in your company. Start testing the system for super-users (administrators with complete privileges, such as CEOs, CHROs, and IT managers) and end-users (employees with limited privileges).

Test different workflows to ensure that the HRIS is functioning correctly and that there are no connectivity issues with other third-party tools. For example, create sample data for a few job applicants and check if the applicant tracking system (ATS) of the HRIS is working properly. Or, if the HRIS module doesn’t have a built-in ATS and is integrated with a separate one instead, look for any connectivity issues.

Have all the users involved in the process document their experiences. Communicate any inconsistencies or technical issues to the IT team and/or the vendor so they can resolve them. Keep testing until there are no functional issues left.

7. Training

Don’t assume that your employees will figure out how to use the new HRIS on their own, no matter how intuitive it is. There are three possible options for training, depending on your vendor:

  1. A few employees receive direct training from the vendor and pass on what they learn to the rest of the company.
  2. A representative from the vendor visits your company and teaches all of your employees how to use the HRIS through a workshop.
  3. The vendor provides training material — videos, PDF guides, slide decks, etc. — that you share with the rest of your team.

Whatever the approach, make sure that everyone in your company — including executives, senior managers, line managers, and the rest of your employees — knows how to use the system. Ask your vendor for training material (or create it if unavailable) and use it to onboard new employees.

8. Deployment and Post-Live Analysis

This is it — the moment you’ve been waiting for! After connecting the HRIS with all existing systems, testing it out, and training your employees, your business can finally start using it. Remember to inform all employees about the date the new system will roll out at least a few weeks in advance. Provide frequent reminders along the way and instruct everyone to officially start using the HRIS on the day it goes live. At this point, IT and HR managers should keep an eye out for any questions or support requests.

From here on out, it’s all about collecting user feedback and taking action (if needed) to improve the workflows. Send out a quick company-wide survey to employees a few days after deployment and get feedback on their experience with the HRIS so far. Report any issues to the IT department and, if needed, escalate them to the vendor so they can help resolve them.

In addition, track the success metrics for the HRIS itself. For example, you could track the productivity of your HR team in terms of hours saved after implementing the system. There’s a problem with the system or the workflows if productivity hasn’t increased, which should be investigated.

Remember To Lean on Your Vendor’s Expertise

Despite all your planning and due diligence, it’s common for the implementation of an HRIS — or any new software for that matter — to go sideways. The key to avoiding that is to rely on your vendor’s expertise and get their support. Don’t keep them in the dark about any aspect of your current tech landscape and anything else that might affect connectivity.

HRIS Implementation is a comprehensive process. But the effort is worth it, as it can do wonders for your business. If you need an extra helping hand, Inova’s HR outsourcing solution will take care of the busy work for the implementation process. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how our certified HR experts can help.

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